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Understanding Blind Fasteners: Revolutionising Joining Solutions

Blind fasteners play a crucial role in the realm of construction and manufacturing, offering efficient and secure joining solutions. Whether it’s bridge constructions, steel girders or other heavy-duty applications, blind fasteners provide a reliable means of joining materials. In this article, we will delve into the concept of blind fasteners, their types and the factors that influence their effectiveness.

What Is a Blind Fastener?

A blind fastener, also known as a blind rivet or blind bolt, is a specialised mechanical fastener designed to join two or more materials together, where access to only one side of the joint is available. These fasteners are used when pre-drilled holes are present on one side of the materials being joined, but the other side is inaccessible or hidden (hence the term “blind”).

Blind fasteners provide an efficient and reliable solution in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, construction and manufacturing. Their unique design allows for quick and secure assembly, even in challenging applications where traditional fastening methods may not be feasible. By utilising the principle of expanding and gripping, blind fasteners create a strong bond between the materials, ensuring structural integrity and resistance to vibration, while also offering a visually pleasing finished appearance. With their versatility and ease of installation, blind fasteners have become indispensable in numerous projects, enabling efficient and streamlined production processes while maintaining high standards of quality and performance.

The Development of Blind Fasteners

Blind bolts were developed to overcome the limitations of traditional fasteners, such as hex bolts or screws, which require access to both sides of the joint. Blind bolts consist of two components: a blind side assembly and a fastening assembly. The blind side assembly is inserted through the pre-drilled hole, while the fastening assembly is secured on the blind side. When the fastener is installed, the blind side assembly pulls the mandrel, drawing the two materials together and creating a strong joint.

Types of Blind Fasteners

There are several types of blind fasteners available, each suitable for different applications and material thicknesses. One popular type is the blind rivet, which consists of a cylindrical body with a mandrel passing through it. Blind rivets are typically made of alloy steel, providing excellent tensile strength and shear resistance. They are commonly used in bridge constructions, where vibration resistance and durability are essential.

Another type is the blind bolt, which features a steel pin and a collar. Blind bolts are particularly useful when joining materials with varying thicknesses, as the collar can adjust to accommodate the differences. Zinc-plated carbon steel blind bolts are often preferred for their corrosion resistance, making them suitable for outdoor applications.

Factors Affecting Blind Fastener Selection

Choosing the right blind fastener depends on the specific application and the materials being joined. Factors to consider include the thickness of the materials, tensile strength and shear resistance requirements, and environmental conditions.

For thinner materials, blind rivets are generally the preferred choice. Thicker materials may require blind bolts for their ability to handle higher loads. The material used for the blind fastener itself, such as alloy steel or zinc-plated carbon steel, must be selected based on the desired strength and corrosion resistance.

Moreover, the method of installation is crucial. Blind rivets are installed by inserting them into a pre-drilled hole and using a specialised tool to deform the sleeve, collapsing it to create a seal. On the other hand, blind bolts typically require a wrench or other suitable tools to secure the collar and ensure a tight fit.

In summary, blind fasteners offer an innovative solution for joining materials in situations where access to both sides of the joint is limited or impossible. Their effectiveness depends. on factors such as the thickness of the materials, tensile strength and shear resistance requirements, and the specific application. Whether it’s bridge constructions or steel girders, blind fasteners provide a reliable and efficient means of achieving secure and durable connections. By understanding the different types of blind fasteners and considering the specific requirements of each project, one can ensure the success of their joining applications.

About JP Aero

We supply a wide range of aviation fasteners. Whether standard, metric or custom design, we are leading UK experts.

Over the years we have built up a broad depth of knowledge around all types of fasteners in commercial aviation, heavy industry, oil & gas exploration, defence and now the space industry.

To find out more about procuring aircraft fasteners, contact our team today, and we will be happy to help in any way we can.

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