What Are Fredserts?
These uniquely designed, U.S.-made inserts were devised by engineer Fred Wheeler, who sought a way to improve the construction of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles (EFVs) used by the U.S. Marine Corps. Because these vehicles had to function in demanding field environments, they had several strict requirements that had to be addressed. EFVs needed inserts that would provide watertight seals, resist corrosion caused by saltwater, and allow for easy replacement when necessary. Thus, Fredserts were born.
Patented by the General Dynamics Corporation, Fredserts have found a place in a number of high-profile industries. The military, aerospace, agriculture, shipbuilding, automotive, and transportation sectors have all utilized Fredserts when the job calls for high-quality fastener elements. Manufactured in an ISO 9001:2000 accredited facility, Fredserts are certified to Military Specification MIL-I-45914A.
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Why Fredserts Are Unique
Threaded inserts aren’t new, but Fredserts improve on the traditional design in several important ways.
- Standard inserts cannot be removed easily, which complicates maintenance and replacement procedures. In general, to remove an insert it is necessary to drill it out. But Fredserts allow for more convenient removal, as they do not lock permanently into position due to their unique construction. As a result, removing and replacing a Fredsert can be accomplished with minimal difficulty.
- Fredserts can create a completely watertight seal without the need for Loctite or another kind of adhesive—an obvious advantage in harsh environments. This feature derives from these inserts’ unique construction, which includes a flanged head, tapered threading, and 100% thread engagement. For this reason, Fredserts lock securely in place without the need for an adhesive agent.
- Fredserts are available in titanium in addition to the conventional stainless steel. If all other design features are equal, titanium inserts are significantly lighter in weight than stainless steel varieties. Few competing insert manufacturers offer titanium, and the ones that do often charge huge prices for special orders.
Types of Inserts
Fredsert threaded inserts are available in a variety of standard types:
- Female Style: These general purpose inserts are ideal for jobs that demand optimal strength and durability. They sport highly precise inside diameter/outside diameter (ID/OD) thread concentricity and can be mounted either “flush” (aligned with plate surface) or “proud” (protruding from plate surface). Female inserts are available in inches or metric types.
- Male Style: These highly durable inserts are intended for tasks that require the use of an externally threaded boss. They too boast precision thread concentricity.
- Appurtenance—Classic Style: Another general purpose insert designed for applications where durability and strength are key, it features precise ID/OD thread concentricity. It can be mounted in “flush” or “proud” fashion. In addition, this type of appurtenance insert can work in conjunction with a shock-absorbing feature that permits the insert to bend to external force.
- Appurtenance—Pro Style: These inserts feature a socket head built into it, making a driver unnecessary. Like the Classic appurtenance, this particular type is suitable for jobs where a stand-off or clearance is needed.
- Hex Style: Featuring a six-sided head, this design has been created for maximal insertion flexibility in problem areas. With a built-in socket hex, it does not require a driver for installation.
- Fitting Style: These are durable inserts used in areas where hydraulic fittings must pass through a wall.
- Extreme Corrosion-Resistant Style: These Fredserts come with Henkel Corporation’s Alodine® EC2 coating, which prevents galvanic corrosion. This coating is advisable for environments with standing water that could corrode an unprotected insert. NOTE: This electro-ceramic coating can be applied on request to any Fredsert, whether standard or custom.
- Non-Standard Style: These are inserts that deviate from conventional ID/OD thread designs and/or are used for medium- and light-duty tasks.
Types of Materials
Fredserts can be made from a range of materials:
- Stainless Steel: We use passivated 303 stainless steel to create reliable general purpose Fredserts.
- Titanium: As previously noted, we also offer titanium Fredserts, which benefit from relatively lightweight construction that does not sacrifice strength and dependability. Titanium inserts also benefit from high corrosion resistance and excellent stability at lower temperatures.
- Zinc-Plated Steel: Made from 1045 cold drawn steel, zinc Fredserts have outstanding corrosion resistance.
- Inconel: These non-magnetic inserts are ideal for high-temperature environments. They also feature strong corrosion-resistant properties.
Fredserts may be installed by manual, semi-automated, or fully automated techniques. When dealing with low- or medium-volume applications, a worker can easily install the inserts with just a torque wrench or an electric nutrunner. Another option is to use a robot or a properly configured CNC machine to install the inserts.