What are Threaded Fasteners in Aircraft Hardware?

Threaded fasteners such as bolts are used throughout aircraft for a variety of reasons. They are manufactured from cadmium, a zinc-plated corrosion resistant steel, or anodized aluminum alloys. In general, there are three types of bolts used in aircraft structures. They are general purpose, close tolerance, or internal wrenching bolts. Additionally, bolts come in three head styles: hex, clevis, and eyebolt. This blog will provide a brief explanation of bolts and their many uses in the aviation sector.

General purpose bolts are hex-head all-purpose bolts used for standard applications involving tension or load bearing. Alloy steel bolts smaller than ¼ inch in diameter are not acceptable for primary structures. Additionally, alloy bolts and nuts are not used in areas where they will be repeatedly removed for maintenance, inspection, or other purposes. While abundant on most aircraft, alloy bolts cannot be used on seaplanes due to risk of corrosion.

Close tolerance bolts are machined far more meticulously than a standard general purpose bolt. These bolts may be hex headed or have a 100 degree countersunk head. Close tolerance bolts are used in applications where a tight drive fit is necessary, and thus can only be put into position by the strike of a 12-14 ounce hammer. Internal wrenching bolts are manufactured from high-strength steel and are appropriate for use in both high tension and shear applications. The head of the bolt is recessed to allow the insertion of a wrench for easier installation and removal of the bolt.

Because bolts are made in many different shapes and varieties, there is no standard method of classification. In general, bolts can be identified by the shape of the head, the material, and expected usage. General purpose bolts can also be identified by code markings on the bolt head. These markings are intended to denote the bolt manufacturer, the material from which it is made, and whether it is standard or special purpose. Further information such as the bolt diameter, bolt length, and grip length can be obtained by looking up the bolt’s part number.

At ASAP Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the threaded fastener parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@asapsemi.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


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