Hitch pins are reusable, pin-like fasteners, or bolt-like keys, or wedgesthat pass through a hole, commonly used to bind or fix two parts together to avoid relative motion between them. Hitch pins are durable, sturdy materialsmade out of hardened metal like chrome, stainless steel, or Zinc coated stainless steel. There are a wide variety of hitch pins available in the market today and they come in different styles and sizes depending on the usage. Hitch pins are also known as R-pins, hairpin cotter pins, bridge pins, or spring cotter pins.
Formerly, hitch pins are used to mount bicycles before square taper pins,cranksets, and brackets were discovered; they come with a washer and a nut for a secured, tight fit. They are designed with a gripping ring somewhat like that of a key head. Other applications for hitch pins would be: fixing a piston rod to a crosshead typically applied for steam engines, or fixing a crank to its crankshaft.
When it comes to designing applications like hitch pins, engineers should be considering elements like the cost for manufacturing such application, whether or not a tether should be used, its durability and the integrity of such locking mechanisms. Fasteners like these are used for temporary purposes only, since they are made to be fastened and unfastened repeatedly. Hitch pins which are manufactured under the fastener industry are strongly tied to the production of appliances, commercial construction, agricultural machinery, automotive, aircrafts, and infrastructure, making the automotive industry as the largest user per year at a rate of 200 billion.