The aerospace industry is a huge sector that employs different kinds of materials that are required to manufacture the necessary tools and equipment. These include screws, rivets, nuts, bolts, pins, collars, etc. All these components are essential for providing the best aerospace equipment and technology. In today’s blog, we will be talking about one such component – aerospace fasteners, which are really crucial in the development of aerospace technology, equipment, and innovations. Let’s take a look at aerospace fasteners in the following segments.
What Are Aerospace Fasteners?
An aerospace fastener is a device that helps to mechanically join or attach two or more items together in a secure manner. Fasteners help to create a non-permanent joint that can easily be removed during dismantling or separation, without causing any damage to the components. In the aerospace industry, fasteners play a very important role considering they are used to design and manufacture aerospace equipment.
Aerospace equipment and technology, at all times, are subjected to extreme environments and situations. High pressure, extreme wind speed, temperatures, and many other external factors have a drastic effect on this equipment. That is why it becomes really important that these tools and equipment are manufactured to withstand all these different conditions. Several designs and development have taken place in order to produce high-quality fasteners for the aerospace industry. These fasteners have their own set of characteristics and qualities, providing benefits in specific conditions and environments all the time.
Aerospace fasteners have their own set of characteristics that you should be aware of. These are the vital characteristics which provides them with such immense strength and durability. Here are some of the most common of them all –
- Aerospace fasteners come with high oxidation and corrosion resistance build quality. This allows them to withstand the extreme temperatures and pressure.
- Aerospace fasteners have high shear and tensile strength which ensures long term durability and toughness.
- These fasteners have a lightweight construction because they have to aid the airplanes to lift off and also reduces the number of fuel costs big time.
- Aerospace fasteners are designed with various features like self-sealing and self-locking abilities. These help to avoid any kind of pressure or fluid leaks.
As you are aware of the different characteristics of aerospace fasteners, take a look at the different materials which are used for making these tools for the aerospace industry.
- Aluminum – aluminum is a really common material that is used mostly in the construction of atmospheric planes. Even though it is tough and can withstand some extreme temperatures, but it is sensitive to high-stress corrosion.
- Steel – surface hardness and high strength are the two most important features of using steel as the main component. Since they are much heavier than other material that is used, it takes close observation regarding the weight of the fasteners.
- Titanium – Titanium is often regarded as the alternative to aluminum for the construction of aerospace fasteners. The biggest benefit of using Titanium is its strength and durability. But, that too with a relative lightness and high ability to withstand heat and cold in the long run.
- Superalloys – superalloys are also known as high-performance alloys and they are used to make fasteners because they can easily tackle the stress and pressure imparted on the aerospace equipment. Their ability to maintain an excellent structural and surface composition under extreme conditions allows them to resist the external factors that come into play.
These are the different types of materials that are used to make aerospace fasteners. Now, we will check the main usage of aerospace fasteners.
What are the main usages?
Aerospace fasteners have major use in the aircraft assembly and manufacturing process. These are essentially required for joining different kinds of aerospace components, which are designed at various locations around the world. That is why at the final assembly of the aircraft, aerospace fasteners are needed to join these components that have arrived.
All kinds of equipment like furniture, fixtures and other components need to be secured. This is done with the help of aerospace fasteners. Both in the military and commercial aircraft or jets, the fasteners hold significant importance for ensuring a safe and secure flight to the people. Since aircraft are to be used in zero gravity conditions, it becomes very important to fasten and secure every component with fasteners.
Not only fasteners are required for the assembly of aircraft, but also aerostructures. The structures like fuselage, nose, wings, empennage, flight control surfaces, etc. Also, the interior fittings require fasteners for the manufacturing process, in order to provide more strength and integrity to the structures. Aerospace fasteners provide a more rigid and firm build quality to the overall structure of any aircraft, making it ready to withstand extreme environments. Be it a passenger airplane or a military jet, these fasteners make sure that it is safe and secured.
In recent years, there has been a huge boom in the aviation industry and that is why the demand for new aircraft have risen as well. With that, the need for aerospace fasteners did increase at the same rate subsequently. So, you can understand that aerospace fasteners are really important in the overall process of manufacturing of airplanes and other aerospace structures.
Top aerospace fasteners manufacturers
Aerospace fasteners are crucial in the aerospace industry and there are several manufacturers who have taken up the task of manufacturing these. These are top aerospace fastener manufacturers.
3V Fasteners – established in 1982, 3V Fasteners is a U.S. government QSLM approved manufacturer is one of the top fastener manufacturing company. They develop and provide all kinds of aerospace and aviation fasteners for global clients. The company usually manufactures screws, fasteners, and bolts with the help of aluminum, brass, alloy, titanium, etc. Their fasteners are used in both military and commercial sector aeroplanes. 3V Fasteners have also received the approval for being a participating supplier in the Delegation Program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). This will help them to penetrate further deep into the market and get more exposure.
Alcoa – Alcoa is the provider of aluminum and titanium suppliers for manufacturing different casting products and fasteners in the aerospace sector. The company manufactures their own line of aerospace fasteners and rings that include high-pressure hydraulic fittings, installation systems, thread rolling and header tooling. Alcoa has recently added a new wing to their manufacturing team that develops panel fasteners, threaded inserts and studs, pins and bolts, and latching systems. They have a significant market share for aerospace fasteners. Alcoa is a reputed and very reliable brand, which manufacture their products without compromise.
B&B Specialties – B&B Specialties are the manufacturers of excellent quality special fasteners, button head fasteners, and socket screws. They have clients from different sectors that include the military, aircraft, and aerospace industries. B&B Specialties offer their products under the series of MS, NAS, Metric, and AN. The manufacturer mostly uses carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, silicon bronze, brass, and alloy steel, for creating the fasteners. That is why they have a wide range of selection. Their aerospace fasteners offer the best strength and durability that is essential for the making of aircraft and other aerostructures nowadays.
KLX – being one of the principal distributors of aerospace fasteners in the world, KLX is easily one of the top manufacturers and logistics companies of aerospace equipment for many years. Their aerospace fasteners are directed to be used majorly in military aircraft, business jets, and helicopters. However, they also provide fasteners for commercial purposes as well. The top products manufactured under their name include carbon-faced seals, hinges, bolts, clips, screws, gaskets, rings, and O-rings as well. Presently, it is under Boeing Co., since the company decided to purchase it for $4.25 billion.
LISI Aerospace – LISI Aerospace is another manufacturer that develops aerospace fasteners and other equipment for aerostructures for many companies in the aviation industry. Their fasteners and other aerospace equipment are usually made of carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, silicon bronze, and brass. These can have different applications, but usually in the airframe, jet engine and helicopter development. Their supply network is spread over 9 countries and LISI Aerospace is in business since 1977. They have a net income of €89.85 million in 2019 and the numbers are growing with time.
So, above are the best aerospace fastener manufacturers in the world. All these companies have a hugely sized inventory which includes a lot of different fasteners, essential for the aerospace and aviation industry.
As the aviation and aerospace industry is growing with every passing year, the need for high-quality aerospace equipment and tools like aerospace fasteners are in dire need. Without these, manufacturers cannot assemble and give shape to modern-day aircraft and jets. Top manufacturers are always providing the best technology and innovations to the industry for better performance and safety measures.
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If you are a fastener manufacturer and believe that your company should be mentioned in our review, please send us a message and we will get in touch with you. We are regularly updating our ranking with the companies that we believe to be the more relevant for the Aerospace & Defense market.