The assembly of any aircraft requires thousands of fasteners for part attachment and security. Every airplane generally contains around 3 million fasteners, with the exact number depending on their size. Each of these fasteners is in charge of securing one or more pieces to the greater assembly, and there are numerous types of fasteners to fulfill varying roles. Most aircraft include blind fasteners in addition to standard fasteners, and blind fasteners are one of the most crucial parts of an aircraft with their unique capabilities.
What Are Blind Fasteners?
Blind fasteners are specialized rivets, bolts, and other hardware types that are used in aircraft construction. Unlike traditional rivets that are inserted from one side of the material and clinched on the other, blind fasteners are inserted from a single side. This technique is necessary when working with materials that cannot be accessed from more than just one side, such as the aluminum skin of the aircraft fuselage. Blind fasteners consist of a body, a pin or mandrel, and a collar. For installation, the body is inserted through both layers of material to be joined. The riveter then sets the pin, which expands the collar and locks the fastener. Blind fasteners provide a strong joint resistant to vibration and shear forces. They are also less likely to loosen over time, making them an ideal choice for critical aircraft components.
Blind fasteners are commonly used in various applications where it is not possible or desirable to access the opposite side of the joint. Blind rivets or pop rivets are the most common type of blind fastener, and they are installed using a riveter which clamps the rivet in place and pulls the mandrel through the body of the rivet. This expands the collar and pulls the jaws of the rivet tightly against the material, creating a solid joint.
Blind bolts are another type of blind fastener that is installed using a unique tool that engages the threads on the bolt, drawing it tightly against the material. Blind bolts are typically used in heavier applications where greater load-bearing capacity is required. Blind screws are also available, although they are not as common as rivets or bolts. They are installed using a unique tool that engages the threads on the screw, drawing it tight against the material. Blind screws are typically used in applications where it is necessary to avoid damage to the material's surface or where a high degree of accuracy is required.
For aircraft, blind screws have the added benefit of being easier to install and having higher strength, both of which are beneficial for safety, efficiency, cost, and more. As the bolt is installed from a single side, confirming proper installation is a fairly easy task. Additionally, blind bolts are tamper-proof if installed correctly, meaning that they are safe for public building and transportation, with low risk of anyone being able to jeopardize fastener integrity. While this benefit is highly advantageous for aviation, such features are also utilized in other industries as well.
At first glance, an aircraft may appear to be a complex machine, but it is quite simple—the key to understanding how an airplane works is to understand the function of each of its parts. For example, understanding the importance of fasteners will ensure that you properly manage their health over time. Fasteners hold the plane together and allow it to withstand the enormous forces experienced during flight, and without them, the aircraft would fall apart midair. If you are looking for aircraft fastener parts, look no further than Nascent Aviation. We are a leading supplier of all aircraft fasteners parts, and we guarantee quality products with full-time customer support.
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