Aircraft Fastener Galling and How To Prevent It?

Galling is a form of wear resulting from metal surfaces gliding against one another. It most frequently occurs in fasteners that are subjected to a lot of motion, like those that are fastened and unfastened regularly, or those that must withstand a great deal of vibration. Galling is particularly prevalent in fasteners such bolts, bushings, or other fasteners used to hold an aircraft together. As it can cause potentially disastrous results, manufacturers in the aircraft industry must combat galling. This blog will explain the many steps a manufacturer can take to prevent it from occurring.

There are five primary steps to take in the prevention of galling. The first is to simply select the correct material for the given application. This is important because certain types of metal are more prone to galling than others, due to their atomic structure. Cold-formed, strain-hardened stainless steels provide great protection from galling due to their improved strength and reduced ductility. Another step is to choose fasteners with perfect fits. A tight fastener will have less movement, vibration, and friction, and therefore reduce galling. Additionally, high-quality threaded fasteners will have threads with fewer surface deviations that can rub together and cause galling.

A third step is to add proper lubricant to the fasteners. This can include, wax, USP-grade castor oil, dry film lubricant, or other means. Lubrication allows materials to slide past each other without causing friction. Certain leading manufacturers of premium fasteners use custom-made wax specifically tailored for fasteners. There are also certain lubricants designed specifically to help prevent seizing and galling. An obvious step to take in preventing galling is to avoid using damaged fasteners. Damaged bolt threads, for instance, significantly increase the chances of galling. Be sure to check all fasteners for damage before installing. During the shipping process, fasteners can be damaged or their threads can become dirty.

The final step to prevent galling, and perhaps the most important, is to install all aircraft fasteners with care. Most stainless steel is sensitive to high temperatures, so tightening fasteners slowly can reduce the friction and the heat that results from friction. Another way to combat excessive friction and heat is to avoid power tools. Even some hand tools can cause damaging amounts of friction, so it is important to consider your options before installing any aircraft fasteners. Excessive force can also strip threads by sheer force, not taking heat into account.

In rigidly regulated industries like aviation, unreliable fasteners are simply not acceptable. Fastener failure can have detrimental results, so it is critical that manufacturers take proper care of every single one, down to the last nut and bolt. Additional safety can be achieved through the use of premium, high-quality fasteners. Apart from having lower risk of galling, premium fasteners reduce maintenance, stoppages, and other disturbances that would otherwise hinder productivity and revenue. Premium fasteners also increase safety and security as they are far less prone to failure or malfunction. Finally, premium fasteners increase cost-effectiveness. While they may be more expensive to start, over time they will save money. The extra cost is easily offset by the money saved in repair and replacement costs.

Regardless of your fastener needs, ASAP Fulfillment is here to help. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you source all types of standard fasteners, lubricants, and anti galling components and deliver them with some of the industry’s best lead times. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@asapfulfillment.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299. Our team of dedicated account managers is standing by and will respond to you in 15 minutes or less.


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February 6, 2020

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