Hex Set Screws - UNF - A4 Stainless Steel
Hexagon set screws, or hex sets to give them their common name, are available in both metric and imperial thread sizes in a wide range of finishes. A set screw differs from a bolt in that the shank is threaded all the way from the tip to the head.
UNF stands for Unified National Fine. It is a common imperial thread type with more threads per axial distance than its UNC equivalent.
Unified thread types (UNF and UNC) were introduced at the beginning of World War 2 to enable the interchangeability of machinery manufacturing between the USA, Canada and Great Britain. Still commonly found on a vast array of old machines and vehicles in the UK, UNF and UNC threads continue to be the standard thread in the USA and Canada.
A4 Stainless is often referred to as 316 or 18/10 stainless. As in A2 above, the numbers 18/10 refer to the chromium and nickel content- 18% chromium and 10% nickel. It is often used in marine or chemical environments as it has greater corrosion resistance than A2.
The chemical composition of both A2 and A4 stainless steel are almost identical with the most notable differences being the higher nickel content and the addition of Molybdenum in A4. Molybdenum is a silvery white metal that is highly corrosion resistant, very ductile and has an extremely high melting point.
There can also be Titanium present in A4 stainless at the option of the manufacturer.
Typically, A4 grade stainless steel costs slightly more than A2 because of its enhanced chemical and production properties. The extra cost can be justified, however, because hardware made of A4 stainless steel is extra resistant to tarnish and corrosion, enabling it to last a very long time.