Although they may seem insignificant, fasteners are essential to aviation technology and have shaped the industry over time. For instance, the Boeing 747 (introduced in 1969) had nearly 3 million fasteners, while the 2009 launched Boeing 787 new fuselage design eliminated 1,500 aluminum sheets, which used 40,000 – 50,000 fasteners per section. Here’s a deeper look at how fasteners influence modern aviation technology:
1. Improved Safety
Safety is the foundation of aviation technology, and fasteners play a crucial role in ensuring every flight is secure. Poor or faulty fasteners can result in failures, endangering the safety of crew and passengers.
Aerospace fastener companies carefully select fasteners that are on par with industry standards and undergo extensive testing to ensure they can endure the stresses of flight.
For example, aerospace engineers tweaked rivets chemistry, allowing them to expand to 1.7 times their original shank diameter without cracks on the surface, as opposed to the usual 1.5 times.
Further, fasteners work in different ways to enhance security. For instance, security screws deter unauthorized entry, while collars and anchors secure the structural components of an airplane.
2. Weight Reduction and Fuel Efficiency
Achieving ideal weight distribution and fuel economy is one of the aviation industry’s significant concerns. Every bit of weight you can eliminate means more performance and lower overhead. Fasteners play a key role here.
Aerospace experts continually explore novel materials and systems that enable lightweight fasteners while elevating their strength.
Light alloy, composite materials, and additive manufacturing methods have helped achieve this. Engineers have also experimented with changes in head style, pin diameter, and grip length, realizing 7%–20% weight savings.
3. Development of Innovative Aviation Technologies
Developments in aviation technology have resulted in the invention of cutting-edge aircraft models which require greater precision and reliable fasteners.
Since next-generation aircraft will likely experience more stress, aerospace fastener manufacturers have invested extensively in research and development to create novel fastening systems.
For instance, engineers are using fasteners to develop self-healing aircraft structures. These structures have damage-automatic-repair features that can automatically fix corrosion or impact damage.
Fasteners hold the structure’s many layers together and distribute the healing agents needed to repair any damage.
4. Enhanced Efficiency and Maintenance
The evolution of fastener technology has resulted in simpler, more efficient aircraft designs, which in turn have cut down on production times and costs.
Additionally, advancements in fastener materials and coatings have increased component longevity and reduced the frequency of maintenance and replacement.
That increased aircraft reliability minimizes downtime, improving a company’s bottom line.
5. Noise Reduction
High vibrations and noise during flight are unpleasant and can compromise an aircraft’s structural integrity. Fastener manufacturing companies have developed fasteners with vibration-dampening and noise-reduction features to mitigate these effects.
Elastomeric or rubber-coated fasteners dampen vibrations, making the airplane more stable and the ride more pleasant. Additionally, specialty fasteners designed to reduce aerodynamic noise help create quieter cabins, improving passenger and crew flying experiences.
Elevate Your Aerospace Excellence With B&G Manufacturing
It is easy to get caught up in the awe inspired by an aircraft’s streamlined aerodynamics and state-of-the-art avionics and forget that fasteners play a critical role in enabling these engineering feats.
B&G is a leading fastener manufacturer. We are your go-to company if you’re searching for a precision parts supplier, be it aerospace fastener companies, medical precision parts, or oil & gas fasteners. B&G also manufactures fasteners for the energy market.