All About Aircraft Hardware

When assembling and maintaining an aircraft, every part and component must have high quality, performance, and integrity. Beyond the wings and engines, even small aircraft hardware and fasteners such as bolts, nuts, and washers have to meet very high standards to withstand the various stressors that they are subjected to on a daily basis. On a single Boeing 777 alone, there are approximately one million fasteners installed to hold the aircraft together and protect parts. Each of these hardware pieces has to ensure safe operation of the aircraft, thus selecting the correct bolts, nuts, and washers for an aircraft is critical. In this blog, we will give a short description of each of these hardware pieces, and their functionality for an aircraft.

Bolts for aircraft are a very common form of fastener that feature threading and a male head. In order to attach two or more components in a secure fashion, a bolt is paired alongside a nut to exert axial clamping forces when tightened. Bolts are most commonly produced using metals such as bronze or steel, but in general they can be manufactured in a variety of metals, shapes, and sizes. Bolts allow for non-permanent attachment of two or more components, and ease of removal allows for repair, maintenance, and replacement as needed. Types of bolts may include general purpose, AN, NAS, and MS bolts. Each of these bolts serve a different application and may be denoted by their appearance or markings on the component.
Nuts for aircraft are most often paired with a related bolt that tightens into its threaded hole. The threaded hole creates friction that prevents easy detachment of the bolt, and the clamping forces of the two holds components securely together. Washers, jam nuts, adhesives, and other components can be combined with a nut if there are vibration and rotational forces present. Hexagonal nuts are one of the most common shapes, as they allow for significant torque to be applied for securing. Nuts are used for vehicles, equipment, and facilities across aerospace, marine, military, and medical applications. Markings on nuts will often be in place to denote their type, specification, and purpose.
Washers for aircraft are commonly a flat sheet with a central hole bore in the middle. Similar to nuts, washers are most often paired alongside a threaded fastener or nut and provide a flat, parallel bearing surface for the bearing of loads. Washers reduce vibration within components, and can also act as a spacer depending on their type. As a spacer, washers can protect differing metals from causing corrosion when pressed together. Washers may come in a variety of materials, though are most often manufactured from metals and plastics.
Beyond these discussed hardware pieces, there are also rivets, screws and other components that should be high quality for optimal functionality. After deciding what aircraft hardware and fasteners are best for your intended application, Simplified Purchasing can help you source all you need in one place. Our dedicated account managers are readily available to help answer any questions that you may have, as well as walk you through the purchasing process. Quality is of the utmost importance to us, and we are proud to operate as an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise.


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