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In this blog, we describe some key aerospace fastener terminology that’s used when describing interior fasteners.

These make up the bulk of the terminology and should help aerospace engineering students or anyone new to the industry to better understand some of the main parts we use every day.

Captive Screws

A captive screw requires no special tool for installation. They are simply snapped into position with your thumb. An aluminium grommet retains it in the host panel to ensure that they do now go missing on disassembly. Hence the name ‘captive screw’.

Quarter Turn Fasteners

Quarter Turn Fasteners are designed for fast and convenient access, so you’ll often find them used on racing cars and farm machinery as well as aeroplanes.

The speed comes from the simple quarter turn is action needed to open the joint, making them much faster to open than more conventional nuts and bolts.

They are available in 3 different strengths:

• Light Duty = Max tensile strength 1330N.
• Medium Duty = Max tensile strength 4700 N.
• Heavy Duty = Max tensile strength 10000 N

Composite Fasteners

Composite fasteners are as strong as aluminium fasteners but generally much lighter. They often have no radar signature and are widely used in x-ray equipment and surveillance systems as well as aircraft.

Gas Springs

Widely used for a whole range of applications ranging from aircraft to hospital beds. With a force range from 50N to 2500N, they are a type of spring that uses compressed gas, typically contained in a cylinder and compressed by a piston.

Stainless Steel Gas Springs

As above, yet made using stainless steel. This makes them perfect for any marine based application.

Aerospace Telescopic Slides

Lightweight, yet heavy duty. Designed for tough military applications amongst others. Telescopic slides can be used for slide-out components, extraction of aircraft trash compactors and galley carts and linear motion in aircraft maintenance platforms.

Aviamatics aerospace fasteners

Flexible Couplings

Connections commonly found on aircraft handling fuel, oxygen, water and other environmental control systems. Considered critical to the preservation of life and as such must meet incredibly high manufacture standards.

Hold Downs

Hold downs can be found in the black boxes of aircraft. They have the benefit of being extremely tough and able to resist high intensity vibrations and extreme shocks, whilst also being very ergonomic and easy to change quickly.

Air Data hoses

Lightweight, silicone hose capable of enduring multiple freeze cycles without losing integrity. Perfect for travelling at 35,000 feet.


Also knows as Combination Screws, Combi Screws, Captivated Washers and Screw Washer Assemblies. Flexibility allows them to be widely used and make product assembly lines more cost effective.

Aerospace fasteners

Nut plates and Rivets

Sort metal pins for holding metal plates together. Headless ends are ‘beaten out’ (pressed down) once in place. In aviation and defence these are made of the highest quality lightweight aluminium or nickel copper.

Potted Inserts

A moulded-in type insert that can be installed in all types of panels. Held in place using epoxy adhesives.

Quick Disconnects

Radar is one application where you’ll find these quick disconnect couplings used to reduce pressure drop. Often found on fluid cooled circuit boards in aircraft.

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For more about aerospace fastener terminology, don’t forget to keep checking back on our blog.

We have been manufacturing and supplying aerospace fasteners since the 1950s.

If you would like to find out more about some of the specialist services we offer across these sectors, including aviation, defence, oil & gas and space exploration, call us today on +44 (0)208 504 8833 or send us a direct message.

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