Ask The Expert - DFARS Compliant

What Does "DFAR Compliant" Mean For Fastener Suppliers?

We recently received a request for quote via Twitter for Grade 2H Heavy Hex Nuts that included the stipulation "DFAR Compliant."  Since many of our customers will interpret this requirement differently, we decided to contact this customer to determine what their (and their customer's) expectations are for these parts being DFAR compliant. 

Earnest Machine Twitter Inquiry


What does "DFAR Compliant" mean for fastener suppliers?

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the corresponding Department of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) lists the requirements and regulations for companies that do business with the US government.  One of the requirements is that parts (including fasteners) that are made from metal that has been classified as "specialty metals" have been manufactured and the metal was melted in the U.S.A. (or one of the approved Qualified Countries).

DFARS “Specialty Metals” requiring compliance (Per DFARS 252.225-7008) are:

  • Steel: with a maximum alloy content exceeding one or more of the following limits:

    • manganese, 1.65 percent;

    • silicon, .60 percent;

    • copper, .60 percent;

    • containing more than 0.25 percent of any of the following elements: aluminum, chromium, cobalt, columbium, molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, or vanadium;

  • Metal alloys consisting of nickel, iron-nickel, and cobalt base alloys containing a total of other alloying metals (except iron) in excess of 10 percent;

  • Titanium and titanium alloys;

  • Zirconium and zirconium base alloys

DFARS qualifying countries include:

 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

In talking with this customer, we learned that their interpretation was that these 2H Heavy Hex Nuts had to be "made from steel that was melted in the U.S. and the part must be made in the U.S". This interpretation is incorrect because DFARS does not apply to the metal that is used to make grade 2H nuts.  

Grade 2H nuts are not covered under the DFARS restriction because 2H nuts are made from "carbon steel".  Carbon steel does not fall under the "specialty metals" definition listed in the DFARS requirements.  Once we had a chance to review the requirements with our customer they realized they did not need to source a more expensive product that would have resulted in them not getting the order from their customer.

For fastener distributors that mainly supply steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel fasteners made to the SAE and ASTM grades, the DFAR requirement will apply to Grade 8 bolts, screws and studs (made to SAE J429), socket head products made from alloy steel, and to all stainless steel products. 

Hex and Heavy Hex nuts in grade 2H (per ASTM A194) and Grade 8 (per SAE J995) are made from carbon steel and do not fall under the "specialty metals" requirements.