What Holds the Joint Strike Fighter Together?

What holds the Military’s new fighter together? The answer to that is adhesive bonded fasteners by Enfasco. Yeah, thats right we’re talking GLUE here. I’m sure those glue specialists would prefer I use the term “Adhesive!!” I bet you’re wondering what possibly could one of these things look like? Here…

Stainless Steel Fastener

I came across these while looking for an innovative solution to mount a product we’re working on to the hull of a boat. After talking with the application engineer over at Enfasco, it is actually pretty common to use these in the marine world. Apparently NASA also used them in the space station.

Base of fastener

What makes these so incredible isn’t that they are an adhesive fastener. It is their patented fixture which holds the fastener to the bonding surface and the fact that it is disposable. To apply one of these you first squirt some adhesive onto the base. Next, you will remove the paper backing on the double-sided tape of the fixture. Then you place the fixture onto the surface to bond to and push the upper part of it firmly. The fixture uses live hinges that cams the entire fastener to the bonding surface and applies force until the adhesive is cured.

On the left is the fixture before “set” and on right is fixture as its received. If you look closely you can see the live hinges which work nearly identical to the live hinges on your shampoo bottle lids (or catchup).

Live hinges of fixture at rest before being applied to surfaceLive hinges cammed down to hold position

If you ask nicely Enfasco will even sell you a very convenient bonding kit that comes with all the necessary supplies and is one time use. This is great for the reason that it leaves no clean-up to worry about. This kit comes with the following:

  1. Acrylic adhesive (other types available)
  2. A solvent wipe to clean both bonding surfaces
  3. Scuff pad to rough up the bonding surface before adhesive application
  4. Popsicle stick for stirring and applying the adhesive
  5. Mixing pallet to stir and apply from

Adhesive Kit

Here are the instructions to install these:

Instructions

If you are interested in purchasing any of these you can get a hold of Enfasco over at their webpage. They have all different shapes, types, sizes, and materials.

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