When shopping for nuts, you may encounter nyloc nuts. Also known as elastic stop nuts, they feature a nylon-based collar. Nyloc nuts are still used in conjunction with a bolt, and they are still used for the same purpose of fastening or securing two or more objects. Nyloc nuts, however, feature a unique design that distinguishes them from all other nuts.
What Are Nyloc Nuts?
Nyloc nuts are fasteners with a band of nylon material at the end. They look like most other nuts. If you inspect the end of a nyloc nut, though, you’ll notice it has a small, thin band of nylon. This nylon collar increases friction so that the nyloc nuts are less likely to loosen.
How Nyloc Nuts Work
You can use a nyloc nut by twisting it onto the end of a threaded fastener, such as a bolt. Nyloc nuts feature a threaded hole that supports a threaded rod of the same size — just like nearly all other nuts. The difference is that nyloc nuts feature a nylon collar at the end. Other nuts lack a nylon collar.
The nylon collar is designed to create friction. Nyloc nuts create more friction with the threaded fastener with which they are used thanks to their nylon collar. This is due to the fact that the nylon collar has a slightly smaller diameter than that of the threaded fastener. You can still twist the nylon collar onto the end of the threaded fastener, but the nuance in diameter means it will fit somewhat tightly.
Why Airplanes Use Nyloc Nuts
Many airplanes are constructed with nyloc nuts because of their superior protection against loosening. Airplanes will vibrate during flight. Even with little or no turbulence, most airplanes will experience some degree of vibration. And over time, vibrations can cause traditional nuts to loosen. Nyloc nuts offer a solution. They are a type of locknut that protects against vibration-related loosening.
If a nut falls off the threaded fastener with which it’s used, it can create a safety hazard. Some airplane parts are fastened using rivets to prevent this from happening. Rivets are permanent fasteners that are commonly used to fasten airplane parts. Other airplane parts are fastened using locknuts. Locknuts, such as nyloc nuts, are designed to lock in place.
Nyloc nuts specifically feature a nylon collar. The nylon collar is slightly smaller than the threaded bolt with which they are used. Therefore, nyloc nuts create more friction, which prevents them from loosening when exposed to vibrations.