All equipment, fixtures, pieces of furniture and other components on an aircraft must be secured in order to ensure safe flight. On commercial airliners, passenger seats must be bolted together and to the aircraft itself.
In military aircraft like fighter jets, explosive bolts (also called pyrotechnic fasteners) or other advanced or specialty fasteners are used to secure ejectable canopies. In aircraft intended for use in zero gravity situations, as is the case in high-altitude research aircraft and space exploration vehicles, fasteners are essential for securing equipment.
There are a few similarities between threaded aerospace fasteners and automotive fasteners. While aerospace fasteners manufactured in the United States are available in strength grades, automotive fasteners are categorized in diameters.
teel and stainless steel are almost always used in the manufacture of automotive fasteners, while titanium is more common in aerospace applications.
There are many Aerospace fastener varieties. Some contain spiral ridges called threads that aid in the attachment of the fasteners. Continuous-thread studs, with two nuts applied, are used for flange bolting and are threaded from end to end.
Tap-end studs, in contrast, have a short thread on one end, used for screwing into a tapped hole, and a longer thread on the other. This longer end is called a nut-end and may have either a chamfered or round point. Another variation of aerospace fasteners are those with double-end studs, which have equal-length threads on both ends with chamfered points.
Double-end studs are used for flange bolting or other applications in which torching from both ends is necessary. Other types of aerospace fasteners include sheet metal industrial fasteners, riveting industrial fasteners and clinching industrial fasteners.
A wide variety of head options, which determine how the aerospace fastener will sit against the material, are available. The type of head also affects the required length of the aerospace fastener.
Environmental conditions to which the fasteners may be subjected, such as temperature, moisture, and ultraviolet radiation, should be considered. Other important considerations include the chemicals or other corrosive substances to which the aerospace fasteners may be exposed as well as the decorative properties required of the fastener itself, if any.