A nut is a type of fastener with a threaded hole. Nuts are almost always used in conjunction with a mating bolt to fasten two or more parts together. The two partners are kept together by a combination of their threads' friction, a slight stretching of the bolt, and compression of the parts to be held together. In normal use, a nut-and-bolt joint holds together because the bolt is under a constant tensile stress called the preload. The preload pulls the nut threads against the bolt threads, and the nut face against the bearing surface, with a constant force, so that the nut cannot rotate without overcoming the friction between these surfaces. If the joint is subjected to vibration, however, the preload increases and decreases with each cycle of movement. If the minimum preload during the vibration cycle is not enough to hold the nut firmly in contact with the bolt and the bearing surface, then the nut is likely to become loose.