Fasteners in the Aerospace Industry

Ultra-small and some of the utmost critical parts of an aircraft

Linn Win | National ADU Product Manager at AMAMCO Tool

A fastener is a hardware device that mechanically affixes two or more objects together to create a joint. A wide variety of fasteners are used in the aerospace industry, including rivets, nuts, bolts, screws, and more. Fasteners may not be as exotic as a jet engine, but that does not make them insignificant to an aircraft’s well-being. For instance, there are nearly one million such fasteners in a Boeing 747, all of which are essential to the jetliner’s structural dependability. Nowadays, with the progress of innovation, we are seeing more planes that require less fasteners due to implantation of lightweight composite materials. Even with this innovation of using less fasteners, the ones that remain must be held securely in place in order for the aircraft to achieve the title of flightworthy. Even for a multi-million-dollar spacecraft – an invention that is expected to endure the extreme environment of space travel – are fastened together with rivets, which are not all that different than those found on an airplane or a leisure boat.

Ironically, a large percentage of these fasteners are still installed in the same way they were 30 years ago: by hand. Several methodologies exist, but the most prevalent is the use of a pneumatic drill motor assembled together with a spring-loaded microstop, and a cutting tool. The cutting tool itself is typically a piloted 100° or 130° countersink with a threaded shank that screws into the microstop. The aircraft technician sets the stroke to the desired depth, places the tool’s pilot into a pre-drilled hole, engages the drill motor, and then push down to produce a countersink feature.

Fortunately, there have been some advancements in the methodology of hole-making. The first is the semi-automated ADU (automated drilling unit), capable of drilling and countersinking in a one-shot operation. There are also robotic and fully automated systems that not only produce an accurately countersunk hole, but install the rivet as well, commonly known as drill and fill.

One thing remains despite what method one may choose; some type of a support like a backing bar is required to achieve a smooth hole-making operation and not experience deflected aircraft skin. In other situations, when trying to avoid debris from entering the aircraft, before rivet installation, one must disassemble two or more sections of material clean, deburr and reassemble then proceed with the installation. Forming a countersunk hole for fastener installation on an aircraft fuselage can be a complex and time consuming process, compared to chamfering a hole in a machined part. To make the process even more difficult, each aircraft manufacturer is now using a broad array of materials to build their aircraft. Composite based materials are taking over the industry and knocking off the concept of all-aluminum aircraft skins. Some applications may even involve sandwiched materials that are stacked with metallic, creating challenges for cutting tool manufacturers. Lastly, each aerospace manufacturer has their own set of fit requirements for their fasteners, which may vary from one aircraft to another, or even for specific areas within an individual aircraft.

The requirements vary greatly based on the size of the plane, the load and stress of a mating section, and the manufacturer. Cutting tool manufacturers must, therefore, deal with a broad range of materials and thicknesses, hole sizes, hole requirements, as well as different methods of fastener installation and hole preparation, making it difficult to standardize cutting tools. Because of this variability, cutting tools must often be customized to fit the fastener and its unique application.

OSG has supplied cutting tools for the processing of aircraft parts around the world for many years and has built a high reputation for its capability to effectively process difficult-to-machine materials such as superalloys and composites. AMAMCO Tool, a subsidiary of OSG USA, Inc. since April 2016, is a custom, cutting tool manufacturer that designs and produces application-specific cutting tools primarily for the aerospace and composite industries. AMAMCO Tool’s core products include drills for hand, CNC and advanced drilling units (ADU). The company also manufactures high quality diamond coated routers and drills currently used by all major and Tier 1 aerospace manufactures in the United States and abroad. Along with its innovative partner, OSG will strive to continue to shape the future flight path of aerospace technology with innovative cutting tools solutions.

OSG Announces the Expansion of A Brand® A-CHT Series

 

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our A Brand® A-CHT Advanced Performance Carbide Coolant-Through tap series! The A Brand® A-CHT is a series of carbide coolant-through taps designed to maximize performance for Cast Iron and Aluminum Alloy.

 

The following list numbers are associated with the A Brand® A-CHT tap series:

The A Brand® A-CHT Advanced Performance Carbide Coolant-Through tap series offers the following features & benefits:

  • Larger Oil Hole Design for excellent coolant flow
  • Ultra-Fine Grain Carbide for high wear resistance and toughness
  • Bright Finish for greater performance in non-ferrous materials

The A Brand® A-CHT Advanced Performance Carbide Coolant-Through tap series is ideal in the following applications:

  • Cast Iron
  • Aluminum Alloy

 

Check out the new tools HERE

New Feature Video on OSG USA's YouTube Channel

 

Check out OSG's Newest feature video on YouTube: A Brand® AT-2 Thread Mill: 2 Processes with 1 Tool  

Looking to replace both a drill and tap? Learn how OSG's A Brand® AT-2 combines helical drilling and threading in one tool all while avoiding part scrap

 

Click HERE to view video 

OSG Announces the Release of HY-PRO® VGM6 End Mill

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our HY-PRO® CARB VGM end mill series with the addition of the NEW HY-PRO® CARB VGM6The HY-PRO® CARB VGM6 is a 6-flute variable geometry end mill for dynamic milling ideal in steel and stainless steel.

 

The following list numbers are associated with the NEW HY-PRO® CARB VGM6 flute series:

The HY-PRO® CARB VGM6 end mill offers the following features & benefits:

  • Variable Index reduces chatter for efficient machining
  • Sharp cutting geometry for smooth material cutting
  • High helix angle to reduce cutting force
  • Adjusted core diameter based on length of cut to maintain tool rigidity
  • EXO coating provides longer tool life
  • Expansive size offering

The HY-PRO® CARB VGM6 end mill is ideal in the following applications:

  • High Efficiency Milling in multiple applications
  • Ideal in steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and exotic materials

 

Check out the new tools HERE

OSG Announces Additions to SynchroMaster Tap Holder

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our SynchroMaster Tap Holder series with the addition of the new ER32 Holder and ER16 & ER32 Collets. The OSG SynchroMaster is a series of synchronized tap holders designed to maximize performance for synchronous tapping.

 

The following list numbers are associated with the NEW SynchroMaster series additions:

The SynchroMaster Tap Holder offers the following features & benefits:

  • Single Unit Construction for higher accuracy and less maintenance
  • Metal Flexure Mechanism for longer tool life
  • Prevents breakage and/or unstable tool life

The SynchroMaster Tap Holder is ideal in the following applications:

  • Large volume production

 

Please click HERE for product information, pricing & availability.

OSG Announces the Release of HY-PRO® VGM7 End Mills

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our HY-PRO® CARB VGM end mill series with the addition of the NEW HY-PRO® CARB VGM7The HY-PRO® CARB VGM7 is a 7-flute variable geometry end mill for dynamic milling ideal in steel and stainless steel.

 

The following list numbers are associated with the NEW HY-PRO® CARB VGM7 flute series:

The HY-PRO® CARB VGM7 end mill offers the following features & benefits:

  • Variable Index reduces chatter for efficient machining
  • Sharp cutting geometry for smooth material cutting
  • High helix angle to reduce cutting force
  • Adjusted core diameter based on length of cut to maintain tool rigidity
  • EXO coating provides longer tool life
  • Expansive size offering

The HY-PRO® CARB VGM7 end mill is ideal in the following applications:

  • High Efficiency Milling in multiple applications
  • Ideal in steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and exotic materials

 

COMING SOON: VGM-6!

 

Check out the new tools HERE

OSG Announces the Expansion of A Brand® AT-2 series

We are pleased to announce the expansion of our A Brand® AT-2 Thread Mill Series! The A Brand® AT-2 is a series of end-cutting edge thread mills for high hardness steel applications.

 

The following list numbers are associated with the A Brand® AT-2 Thread Mill Series:

The A Brand® AT-2 Thread Mill Series offers the following features & benefits:

  • Helical drilling and threading can be done simultaneously
  • Newly developed DUROREY coating enables superior heat resistance and high toughness optimized for high hardness steel milling.
  • Special cutting edge shape suppresses bending of the tool
  • Left-hand cut configuration enables climb milling to prolong tool life

The A Brand® AT-2 Thread Mill Series is ideal in the following applications:

  • Hardened Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Cast Iron

 

Check out the new tools HERE

OSG Partners with Machining Cloud

We are pleased to announce that OSG has partnered with Machining Cloud to provide OSG Cutting Tool product data on the cloud. MachiningCloud is a product data provider for cutting tools, CNC machines and work-holding.

The OSG MachiningCloud partnership will utilize the convenience of cloud-based technology, which enables customers to optimize the way they gather information for their manufacturing operations. This technology allows machinists to easily identify the right OSG cutting tools for every type of job, allowing them to increase their productivity and achieve greater accuracy.

OSG’s customers will also be able to easily download descriptive, usage and geometric information directly into their shop floor software, such as CAM, simulation, and tool management systems.

For more information about OSG on MachiningCloud, please visit: machiningcloud.com/partners/osg/

OSG Announces the Release of PHOENIX® PMD Indexable Multi-Function Cutter Series

We are pleased to announce the release of our NEW OSG PHOENIX® PMD Indexable Multi-Function Cutter series!
The OSG PHOENIX® PMD is a versatile series of indexable end mills for multiple applications, including milling, drilling & plunging, with a single tool.

The following list numbers are associated with the NEW OSG PHOENIX® PMD Indexable Multi-Function Cutter series:

The OSG PHOENIX® PMD end mill offers the following features & benefits:

  • Supports a wide range of applications with a single tool
  • Superior chip formation during drilling and plunging
  • Low cutting force and stable tool life during milling
  • Excellent milling surface finish without chattering
  • Two types of inserts to enable continuous cutting-from plunging to horizontal milling

The OSG PHOENIX® PMD end mill is ideal in the following applications:

  • High Efficiency Milling in multiple applications
  • Ideal in carbon steel and cast iron

Check out the new tools HERE

Holiday Hours

Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season from everyone at OSG USA!

OSG will operate during normal business hours, with the exception of the following days:

  • DEC 24th- CLOSED
  • DEC 25th- CLOSED
  • DEC 31st- CLOSED
  • JAN 1st – CLOSED