Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#2 Thankful to the Screw - Helix Vs Spiral

Our month of gratitude continues with us showing the difference between a spiral and a helix - we're thankful someone figured this out as all of our screws and bolts depend on it:

The words spiral and helix can be confusing as both are used to reference curves that "wind around". I have heard people refer to the length below the head, including the threads, of a screw as a spiral but that's wrong - it is a helix! A spiral is a curve that winds around a fixed point with a continuously increasing radius and a helix is a three -dimensional curve that twists around a cylinder at a constant inclined angle. If anything, sometimes a screw starts as a spiral and then turn into a helix...meaning the the point is a spiral but the shaft is a helix. Have a look at the helix on a bolt and screw:

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