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Knowing Your Aircraft Fastener Materials

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 208

For every engineering or construction job that needs fastening, there is a kind of aircraft fastener suited for the job. Knowing the right kind of aircraft hardware-grade fastener to use is not your only consideration if you want to get the job done perfectly. No matter what type of fastener you are using, the material for that bolt, screw, peg, clamp or rivet will also determine the quality and durability of the joint you are making.

Steel and various alloys of it

Fasteners made of steel are the most common in terms of material. Aircraft fasteners made of steel are known for the high degree in which you can form them, their tensile strength, and their durability. It also costs less to produce than other metals and alloys used in making fasteners.

Fasteners made of carbon steel is the most common type produced. Grades are used in measuring the durability and strength of steel fasteners. The least expensive is Grade 2, but it is also the least durable. Despite this, Grade 2 steel fasteners are the most produced and used variety because of its high workability. Grade 5 fasteners are stronger and see most use in cars and other automobiles, while Grade 8 are used for applications that have high degrees of mechanical strain, like in vehicle suspensions.

Aside from carbon steel, fasteners made of alloy steel and stainless steel are available. Their alloy is usually of chromium or nickel and makes them resistant to rust. The low carbon content of alloyed steel fasteners makes them less durable, though.

Aluminum and other special metals

Fasteners made of aluminum are light in weight. In aircraft hardware, aluminum is a common material, like in the rivets of planes. Although easy to use durable, aluminum fasteners tend to be sensitive to high levels of heat and rust due to stresses on the material, even with treatment.

Fasteners used for building ships or underwater structures are commonly made of bronze because of its ability to resist corrosion. An alloy similar to bronze is brass. It has a similar level of resistance to rust and is a good conductor.

Aircraft hardware-grade fasteners are sometimes manufactured using Titanium. This metal has the same strength as steel but is lighter. Titanium is also more tolerant of extreme temperatures. It is also resistant to seawater. Although more superior in many respects to traditional steel and steel alloy fasteners, titanium costs more. It is used primarily in situations where its superior qualities will be more advantageous, despite the cost, if you were to use a fastener that used a different metal.

Knowing what to use

As you can see, there is a wide variety of materials to choose from when it comes to aircraft fasteners. Each material gives a fastener different levels of durability, resistance to corrosion, tolerance to heat and cold and load-bearing capacity. To know which is best to use for your project, take note of the requirements and go with what you think will suit your needs.

Brayden McGregor writes about aircraft fasteners and aircraft hardware quality equipment

Source: EzineArticles
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