08 December 2017
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Lightweight materials, heavyweight solution

The Spiralock brand of key inserts offered by STANLEY Engineered Fastening incorporates the unique design of Spiralock internal thread into the conventional key insert.

This is said to be ideal for use in challenging applications requiring lightweight materials and thread-locking capabilities.

The ongoing effort to increase fuel efficiency, tactical mobility, and payload capacity design in the aerospace industry has driven engineers to find ways to design components utilising lightweight materials such as composites, aluminum, and plastics. In most structural and assembly joints using lightweight materials, the parent material needs to be reinforced through the use of a wire insert, molded/potted insert or ultrasonic insert.

However, in challenging applications where significant loads cannot be supported by these inserts, engineers and designers may consider lightweight and heavy-duty key threaded inserts. For many years, key threaded inserts, made from stainless steel and A286 have been used with either a standard thread or prevailing torque.

Still, many applications utilising these key inserts fall short of addressing the locking limitations and potential for vibration-induced thread loosening that is inherent in the standard 60° thread form. The prevailing torque thread, on the other hand, may have complications with bolt rundown and/or thread reusability.

Fortunately, advances in fastener insert technology help protect against fastener loosening or failure, while offering additional benefits of reducing assembly time, maintenance costs and even overall weight. The Spiralock Key insert represents yet another company innovation that combines the Spiralock self-locking threads with a conventional key insert fastener. The newest Spiralock key insert applications include aircraft engines, avionics, radar instrumentation panels and communications.

Brian Wall

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Stanley Engineered Fastening - Spiralock


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