Fasteners are useful components for countless applications, allowing for parts to be secured together either permanently or temporarily based on the fasteners chosen and the needs of the assembly. There are many types of fasteners that one may take advantage of, and common types include pins, rivets, screws,and bolts. The hook and loop fastener, also known as the generalized trademark velcro, is a very common type of fastener in the modern day, often coming in the form of two fabric strips that feature hooks and loops that can be pressed together to create a semi-strong hold that is temporary. Utilized in applications ranging from the laces of shoes to anchoring points within the International Space Station, hook and loop fasteners have solidified themselves as very useful and commonplace fastening solutions.
The hook and loop fastener first came about as a form of biomimesis, the Swiss engineer George de Mestral figuring out that he could create a binding solution modeled after burs of burdock that would stick to the loops of clothing and animal fur. After various testing and research to find a proper material and a mechanized approach to production, de Mestra eventually settled on heat-treated nylon threads that could be trimmed to create a “sticky” surface that held without quick wear. Over the following decades, the material quickly spread in its applicational use, and engineers constantly sought new ways to improve the design, such as adding polyester to strengthen the filament. As of the present, over 300 trademarks for the hook and loop fastener exist across the globe.
Depending on the application and the required strength of the connection, hook and loop fastener components may vary in their material construction. For example, a polyester fastener hook design may be paired with Teflon loops, allowing for enough strength to be achieved for Space Shuttle use. Alongside the material of choice, the degree to which the hooks are embedded in the loops, the amount of surface area that is in contact, and the type of force that tries to pull it apart are all factors that affect strength. Strength can also vary based on the materials that strips are attached to, as when strips are placed on larger, flat surfaces, the force required to pull them apart is higher because it is spread out equally across all hooks.
While hook and loop fasteners may not boast the strength of a permanently installed rivet, that is not what they are usually selected for in most applications. Generally, hook and loop fasteners benefit applications that require safe and maintenance free use, as they present low amounts of danger and only have a minimal decline in bonding capability over time. Despite this, they are not without their shortcomings, such as their tendency to collect hair, dust, and other particles that are present in an environment. Additionally, they can accidentally damage other materials and clothes if one is not careful, as even a slow removal can still cause wear to weaker surfaces.
Whether you require hook and loop fasteners for securing clothing together, objects to walls, carpets to the floor, or other such applications, look no further than Aerospace Aviation 360. As a leading distributor of aircraft parts, fasteners, IT hardware, and so much more, we are your one stop shop for all your sourcing needs. Even if you are facing a time constraint and require parts fast, our supply chain network stretching across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom ensures expedited shipping for domestic and international orders alike. Get in touch with one of our representatives by phone or email today and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.