Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adhesives vs. Rivots

I've been discussing airplane construction lately and the use of adhesives instead of mechanical fasteners of all sorts - rivots, nuts/bolts, screws...and realized that I neglected to mention an important consideration. The advantages that adhesives have over these fasteners (besides weight and the aesthetics of clean lines) is that the adhesive spreads the load out over the entire bonding area. Contrast this with mechanical fasteners that concentrate the stress to a limited number of points. That's one of the reasons washers are used with bolts - to distribute the stress.

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