Blind insert doubles grip for plastics

The need for fewer fasteners, plus speed and flexibility of installation is forcing design engineers to search for improved fastener solutions, particularly inserts for soft metals, plastics and composites.

Problem: Solution: Industrial fastener manufacturer Textron Fastening Systems has launched a new blind insert that doubles the grip range on soft materials, thin-walled plastics and composites, while also providing new levels of joint clamp and pullout resistance with fewer fasteners. The company's new Versa-Nut insert features four longitudinal slots evenly spaced along the length of its casing. During assembly, the slots split open to form folded legs that spread across the underside of the work piece to form a large bearing area. The insert offers a grip range up to 12.7mm which, according to Martin Schnurr, VP sales and marketing at Textron, "is larger than any comparable blind fastener on the market." He also said that the insert's wide bearing area "spreads the load onto the soft materials to ensure a strong and vibration-resistant joint that accommodates wide variations in material thickness... reduces brittle work piece cracking and delivers exceptional pullout with maximum torque resistance." The inserts are made from steel with yellow passivated finishes and come in M4 to M10 thread diameters in first and second grip sizes. Applications: The Versa-Nut installs in just three seconds using hydro-pneumatic hand tools or automated placing equipment. They can be fitted either immediately after the component is moulded or in the finished article during assembly. It can be used as a nut plate, nut plate and pivot bearing, nut plate and spacer, nut and bushing or as nut and rivet. Applications include blow moulded automotive parts and trim fixings, sandwiched sections, marine interiors and for composite panels in trucks, buses and caravans. Further use may be found in plastic or composite sections for toys, small domestic appliances, containers, display panels, plastic furniture, fibreboard and plywood assemblies. DP