Aircraft Fasteners and Aviation Safety

Posted on Oct 30, 2020

Aircraft fasteners

Aircraft fasteners and aircraft engine parts are precision components belong to the industrial sector named as aircraft parts and components. Stepping into the new age of aviation in the twenty first century, the production of aircraft components is no longer like conventional industrial parts manufacture before.

Things like aircraft components and precision aircraft parts are machined under even more innovative manufacturing international protocols as well as serious processing standards in order to make the aviation safer and less fuel consuming.

Safety and cost are the main concerns since the invention of aircrafts in the America, and it is always one of the focuses in the human society since people always care about how and what is on the sky.


Trends and Fixed Rules

In the area of aviation, some things changed, while some things will never change. This sentence perfectly illustrates the situation of the wing component issues. Even though airplanes are designed and developed for a variety of purposes in the industry, most of them have the same major components all the time, and the overall characteristics are largely determined by the original design in the days they were developed in the old days.

Most airplane structures include some usual things such as fuselage, wings, an empennage or tail, landing gear, and an engine case as the fundamental items. Here we will take a look at what they are and their corresponding functionalities.

  :: Read more : The aerospace component and precision aircraft components market

Fasteners Matter

In the airplane sector, the roles of fasteners are very important because that things determine a lot of safety issues. For instance, all the ordinary passengers need to fasten their seat belts during takeoff and landing, which protect them from dangerous situations, so the materials and the form and profile of the fasteners are carefully made.

Besides this, there are other fasteners used in the airplanes to ensure the whole plane body, making it more sturdy and safe for the passengers as well as the crew. Some Rivets are used to help fasten certain specific components and the body, and a rivet by definition is a permanent mechanical fastener.

Speaking of the ordinary rivets as fasteners, before being installed, a rivet consists of a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one end as is designed. The end opposite to the head is called the tail per se.

When it is to be installed, the rivet is placed in a punched or drilled hole, and the tail is upset, or bucked. This design expands to about 1.5 times the original shaft diameter, holding the rivet in place. That is, the pounding mechanism creates a new head on the other end by smashing the tail material flatter, which results in a rivet that is roughly a dumbbell shape in normal circumstances.

  :: Read more : Precision Aeroplane Parts Make Flying Much Safer

Rivet as Fasteners

To distinguish between the two ends of the rivet, the original head is called the factory head while the deformed end is called the shop head usually. There are many categories of rivet, and one is solid rivet.

Solid rivets are one of the oldest and most reliable types of fasteners, which have been found in archaeological findings dating back, even to the Bronze Age in the far away history. Solid rivets consist simply of a shaft and head which are deformed with a hammer or rivet gun.

A rivet compression or crimping tool can also deform this type of rivet unit, as this tool is mainly used on rivets close to the edge of the fastened materials, since the tool is limited by the depth of its frame as designed.


Casting and Forging of Fasteners

All those fastener items used on the airplanes have to be very strong and rigid, withstanding a lot of physical challenges without worn out in a specific period of time. For such items to be made, casting process and forging procedures are thus very important for the formation of those purposes.

Casting of fasteners such as seat belt buckle, chair screws, rivets for case body, and other solid metal items are need to be casted first, and then go forging. The casting process of metal fasteners for airplanes is a very common technology now.

This technology comes from ancient skills that human acquired in the history and the recorded oldest surviving casting site can be dates back to about 6800 years old. Metal casting is a production process in which a liquid-state material is usually poured into a mold, which normally contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and in the case of airplane fasteners, the shapes are of fasteners profiles.

It is done after the pour of the metal liquid is finished, then the liquid is allowed to solidify under a controlled state.

The mold must be made with precision cavity sizes and diameters and the temperatures have to be well controlled by onsite operators rather than machines. The art of casting is hard and operators for aviation fasteners have to be well trained for the modifications of all those variables.

After that, the solidified fastener parts are known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold item to complete the casting process. All the casting materials are usually metals or various time setting materials that cure after mixing more than three or even more components together.

For instance, epoxy, concrete, plaster and clay are good demonstrations of the method. In the case of airplane fasteners metals are the main subject to be discussed. When the casting is done, those newly casted fastener blanks will be sent to the next processing step.


Forging and Solidification

The forging of metal fasteners can be divided into two types of methods, one is cold forging and the other is warm forging. Both of the two forging processes are conducted by forging presses but the cold forging is conducted under room temperature, while the warm forging is heated in a temperature level.

Cold and warm forging press is the pressing machine that can conduct both cold and warm pressing actions.

Normally speaking, the two are separate steps. Cold forging involves either impression die forging, or closed die forging with lubricant and circular dies. Warm forging has a number of cost-saving advantages which underscore its increasing use as a manufacturing method.

The temperature ranges for warm forging of steel extends from above room temperature to below the re-crystallization procedure, so that the heating method is the key technology to make sure that the airplane fasteners will work well under extreme circumstances.

A similar forging example to the fasteners is the camshafts. Typically, camshafts are made and manufactured by forging steel as the first step made from the original casting rods. The casting rods are considered as the primary materials as a cylindrical forms or shapes.

After that, the forged rods will be further machined through CNC machining in order to shape the cam shapes and the camshaft sizes in exact scales based on the demanded specifications. This is the similar process of fasteners forging that resembles the cam parts in the industry.

It is anticipated that, with the progression of aviation technology together with the metal working, fasteners will be more and more reliable for emergent situations in the future.


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