Spikes are long, thick, sharp-pointed fasteners made of metal or plastic. They are similar to heavy nails and used in railroad ties and other heavy-duty construction applications. There are many types of spikes. Examples include metal spikes, plastic spikes, railroad spikes, standard cut spikes, and stakes. A metal spike is made of aluminum, brass, or nickel and is stable, durable, and strong. A plastic spike is made of plastic materials and suitable for light-weight applications. A railroad spike has an L-shaped head and a square shank with a wedge-shaped tip. A standard cut spike can be driven through planking or heavy timber, and can be used for deck or bridge work. A stake is made of wood or metal and sharpened at one end for driving into the ground as a marker, fence pole, or tent peg. Other types of spikes are also available.
Specifications for spikes include height, diameter, weight, type, and resistance. A plastic spike is light-weight, non-conductive, corrosion resistant, and resistant to ultraviolet (UV) light. Spikes are available in many shapes and inch-based sizes. Common sizes for stakes include ¾ x 12, ¾ x 18, ¾ x 24, ¾ x 30, ¾ x 36, 7/8 x1 8, 7/8 x 24, 7/8 x 30, 7/8 x 36, 18-inch flat, and 24-inch flat. A standard cut spike is also available in variable lengths such as 3 in., 3-1/2 in., 4 in., 4-1/2 in., 5 in., 5-1/2 in., 6 in., 7 in., and 8 in.
Spikes are used in many building and construction applications. A stake can be used to demarcate a plot of land or anchor guy ropes for a tent. A metal spike can be used for anchoring fence posts, shoes, or other equipment. A railroad spike is used to fasten a T-shaped railroad track to wooden ties. Plastic spikes are used in specialized applications.