Features of the FQA

What holds our world together?  Fasteners: nuts, bolts and more are responsible for the public’s safety in more ways than most people can imagine (or care to.)  In 1990, the Fastener Quality Act (or FQA) was signed into law in order to help regulate the standards of the fasteners industry, thus lower the risk of fastener failure do to unacceptable quality.  Here are just some of the changes in the industry after the law came into being.

  • The Secretary of Commerce was established as the one responsible for keeping track of compliance with the new FQA regulation.  The director of NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) was named as the administrator in charge of establishing the accreditation program for laboratories.
  • A handbook (NIST Handbook 150) and its supplement (NIST Handbook 150-18) were published, providing fastener testing labs with detailed testing requirements and product support for nuts, bolts, and other fasteners.
  • The establishment of a program for the purpose of laboratory accreditation was required to be documented within 180 days of the signing of the law.  There was allowance for private and foreign agencies to provide accreditation thanks to the Accreditation Body Evaluation Program.
  • Machine screws and other fasteners that fall under the jurisdiction of the FQA are required to have head markings.  If a manufacturer wants to use unique markings, there is a registry provided for just such a purpose.

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