When constructing an aircraft and its various technologies, aircraft fasteners are some of the most critical components for assembly. Fasteners are hardware elements that are used to secure two or more components together, affixing them either permanently or non-permanently. Within the realm of aviation, fasteners are used to secure the outer skin, join sections of spars, secure ribs, attach fixings, and much more. In this blog, we will discuss some of the main aviation fasteners, as well as how they are used on a typical aircraft.
When choosing aircraft fasteners & components, one of the first concerns of the engineer are what types of stresses will be endured. These include factors such as shear and tension loads, temperatures, vibration, and more. In general, aircraft fasteners are beneficial for distributing loads of components, ensuring that structural integrity is established and maintained. Based on these characteristics, varying materials may also be used to achieve a desired strength, corrosion resistance, smoothness, weight, and more.
Nuts and bolts are very commonly used on aircraft in areas where high strength is needed. When installing nuts and bolts, the bolt is passed through the holes of the components and the nut is tightened from the opposite side. This assembly helps secure objects together through thread friction, compression between the nut and bolt, and the stretching of the tightened bolt. Bolts are often compared to screws due to their similar design and functionality, though they differ in one major aspect. As compared to screws, bolts are most often used alongside a nut to secure unthreaded components together. Screws, on the other hand, create their own threading as they wedge into a component during installation, creating a grip that holds parts together securely.
Hardware fastener accessories such as lining & rivets are also useful for the construction of an aircraft, typically serving for securing the outer skin of the plane and similar assemblies. Rivets are a type of permanent mechanical fastener, consisting of a smooth, cylindrical shaft and a head. When installed, the tail end of the rivet shaft is passed through components and then upset with a tool. By doing this, a second head is formed on the other side of the assembly, locking the components in place permanently. In general, rivets are very useful for shear loads, though they are also capable of withstanding tension loads as well.
When securing components that only present one accessible side, blind rivets are used. Blind rivets are similar to standard rivet aviation fasteners, though they contain a mandrel within the shaft & bearing. When passed through components, the mandrel can be pulled through the shaft, causing a malleable neck to deform and create a second head. This allows the assembly to be secured entirely from one side, making construction of certain aircraft structures much easier and efficient.
Beyond nuts, bolts, and rivets, other hardware fasteners accessories such as washers, screws, pins, and collars are used throughout the aircraft assembly to provide for load bearing, structural integrity, vibration dampening, corrosion prevention, and much more. Depending on the surrounding systems and components, various materials should be chosen. The most common materials used to manufacture aircraft fasteners include aluminum, steel, titanium, and superalloys.
When it comes time to begin sourcing the aircraft fasteners & components that you need for your next project or operation, NSN Components has you covered with everything you are searching for. NSN Components is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-714-705-4780.
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