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Aircraft fasteners are paramount to the construction and functionality of countless aviation systems, allowing for two or more components to be secured together. While many fasteners may play similar roles in creating assemblies through their installation, different types, materials, and shapes may all affect the capabilities of the fastener and dictate where and how they are best used. By understanding the differences between common fasteners such as bolts, nuts, and washers, one can ensure that their aircraft assemblies have long and reliable service lives while being able to withstand the extreme forces that aircraft commonly face during flight.
Bolts are one of the most commonly used fasteners for aircraft assemblies, and they are a type of threaded fastener with a shaped head and a shank. For their installation, bolts require a preformed hole in the parts they are to assemble so that the shank may be passed through. Then, a nut is often paired with the bolt, tightening onto its threaded shank to hold the assembly together. By having a head on one side of the assembly and a tightened nut on the other, parts are held together through compression forces. While bolts are often considered similar to other fastener types such as screws, they differ in their method of installation and are typically capable of accommodating larger loads and forces. Depending on the assembly in question, bolts can come in a variety of types such as carriage bolts, plow bolts, flange bolts, square head bolts, and much more.
While nuts are almost always paired with bolt components, the type, material, shape, and size of the nut in question can affect the assembly. Generally speaking, however, the nut that is chosen is typically based on the bolt that is used. By using a coupling nut, two male bolt threads can be joined together, permitting an assembly to increase its length. With a lock nut, nuts and other components may be secured in place to prevent them from disconnecting. The flange nut is another common type, allowing an assembly to benefit from a more even load distribution as the flange acts similarly to a washer. With many more nut types commonly being available on the market, a diverse set of applications may benefit from such aircraft fasteners.
When utilizing bolts and nuts for connecting components together, washers often serve as the final component that completes the assembly. As a hardware piece that often comes in the form of a flat, disk-shaped metal component, washers may be used within an assembly in order to protect surfaces, distribute loads, mitigate loosening, and more. For aircraft assemblies, commonly used washer types include flat washers, lock washers, beveled washers, and structural washers. As the most common type available, flat washers are often used for distributing loads evenly across a surface. With a lock washer, fasteners can be held in place as the washer component secures assemblies against the forces of vibration. With a beveled washer type, an angle surface permits more unique installations where materials can be joined together in a non-parallel fashion. Lastly, the structural washer serves as the most heavy-duty type of the four, and they are often used in construction due to their high load bearing capacities.
Beyond the commonly used bolts, nuts, and washers, many other aircraft fasteners may be used for assembly such as pins, rivets, rods, screws, studs, and much more. At ASAP Aero Supplies, we can serve as your sourcing solution for all of your aircraft fastener needs and more. With over 2 billion items in stock, we will help you secure everything that you need to carry out your operations with ease. Explore our expansive part and manufacturer catalogues at your leisure, and our team of industry experts is readily available 24/7x365 to provide you with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on all that we carry. Get started today and experience how ASAP Aero Supplies is revolutionizing the part procurement process for our customers.
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