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What makes a wire thread insert fit for aerospace?

Posted by Advanex  |  

Sustainability has become the driving force of modern aircraft design, with lightweight materials and components becoming increasingly popular to save weight and maximise fuel efficiency. That said, the aerospace industry also holds safety and reliability as a key priority, often putting a halt to the relentless pursuit of efficiency due to the susceptibility of lighter metals.  

Within this context, the components used in aircraft manufacture, maintenance, repair and overhaul face stringent requirements due to the extreme challenges of flight. These components need to meet every requirement of being lightweight whilst complying with strict specifications and industry standards. 

Why aircraft standards and specifications are necessary

The aerospace industry demands components that can withstand the rigours of take-off, landing, flight and long-term storage. In order to increase safety and operability outcomes, components are required to meet these requirements: 

High loads and stress: Aircraft components must be capable of handling high loads and stress without deforming or failing. This ensures structural integrity under the extreme forces of takeoff, flight and landing.

Corrosive environments: Components need to be resistant to corrosion as they are frequently exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as high humidity, temperature fluctuations, and corrosive substances like salt and chemical residues. Additionally, non-commercial aircraft can be grounded for months/years at a time, making them susceptible to ambient corrosion. 

Stringent precision and compatibility requirements: Aerospace parts must adhere to precise specifications to ensure safety and compatibility across various systems and components within the aircraft. This means that components must be specified by the manufacturer and/or industry, limiting choice but ensuring quality. 

Weight constraints: The weight of each component is critically evaluated for its impact on fuel efficiency and overall aircraft performance. Some components are also evaluated on their ability to enable lightweighting by protecting lighter components from environmental factors. 

High vibrations: Constant vibration is a given in aerospace applications, requiring components that can endure without loosening or deteriorating, which could lead to mechanical failure.

Wire thread inserts: the sustainable solution for aerospace designs 

Wire thread inserts are a universal solution that provides unique resistances to numerous challenges facing aircraft and beyond. They are installed within a tapped hole and sit between the parent material and fastening element. The insert adjusts radially and axially once the fastener is installed, acting as a secure layer that protects the parent material and enhances the properties of the joint. As a result, lightweight materials can be used without the risk of failing to meet important standards and specifications. 

Features that make wire thread inserts fit for aerospace 

  • High joint strength and durability: Wire thread inserts are manufactured from materials such as stainless steel and Inconel, which offer high strength to withstand extreme conditions without compromising the integrity of the joint.
  • Corrosion resistance: These inserts are made from materials that exhibit excellent resistance to corrosion, ensuring the longevity and reliability of the fastening system even in harsh environmental conditions.
  • Precision engineering: Wire thread inserts are precision-engineered to meet rigorous aerospace standards, ensuring perfect fit and optimal function in their designated applications. They also support a simple and easy maintenance process by being easily removable. 
  • Lightweight and space-efficient design: The design of wire thread inserts provides the required strength and protection for the successful integration of lighter and softer metals, contributing to the overall efficiency and performance of the aircraft.
  • Vibration resistance: Wire thread inserts maintain a secure hold, distributing stress and strain evenly across the joint. This design minimises wear and prevents failure due to vibration-induced loosening, crucial for maintaining aircraft integrity during operation.

KATO® Advanex for sustainable aerospace design 

As the aerospace industry continues to evolve, the demand for components that can reliably perform under extreme conditions while contributing to overall efficiency will only increase. Wire thread inserts are at the forefront of this initiative, providing innovative solutions that ensure safety, reliability, and performance. Their integration into aerospace applications represents a critical advancement in aerospace engineering, blending strength with lightweight design to meet the complex demands of modern aircraft.

For engineers and manufacturers aiming to push the boundaries of aerospace technology, wire thread inserts from KATO® Advanex offer a proven solution that embodies the pinnacle of precision engineering. They both resolve current engineering challenges and pave the way for future innovations in aerospace technology.

To find out more about our products or to get additional pricing information, contact a member of our team today. 

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