Fasteners in the Automotive Industry: Innovations and Trends

There are thousands of fasteners used in the manufacturing and assembly of a single automotive vehicle. Some fasteners are applied manually by technicians while others are installed with pinpoint accuracy by automated robotics, equipment, and machinery. Here is a list of some of the most recent innovations and trends concerning automotive fasteners.

Composite Material Fastening

The automotive industry is constantly on the lookout for lightweight, durable, strong, impact and fatigue-resistant materials. This never-ending pursuit is all about fuel efficiency. Lightweight composite materials mean lighter vehicle frames, better gas mileage, and thermal management.

Joining composite material does not come without challenges.  The fibrous and laminate nature of such materials makes traditional mechanical fastening difficult without fatiguing or cracking the composite.  Until recently, adhesive has been the go-to for the joining of composites but recent advancements in Bossard’s fastener technology allow embedded mechanical fasteners into composite panels.  This can be a huge benefit when considering composite to metal or substrates where adhesive just won’t bond.  Another benefit of using a mechanical join would be for applications where there is a need for repeat access or repair.

Multi-material designs can benefit from Bossard’s MM-Welding® technology by creating strong mechanical connections in porous, honeycomb, laminate, and injection molded components often found in automotive applications.

The Rise of Plastic Fasteners

Plastic is another lightweight but durable material used by automotive manufacturers. Lightweight plastic fasteners are less expensive than composite, steel, and other materials. One reason for their low cost is that the plastic injection molding process produces less waste compared to other conventional machining and manufacturing processes.

Prices are also lower because of lower labor costs as molding machines can run 24/7 with minimal supervision. Plastic fasteners like washers, pins, and spacers don’t have issues with corrosion and certain thermoplastic resins have a high tolerance for heat, humidity, chemical exposure, extreme weather, and corrosive operating environments.

New Shapes, Sizes and Configurations

Fastener manufacturers are constantly having to come up with new fastener designs to keep up with the speed of automotive innovation. This includes designing fasteners with different shapes, sizes, configurations, and geometries. This constant push for new designs is driven largely by changing automated assembly equipment and machinery.

The lean manufacturing and continuous improvement processes of the automotive industry force the entire supply chain to innovate. Automotive manufacturers are always looking to reduce assembly and production cycle times. This constant pursuit means fastener companies must ensure that each generation of fastener is stronger, more durable, and more reliable than the last.

The Need for New Permanent Fastener Designs

With the further adoption of electric vehicles, the automotive industry is gradually moving away from semi-permanent joints. This is due in large part to the increase in electrical vehicle production where manufacturing, assembly, and service requirements differ greatly from conventional gas-burning cars.

While it’s not uncommon for combustion engines to be removed from cars for repair, servicing, and refurbishment, this is a less likely outcome with electric engines. Electric cars have engines that are permanently in place and not designed to be dismantled or removed. Properly securing the parts and integrated assemblies within electric engines requires the design of robust permanent fasteners.

A Constantly Changing Industry

The automotive industry will also demand more flexibility from designers as they push for more uniformity among internal and external fastener designs. This means designers must be open to reducing inventory skews by designing more universal fasteners for wide-ranging automotive applications.

If you would like to learn more about these latest innovations, contact us now.

November 10, 2023
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Fastening Solutions for the Rail Industry: bigHead® and FRP materials

Fastening Solutions for the Rail Industry bigHead® and FRP materials

Improving efficiency and reducing costs are two focuses of any industry or any business and mass transit is certainly not an exception. The rail industry is always looking at embracing new materials and new production techniques to improve their processes. bigHead® is a fastening solution that will help do just that.

FRP Materials and the Rail Industry

One of these new materials that has become popular recently in the rail industry is the use of fiber-reinforced polymer composite (FRP) materials. The FRP materials help to create lightweight but high-strength structures, and they are also good for design flexibility.

bigHead® Fastening Solutions

However, to use these materials successfully, you need a fastener that is safe, secure and discrete. This is where bigHead® comes in. Fastening solutions from bigHead® offer you advantages over many other fasteners. Check out the reasons to look into bigHead® below:

  1. bigHead® fits your project perfectly – You can receive a wide range of standard or customized product solutions, which means bigHead® will be a perfect fit.
  2. bigHead® can save you time – With bigHead® you can fasten without drilling, which offers you many advantages. You will save time by not drilling, and you will also preserve your materials and keep them strong because you don’t have to create holes in your materials. You can use bigHeads to complete and assemble pods into the vehicle structure. Also, bigHeads can be used on the inside of your pods and structures to fix internal panels, flooring, signage and even trim into place.
  3. bigHead® can reduce your assembly costs – When you use bigHead® fasteners, they can be embedded in composite materials during the lay-up process or they can be surface bonded with adhesive. This means you don’t need a secondary assembly process which can reduce your manufacturing costs.

Every company and industry is looking for innovative ways to make their products and services more successful. At Bossard, with our bigHead® fastening solutions, we are providing the solutions to make your products more successful. You can save time and money with bigHead®, and you can rest assured that these solutions work.

If you have any questions, contact us at

April 28, 2017
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Fastening Solutions for Automotive Applications

bigHead Bonding Fasteners

Fastening Solutions for Automotive Applications: bigHead Bonding Fasteners

When looking into a fastener, ultimately, you want one that is reliable, secure and it is efficient with your time. Solutions like bigHead have been developed to ensure you have a reliable fastener, even if it the situation isn’t as straightforward. Recently, there have been some changes in how the automotive industry has been building vehicles. These changes require better fastening solutions.

Changes in Building in the Automotive Industry

Like every industry, the automotive industry is always trying to improve the way they do things. For a while now, performance cars have used lightweight composite materials to improve performance in those vehicles.

Now, however, many high-end and luxury car manufacturers are looking to use those lighter materials as well. These luxury manufacturers want to reduce CO2 emissions, improve fuel efficiency and improve safety features. Decreasing the weight of these vehicles through composite materials will help achieve these ends.

To make this material change would mean to change production and assembly procedures. The only potential problem with this change is automakers finding the right fasteners to work with these composite materials, and a fastener that can keep up with quick assembly procedures. This is where bigHead comes in; these fasteners were designed to as a quick and easy solution for tough fastening applications.

Fastening Solutions like bigHead

bigHead has developed new production techniques to fit specifically with the changes in the automotive industry’s needs. The following are advantages of bigHead for the automotive industry.

  • bigHead fasteners can be securely and reliably bonded to CFRP panels with no special curing conditions.
  • Bonding times can be as little as 6 seconds or 15 seconds.
  • The results are completely invisible for the A-side panel with no holes or shadowing.
  • The bigHeads perforated head design allows adhesive to flow through the holes and firmly lock the fastener with high load distribution and excellent stability.
  • bigHead can be a highly precise application that doesn’t have to compromise the panel form or structural design.

These fastening solutions were created with automotive applications in mind. The needs of the automotive industry and automotive applications have been anticipated and bigHead provides the solutions. If you have questions about bigHead fastening solutions, reach out to us at

February 24, 2017
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