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What Are Non-Permanent Fasteners?

Fasteners are an essential part of every piece of machinery and are used to link two or more things mechanically, either permanently or non-permanently. For parts that only need to be fastened once, a single-use or permanent fastener is necessary. However, other parts may need to be consistently opened or detached for regular maintenance. Therefore, these parts require non-permanent fastenings which can be removed and reused consistently without damage to the fastener or the surrounding components. Some fasteners like rivets and nails are most often chosen for single-use applications, while others are suited for non-permanent use. The following blog is a short explanation of those fasteners which can be a non-permanent option.

Types of Non-Permanent Fasteners:

Bolt: A bolt is a type of threaded hardware fastener used to conjoin two materials together. The components of a bolt can be identified in three sections. The head is the part with the largest diameter which provides the necessary grooves for tools to apply or resist torque. The shank is the longest section, a threaded rod which is used to align the two pieces being joined. Lastly, at the opposite end of the head of a bolt is the chamfer, that of which is slightly beveled to aid in the insertion of a bolt into holes and nuts. Bolts are designed to be twisted or inserted into a hole in two or more pieces of machinery, aligning and then conjoining them by way of a nut affixed to the chamfer end. Most bolts are designed to be non-permanent with a chamfer that allows for a nut to be removed and reinstalled.

Screw: Screws are similar to bolts in design, but can have a pointed end to perforate a material. This is because the shank and chamfer of a screw are made to be embedded in the material, rather than to pass all the way through it, as with a bolt. Screws often have a helical ridge which spirals down at a steeper angle than a bolt so that they may burrow into a material. However, they generally have a similar head which is designed for the same tools you would use to fasten a bolt. Like bolts, screws can be removed by twisting them out of a hole and then replaced up until the point that the hole endures excess wear.

Washer: Washers are flat circular fasteners with a hole in the center. This hole allows for them to be fitted onto the shank of a fastener where they may be used as a spacer or to disperse weight between its head and the surface it secures. Washers can also be used to provide added friction. Some may also be designed with external teeth for gripping a surface or a fiber insert to hold a shank firmly in place. Washers can often be removed if the fastener they are mounted on is detached.

Nut: A nut is often similar in shape to the head of a nut or bolt, but has a hole in the middle to invite a shank. They are typically six-sided with internal threading and are commonly screwed onto the end of a bolt for a secure fit. Like washers, nuts may also be designed to create more friction by way of a fiber insert or internal teeth. These types of nuts are generally much harder to remove, but a standard nut is easily removable by torque.

Stud: Studs have a very similar threaded rod to that of bolts and screws, but without a head. Additionally, some may have threading on only one end with a temporary head or self-tapping portion on the other. These types of studs are generally made to be single use, but studs with threading on both ends are often used for non-permanent applications. Double end studs are able to screw into a material on one end, and either a nut or a second piece of material can be applied on the other.

Pin: A pin is similar in shape to a screw, but has no threading on its shank. Because of this, pins are very easy to remove and are often used for temporary applications. Pins may have a small head or no head, depend pending on the application. They may also have an eyelet, such as in a cotter pin, and can be used more as a joint rather than as a fastener driven into a material. In this case, wires or circular rods can be thread through the eyelet.


Non-permanent fasteners can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. They are often made of steel but can be fabricated from wood, fiber, or plastic, as well as other metals. Whereas permanent fasteners provide a sturdy fit which is hard to disassemble, non-permanent fasteners are best used in places where removal and replacement will be necessary for maintenance and/or inspection. As with any vehicle, aircraft are dependent on even the smallest components and pieces of hardware. Though it is possible to buy hardware commercially, it is crucial that any components used in an aircraft are aviation grade and from reliable manufacturers. Industrial Part Numbers is committed to providing the best of aviation parts to their customers with quality service. As a leading supplier of aviation, defense, IT, and industrial components, Industrial Part Numbers has access to a large inventory of high-quality, traceable parts from accredited manufacturers. Browse our online catalog of available parts or send a completed Request for Quote form today with details about your parts needs and get a response in just 15 minutes!


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