There is an ever growing demand for blind fastener in the aerospace industry. This demand is driven not only by the advantages of single sided installation, but also by the potential to fully automate their installation process.
Blind fasteners can easily be integrated with innovative end-effectors that combine drilling, installation and inspection systems, enabling the reduction of process cycle times and their associated cost savings.
Clearly the advantages of single sided installation are a key benefit, but it cannot be forgotten that currently the mechanical performance of these systems is reduced compared with conventional threaded or swaged parallel shank fasteners. There are other important drawbacks existing around them which could penalise significantly the optimised design and performance of the structures.
Specific key characteristics that take into account some of these drawbacks have been established by Airbus which will be referenced in this paper.
Recently some improvements in new system concepts based on the typical pull and threaded type versions have been achieved by the main aerospace fastener suppliers, based on better mechanical performance, improved cosmetic appearance of the fastener head, etc.
This paper will give a global view of the characteristics that are considered more important for evaluation of the next generation of blind systems to allow their optimised implementation on new applications as well as a chance to view some new systems developed by the Suppliers.