Aircraft Fasteners : All Everything You Should Know About

Posted on February 19, 2020 Jerold Perkins Aviation

Throughout the aerospace industry, the need to join components is ever present. When you think about the complexity of propulsion or flight systems, it’s easy to overlook something seemingly insignificant like a fastener. However, fasteners are integral in the function of countless assemblies in the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. This blog will explain the different types of fasteners used in the aerospace industry and their applications.

A fastener is a hardware component used to mechanically join or connect two or more objects to one another. The most common fasteners are used to create non-permanent joints, making it easier to remove and dismantle parts for maintenance and repair. These are called mobile fasteners and include bolts, nuts, and washers. Fasteners that cannot be removed without being rendered unusable are called permanent fasteners. An example of permanent fasteners is the rivet. Mobile and permanent fastening must both be carried out with great detail because these joints are often among the weakest components in a machine. For this reason, it is equally important to know which fastener is needed to carry out the job.

There are 8 main types of fasteners: screw, nut, rivet, pin, peg, cotter, washer, and snap ring. A screw is a fastener with a cylindrical body and a helical ridge. It is usually made of metal and fastens materials by digging and wedging into a surface when turned by a tool. A nut is a fastener with a threaded hole that is used in tandem with a mating bolt to connect multiple parts. The partners are connected by a combination of the thread’s friction, a stretching of the bolt, and the compression of the parts being held together. Aircraft Rivets consist of a cylindrical body & head and are an example of a permanent mechanical fasteners. During installation, rivets are forced into a hole, deforming the tail and holding the rivet in place. Pins are similar to screws in that they are cylindrical and partially threaded. They are used to join articulated parts and keep them in proper alignment.

Pegs are used to connect parts that are not interconnected. A cotter is a rod or wire in a half-cylinder shape that is folded to create a round head and two uneven legs. To use a cotter, place the cotter pins in a hole at the end of a screw and nut castle. The legs of the cotter are turned backwards, therefore preventing the removal of the pin during vibrations or stress on the clamped parts. Aircraft Washers are thin, metal discs with holes in the middle for a screw or other threaded fastener to sit.

They are normally used to distribute a load but can also serve as a spacer, spring, locking device, and vibration reducer. In most cases, washers are metal or plastic depending on their intended application. Snap rings, sometimes called retaining rings, are used to hold axes in place. Snap rings are another example of permanent fasteners. Once they are installed, the exposed portion of the ring acts as a shoulder to hold the parts in place.

At Aerospace Exchange, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the fasteners for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. With an inventory of over 6 billion new and obsolete parts from trusted manufacturers like Piper Aircraft Inc, Cessna Aircraft Co, Sell Gmbh, and more, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780. Our team of dedicated account managers are standing by.

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