Washers are usually metal or plastic. High quality bolted joints require hardened steel washers to prevent the loss of pre-load due to Brinelling after the torque is applied. Rubber or fiber gaskets used in taps (or faucets, or valves) to stop the flow of water are sometimes referred to colloquially as washers; but, while they may look similar, washers and gaskets are usually designed for different functions and made differently. Washers are also important for preventing galvanic corrosion, particularly by insulating steel screws from aluminium surfaces

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