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THE CASE FOR STRUCTURAL BLIND FASTENERS IN AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS


The call for lightweighting has led to significant advancements in how we design and construct vehicles.

Technology gains have resulted in new and exciting possibilities, but they have also created unique
problem sets. The move toward increased aluminum usage in vehicles is one example. While it is
widely accepted that aluminum improves fuel economy and agility, aluminum also poses joint design
challenges. The lessons learned while fastening steel bodies do not translate to the new aluminum
joints, since aluminum behaves differently than steel. Based on this fact, even accepted practices like
welding must be re-thought. Fortunately, proven technologies already exist to replace, and even
improve upon, now incompatible practices.
 
Enter structural blind fasteners. They have been used in many critical joint applications for decades,
including widespread usage in aerospace, proving their reliability. The availability of carbon steel,
aluminum, and stainless steel variations make structural blind fasteners a viable option for joining a
multitude of materials, including aluminum. Installation of structural blind fasteners does not require
the extensive training required for other joining technologies, and their captive subcomponents
eliminate the “squeak-and-rattle” caused by other types of fasteners.