What you should know about fasteners for Aerospace applications

Aerospace Fasteners

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Fasteners play a crucial role in many industries, including aerospace. They are prominent in the manufacture and assembly of all aircraft and spacecraft; both in primary and secondary structural areas as well as pressurized, non-pressurized, and load-transferring applications. Their use contributes to a significant amount of structural weight, strength, and overall craft integrity.

When selecting a fastener for an aerospace application there are a lot of variables that need to be taken into consideration. A flawed fastener can cost an entire mission… and potentially a lot more.

Typically, the fasteners selected must be comprised of materials and finishes that offer performance enhancing characteristics including:

  • High tensile, shear, and fatigue strength
  • High strength-to-weight ratio (optimize performance and lift while minimizing both energy and fuel costs)
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • High oxidation resistance
  • Superior performance in extreme conditions (including low and/or high temperatures, low/high pressures, and more)
  • Self-sealing and self-locking capabilities (to prevent fluid or pressure leaks or loosening during operation)
  • High immunity to wear and vibration
  • And more

What types of fasteners are used in the aerospace industry?

The aerospace industry uses a wide variety of standard and specialty fasteners made from high-performing alloys which can withstand high pressure and extreme temperature fluctuations.

Common fasteners used in aerospace applications include:

What are the most common materials used to create aerospace fasteners?

Some materials are used more than others for aerospace applications. Those selected are chosen because they are lightweight yet strong and incredibly durable.

Alloys such as:

  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Titanium
  • Superalloys (such as H-11, Hastalloy®, Iconel®, Monel®, and more)
  • And more
MaterialAttractive Properties
AluminumApproximately 30% of all aluminum is used in the manufacture of aerospace components. It is strong, lightweight, and rather inexpensive when compared to other alloys. Aluminum also exhibits high tensile strength, as well as both corrosion and stress cracking resistance.
SteelSteel is the #1 alloy used in aerospace fasteners. It maintains it mechanical properties over a wide temperature range, is resistant to high temperature oxidation, is resistant to corrosion, and performs in unpredictable pressure conditions. It is also strong, dense, conductive, and aesthetically attractive.
TitaniumTitanium is one of the most used alloys in this industry, behind steel, due to the fact that it offers superior strength-to-weight ratio which helps the craft reduce its weight, making it more fuel efficient, without sacrificing safety or performance. Titanium also exhibits high tensile strength even at increasing temperatures, it is extremely resistant to sea water and galvanic corrosion, though it does have moderate ductility and low work hardening rate.
Super AlloysSuper alloys are complex, high-performance alloys, formulated specifically for extreme environments and projects. Typically these alloys are challenging to produce and are more expensive than other alloys. They exhibit high mechanical strength, stability, oxidation resistance, creep resistance, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance at high temperatures.

What finishes are utilized in the aerospace industry?

Even when made with industry-specific alloys, a fastener for the aerospace industry also needs proper finishing to protect the fastener as well as offer additional resistances.

Finishes such as:

FinishAttractive Properties
NickelOffers effective corrosion resistance as well as good wear resistance and galling prevention
SilverOffers excellent anti-galling properties, high lubricity, a wide operating temperature range, good corrosion resistance, and exceptional conductivity.

How does UC Components, Inc. help the aerospace industry?

Your success is our obsession! Our mission is to help you soar by supplying you with the right part, for the right application, right when you need it.

We offer:

  • Plated & Vented Screws: Contaminate-free, tight-tolerance, lightweight yet high strength extreme condition fasteners available in a variety of vacuum compatible finishes.
  • Specialty Vented Washers: Resistant to corrosion and oxidation, vented washers provide thermal and electrical isolation, and inhibit loosening, while allowing a wider fastener contact area.
  • Plated Hex Nuts: Available in a variety of vacuum compatible finishes, such as Nickel and Silver. Manufactured with precision and tested for quality. We also offer vented acorn nuts available in the same array of finishes.
  • Baked & Cleaned O-Rings: Manufactured from top quality fluoroelastomer materials, critical in order to achieve a tight seal and to protect from hazardous conditions or extreme temperatures, as well as reduce surface molecular contamination and volatile organic contamination.

You can also take a look at our online parts catalog to find the components you need, request a quote, or contact us for more assistance or additional information. Our engineers are experts in your industry, and available to solve your problems now. If you do not see the items that you need listed in our standard products, please give us a call! We may not stock it but we are happy to acquire and manufacture just about any fastener or O-ring that you need.

We deliver solutions – vented, plated, polished, inspected, and cleanroom-ready – exactly as promised. Guaranteed.

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