Aluminum has been a dominant presence in the Aerospace industry for the last half century. In the past ten years, industries outside of Aerospace have also turned to this metal. David Harris of ALFED states the reason is due to the many benefits of this miracle metal. It is very light, yet strong, and easily manipulated into other extrustions. Its resistance to corrosion is good, and it can be joined together through methods such as welding and adhesive bonding. Aluminum can be painted as well as anodized to create a wide variety of finishes that will help to upgrade appearance and further protect from corrosion. It is also an excellent electricity and heat conductor.
The wealthy individuals in the automotive industry, despite its many features, like aluminum because it is lightweight. The minimization of weight leads to greater energy efficiency and a better looking product overall. For example, well renown automotive company, Ford, boasts that one of their trucks that is equipped with an aluminum body is almost seven hundred pounds lighter than other models.
There are a handful of different methods to join aluminum together: there is welding, gluing, and soldering, just to name a few. The best way to join aluminum together using aerospace industrial nuts and bolts depends on the aluminum that is being used. Frida Cullin Persson, who is the project manager at Nord-Lock Group says that steel and stainless-steel bolts can both be used with aluminum. Persson however states that it is recommended for users to check what type of aluminum is being used as well as the environment it will be used in.
The use of aluminum bolts over steel is uncommon. It is more common for standardized steel fasteners to be used instead because they are cheaper and stronger. Because aluminum is easily deformed and is unable to withstand high pressures, users should think to reduce the load when aluminum parts are clamped together user steel fasteners. Another possibility to help distribute the load over a wider area is putting a washer underneath the bolt head, which will allow for a greater clamp load.