Importance of nylon rivets and nylon fasteners

In industries as rigid and regulated as aerospace and aviation, every nut and bolt is important. If you break down each assembly of an aircraft to its most basic parts, one thing you will find in all aircraft is the presence of fasteners. Fasteners are used to connect all types of parts through primary structural areas, secondary structural areas, pressurized and non-pressurized areas, and to bear or transfer a load from one part to another. To give you an idea of how critical fasteners are, look no further than the Boeing 747. There are more than 6,000,000 individual parts on that aircraft, half of which are fasteners.

Because they are so important, fasteners are usually made from tough materials like metal. However, did you know they can also be made from nylon? While nylon rivets and fasteners have many great applications, it is important to know their limitations and how outside factors affect them. This blog will focus on nylon rivets & fasteners and how they are affected by environmental conditions. When deciding what nylon rivets, snap rivets, or other fasteners to purchase, engineers must be aware of the relationship between the material’s moisture content, tensile strength, and ductility.
First let’s look at how moisture content affects the extraction force in nylon fasteners. Extraction force refers to the force required to remove a fastener or other installation from the opening in which it is installed. In standard conditions of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity, a very dry fastener with a moisture content of 0.67% will have an extraction force 224% higher than the same fastener with a 6.74% moisture content. The more saturated fastener could have a weaker bond and therefore a lower extraction force, making it more prone to premature failure. This heightened chance of failure should be taken into account the design process.
Another important factor to look at is the way moisture affects the tensile strength of fasteners. Tensile strength is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking. Lower moisture levels provide higher tensile strength in nylon fasteners, but also reduce their ductility and impact strength. Ductility refers to a material’s pliability and ability to withstand stress, and impact strength is the capability of a material to withstand a suddenly applied load. Because nylon fasteners need flexibility to perform, the absence of moisture is not ideal. Lower impact strength can also cause premature failure if not accounted for. A sort of ‘moisture middle ground’ is the best case scenario for a nylon fastener.
So, what can you take from this information? How do you know which nylon rivet is best for your intended application? The first thing you should do is consider technical characteristics & attributes, pros & cons, and varying costs. These considerations as well as environmental factors at the point of installation and end use can prevent unforeseen headaches. Ultimately, the best way of finding the ideal nylon fastener is through rigorous testing. This can account for temperature and humidity variables as well as other factors specific to the intended application.
At Buy Aviation Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft fasteners for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. Buy Aviation Parts is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified company. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@buyaviationparts.com or call us at 1-269-264-4495.

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