Of the six million parts that are used to make a Boeing 747-800, aircraft fasteners contribute to half of that number. Fasteners play a vital role in the overall construction and completion of aircraft. They are used to assemble and hold together various components in primary structure areas, pressurized/non pressurized applications, and to transfer loads from one part to another. A wide variety of fasteners are used in the construction of an aircraft, such as nuts, bolts, screws, clamps, rivets, and many more.
The Aerospace industry is a very competitive and large industry. This keeps manufacturers fighting to be on top by increasing productivity and constantly making improvements. Aircrafts are very intricate and are very reliable on products, especially fasteners which hold the planes together, to keep passengers safe always. A single aircraft has usually around 2 million fasteners, placed in small and cramped spaces. This makes it difficult for manufacturers to tighten these fasteners to the needed amount. That is where these custom fastener heads come in huge. They allow the manufacturer to tighten these fasteners in a simpler manner, which in turn creates a more efficient production allowing more aircrafts to be made with the highest level of reliability and safety.
Not only do fasteners need to meet certain requirements, but so do the fastener coatings. They must be environmentally safe. Environments requirements for fastener coatings include; ELV, REACH, and RoHS. ELV (End of Life Vehicle), REACH (EU Regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals), and RoHS (Restriction of the Use of Hazardous substances) all contribute to keeping the customers and environment safe.
During the scope of manufacturing and production of screws, nuts, and washers, manufacturers have always used metals to produce these items. For a long time, metal was chosen due to its durability, and other materials such as plastic and wood were not considered because of how fragile they were. However, some manufacturers are now creating these materials out of plastic. One example is Bäcker GmbH & Co, who started in 1977 and utilizes high performance plastics that can replace metal articles. They produce plastic nuts, washers, screws, and control elements for customers all across the globe.
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