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The Common Types of Aircraft Fasteners

Fasteners are common components to countless industries and applications, allowing for two or more parts to be combined in a permanent or non-permanent fashion. Within the realm of aviation, fasteners are paramount to aircraft construction, so much so that they can account for nearly half of the parts of a single model. There are many types of fasteners that one may take advantage of, each featuring different designs and capabilities that warrant different uses. To help you understand the importance of aircraft fasteners, we will provide a brief overview of the most common types and their use.

Bolts and Nuts

Bolts are one of the most popular forms of fasteners, commonly featuring a shank with external threading and a head on one side. For their installation, bolts are passed through the preformed holes of unthreaded components before a mating nut is tightened to the other size. As bolts cannot secure an assembly through their threading alone, they rely on the pairing of a nut to compress parts together. Bolts may come in numerous types, the most commonly used variations including hex-head bolts, eye bolts, carriage bolts, and u-bolts.


Screws are often compared to bolts due to their similar appearance, though the two differ in the fact that screws can fasten materials by themselves. Screws are capable of self-tapping, meaning that they are able to establish threading in the material they are being installed in as they are tightened. By digging and boring into a part, materials are pulled in to prevent the pull-out of the screw. Common types of screws include wood screws, deck screws, self-drilling screws, machine screws, and hex lag screws.


Rivets are commonly relied on for securing the structural components of an aircraft, and they often come in the form of a fastener with a smooth, cylindrical shaft and a head on one end. To connect parts together, the tail-end of the shaft is passed through preformed holes. With a specialized tool, the tail-end is upset, establishing a second head on the other side of the assembly. As a result, parts are permanently locked together until the rivet is broken. For aircraft applications where only one side of an assembly is accessible, a specialized rivet known as a pop or blind rivet may be used.


As many fasteners are subjected to various stressors within an assembly, it can be beneficial to utilize a washer. Washers are small, flat rings that are typically placed underneath the head of nuts, bolts, and other fasteners. With their implementation, a washer can distribute loads, reduce friction, prevent leakage, mitigate loosening as a result of vibration, and more. Within the realm of aviation, the most commonly used washer types include the plain, lock, and special type washer.


For the reinforcement of threads that may have eroded or become damaged in some way, inserts are a useful fastener. Generally, such components are placed within holes so that threading can be established for the installation of studs, bolts, and other parts. Inserts come in various types, those of which include dowel pins, threaded and unthreaded rods, and helical threaded inserts.


When dealing with steel that needs to be attached to materials such as epoxy, concrete, or polyester resin, anchors are a useful component. By transferring tensile forces to the substrate, anchors can allow for steel to be secured with ease. Anchors come in a number of types to accommodate a diverse set of needs, and their most common variations include bonded anchors, drop-in anchors, acoustical wedge anchors, hammer drive pin anchors, and screw anchors.


When you are in the market for top-quality aircraft fasteners that you can steadily rely on, look no further than Aerospace Domain. Whether you need screws, rivets, bolts, nuts, or other such components, our competitive pricing and rapid lead-times can help you obtain the parts you need to carry out operations with savings. With our dedication to quality, we proudly conduct operations as an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certified and accredited enterprise. Begin the purchasing process today with a quote for your comparisons that you may receive through the submission of a completed RFQ form. Once we have received your request, a dedicated account manager will reach out to you within 15 minutes with a personalized solution.


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