What are aircraft structural fasteners?

Fasteners are mechanical components that allow for two or more parts to be secured together in a permanent or non-permanent fashion. Ranging from clips that secure fabrics to nails holding together a chair, fasteners have many uses. Within the realm of aviation, aircraft structural fasteners are crucial for securing together assemblies and providing for the bearing of component loads. As compared to standard fasteners, aircraft structural fasteners must provide high strength and reliability while withstanding extreme conditions such as temperature, vibration, and loads. In this blog, we will discuss some of the important aircraft fastener types, and how they are used for structural assembly.

Solid shank rivets are widely used across the body of an aircraft in areas such as deicing boots, furnishings, etc. Often consisting of a metallic shaft and head, solid shank rivets are passed through the hole of the components and the tail is deformed, producing a second head on the tail end that locks the components in place permanently. Despite their simplicity in providing a good fastening and load bearing solution, solid shank rivets require access to both sides of an assembly for installation. In many areas of the aircraft, this may not be possible. To remedy this, pop rivets, or blind rivets, may be used instead. Pop rivets contain an internal mandrel that, when installed, can be pulled from the installation side to deform the tail end and create a second head. With pop rivets, the abilities of a solid shank rivet can be achieved while only needing one side for installation.

Blind bolts are similar to pop rivets, though they provide an increased strength that makes them beneficial for joints and aircraft structures. Blind bolts provide for great shear load bearing strength, and blind bolts manufactured from titanium may be twice as strong as a blind rivet. Blind bolts come in many types, and these include pull-type blind bolts, the Huck Blind Bolt System, The Cherry Maxibolt Blind Bolt System, and more.

High shear pin rivets are threaded pins with collars. The collar is typically metallic and provides for a tight fit due to being swaged. With a bucking bar rivet tool or pneumatic riveting hammer, high shear pin rivets can be installed. Such bolts are very beneficial for permanently securing airframes to the assembly, and they may be manufactured from titanium, aluminum, steel alloy, Inconel, etc.

Lockbolts are fasteners that are two-piece and are non-expanding. Featuring collars that are either swaged or threaded, the lockbolt can easily be secured in place within an assembly with a tool such as a pull gun or pneumatic hammer. Lockbolts are very resistant to loosening from vibrations, and they also have high tensile and shear strength. Due to their capabilities, lockbolts are used to secure landing gear fittings, beams, longerons, fuel cell fittings, and more. Lockbolts go by other names, such as huckbolts, and they are produced by companies such as Alcoa Fastening Systems, Cherry Aerospace, and others.

When it comes time to begin sourcing the aircraft structural fasteners and components that you need for your next project or operation, Aviation Purchasing Platform has you covered with everything you are searching for. Aviation Purchasing Platform is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation parts and fasteners 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 sales@aviationpurchasingplatform.com or call us at +1-763-401-8616.


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