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What are the different types of wire thread inserts?

Posted by Advanex  |  

Wire thread inserts are an invaluable asset to engineering, providing superior fastening features when compared to the conventional threading in components. They help dissipate the tension between a screw or bolt and the parent material, protecting it from wear and strengthening the fastening itself.

Wire thread inserts come in a number of types which bring their own features and benefits for specialised applications. But what are these different types, and how do they benefit different forms of engineering?


Tanged are the most commonly used type of wire thread insert thanks to their simple yet innovative design. The protruding tang at the insert’s centre is gripped by the installation tool when being inserted, which breaks off once optimal placement has been achieved. This is a fairly simple process that ensures the correct installation of the insert and optimal contact with the parent material.

  • Cost effective 
  • Simple installation with conventional tooling 
  • Compliant with almost all standards across industries 


Tanged wire thread inserts are reliable and widespread, but foreign object debris (FOD) from broken tangs can pose a significant risk to engineering designs. This is especially the case in aerospace, where FOD costs $4 billion worth of damage per year according to Boeing. Because of this, tang retrieval is a necessary and time consuming process when using these inserts for designs.

Tangless wire thread inserts are a solution that eliminates the FOD of their tanged counterparts. They have an internal notch on the coil that specialised tooling grips onto during installation, eliminating the need for a tang. The tooling ensures the radially and axially consistent contact with the parent material, whilst also providing the ability to remove inserts as easily as they are installed.

  • Fast and efficient integration
  • Free of FOD risk and retrieval process
  • Can be easily removed with specific tooling

Metric and unified

Like with any element of engineering, standardisation of wire thread inserts is necessary for the efficient and cooperative operation of industries. In light of this, wire thread inserts can be separated under two main standardisations; Unified Thread Standard (UTS) for the imperial measurement system of North America, and ISO metric screw thread as an international standard for the metric system.

UTS and ISO metric screw thread are mainly separated by the measurements of the pitch, diameter and length of wire thread inserts. The former uses inches outlined in B1.1 - 2019, whereas the latter uses millimetres as stated in ISO 68-1:1998. Both of these standards provide the interchangeability of wire thread inserts as a fastening solution across the globe and industries. This unification is not only advantageous for process optimisation, but also essential for the safety and quality of equipment across countries and continents.

  • Global interchangeability of inserts leading to simple integration
  • Quality and assurance for each industry
  • Accommodating

Surface finishes

Depending on the application, different environmental factors such as thermal, corrosion and wear can lead to the shortened lifespan and failure of components. Surface finishes and materials are a solution to provide metallic materials with enhanced surface characteristics and protection from these elements.

For wire thread inserts, there is a mixture of surface finish options and materials that can enhance the reliability and lifespan of the fastening for specific applications. Electroplating and anodising solutions provide thermal insulation, corrosion protection and hardness. This ensures the strength and durability of fastenings for the long-term in extreme environments. Combining these finishes with inserts that consist of resilient metals and alloys multiplies these features, such as with Nitronic 60 that showcases extreme thermal and corrosion resistance for internal engine components.

  • Choice of individual materials for different applications
  • Extending life of components
  • Enhancing reliability of fastenings

Get access to a variety of high-quality wire thread inserts to suit your application with KATO® Advanex

To fully realise the benefits of wire thread inserts, you need to understand the variety of types available to integrate the perfect product for your design. Whether the choice is tanged, tangless or Nitronic 60, KATO Advanex offers individual inserts with a consistency of quality.

Through decades of continuous improvement and product development, KATO® Tanged and Tangless® inserts enable lighter, stronger designs that last longer. Additionally, we provide a wide range of wire thread inserts in both metric (M2 to M16) and unified (0-80 to 1/2-20) size ranges.

To find out more about our range of wire thread inserts and how they can enhance your designs, contact a member of our team today. 

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