The most common type of washer is a flat washer. They receive their namesake from flat design. Flat washers aren’t curved, nor do they protrude. Rather, they are completely flat on both sides. This flat design makes them highly effective at distributing loads.
Without a washer, the compressive forces of a bolt will be applied to the underside of the bolt’s head. A flat washer absorbs these compressive forces while subsequently distributing them more evenly.
Common materials in which flat washers are made include the following:
- Stainless steel
- High-carbon steel