All About Aviation Fasteners
When constructing an aircraft, there are a grand amount of parts that come together to create the entirety of the structure. With most of these parts, there needs to be something that is able to hold and secure them together. From keeping a meal tray shut to installing an aluminum frame to the fuselage, the hardware components known as fasteners are indispensable tools that establish an aircraft’s integrity. As there are many aviation fasteners that may be utilized to construct an aircraft, we will discuss in this blog some of the more common fastener types that you should be familiar with.
Across the many types of aviation fasteners, they all share the common function to create a permanent or non-permanent joint. Depending on the fasteners or method used, the connection may be made and held using clipping, force, clamping, welding, and other similar joining methods. The benefits of a non-permanent fastener are that it becomes easy to maintain, repair, or replace the attached component, as detaching the fastener from the piece will not damage the component. Permanent aviation fastener types, on the other hand, are designed to ensure that the parts can never be removed so that they remain securely attached to the component or structure they are installed to.
There are many common aviation fasteners that are used on the typical aircraft, and these can include screws, nuts, bolts, and rivets. Screws are considered the most common fastener, and they feature a head and a threaded cylindrical shaft. Fasteners such as screws utilize their threaded body to dig or wedge into a component that they are installed to, their threads gripping onto the material so that they cannot easily be removed. Nuts and bolts are fastener types that are most commonly used in tandem to provide for a non-permanent securing of components. The nut is a circular shaped metal piece that has an interior that is threaded, allowing for a corresponding threaded bolt to drive the two together as they are tightened. As compared to screws, bolts can join an unthreaded component alongside a nut, while screws either have to be installed into a thread, or create their own thread during tightening.
With fastener types such as bolts, screws, and nuts, they are considered a thread type fastener. A thread type fastener is simply one that features internal or external threading for assembling components. Other types of thread fastener include those such as studs thread, threaded rods, threaded inserts, and more. Fasteners, such as the rivet, can also be unthreaded. Rivets are permanent aviation fasteners that consist of a head and a plain cylindrical shaft. Rivet threads are installed into the hole of components, and then the shaft is deformed using a special tool to form a second head, securing the components together in a permanent fashion. These types of aviation fasteners are typically used for the outer parts of a plane where extreme integrity of conjoined parts is desired.
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