The aerospace industry employs a broad range of different parts and components for many different uses. As such, there are many types of fasteners, such as screws, rivets, nuts, bolts, pins, collars, and more, in use throughout the industry. Despite being small parts, they have a critical role in the operation of an aircraft. For example, there are approximately six million parts used to construct a Boeing 747, more than half of which are fasteners. This blog will explain what aerospace fasteners are, where they are used, and their main manufacturers.
Aerospace fasteners are devices used to securely conjoin two or more items. They create a non-permanent joint that can be removed during dismantling without causing damage to the individual components. Fasteners have an important role throughout the aerospace industry as they are used to design and manufacture a vast array of equipment. Furthermore, aerospace fasteners are constantly subjected to harsh environmental conditions including high pressure, extreme wind speed, temperatures, and many other external factors. This makes it important that they are designed to withstand an array of environments and situations.
Fasteners have many characteristics tailored to making them strong and durable. For one, they are designed with high oxidation and corrosion resistance, allowing them to withstand extreme temperature and pressure. They also have high shear and tensile strength, ensuring their long-term durability and toughness. Thirdly, aerospace fasteners have a lightweight construction that helps the aircraft lift off while also significantly reducing fuel costs. Finally, these fasteners are designed with self-sealing and self-locking abilities, helping them avoid pressure or fluid leaks. Aerospace fasteners are made from a variety of materials, but the most common are aluminum, steel, titanium, and alloys.
Fasteners are used all over an aircraft to combine many structures and parts. All furniture, fixtures, and other components need to be secured in place. In both military and commercial aircraft, the fasteners have a marked importance in ensuring safe and secure flight for all those on board. Furthermore, because some aircraft are used in zero gravity situations, it becomes critical to fasten and secure every single component. Fasteners are not only needed for the assembly of aircraft as a whole, but also for the smaller aerostructures that make up the aircraft. These include the fuselage, nose, wings, empennage, flight control surfaces, and more. Additionally, interior fittings require fasteners during the manufacturing process, so as to provide more strength and integrity to the surface. Aerospace fasteners are critical in providing a rigid and firm build quality that is ready to withstand extreme environments over a period of time.
As the aircraft industry has grown exponentially in recent years, so too has the need for aerospace fasteners. There are many different manufacturers of aerospace fasteners, the primary which are 3V Fasteners, Alcoa, B&B Specialties, KLX, and LISI Aerospace. 3V Fasteners develops all types of aerospace and aviation fasteners for global clients. Alcoa is the main purveyor of aluminum and titanium suppliers for the aerospace fasteners. B&B produces many specialty fasteners including button head fasteners and socket screws. KLX is mainly a distributor, and is one of the largest logistics operations relating to aerospace equipment. Lastly, LISI Aerospace is a manufacturer with focus on fasteners used in airframes, jet engines, and helicopters.
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