A Concise History of Automotive Fasteners


When we look at automotive fasteners today, it might not seem like there’s much to write home about. After all, the screw was invented almost 2,500 years ago in Greece—it’s not exactly a new technology.

However, you may be surprised by the many innovations that clips and fasteners have undergone throughout the years. These seemingly small inventions have improved our ability to create and build complex designs over and over again through thousands of years, so it’s no surprise that we’ve almost perfected them.

That being said, what are the important changes we’ve made to automotive fasteners over the years? And why are they still so important today? In this month’s blog post, we’ll be discussing the evolution of automotive fasteners.

Early Automotive Fasteners: From the Model T to 1960

Even back in the day, the thinkers behind the creation of automobiles recognized the destructive power of automobiles if not driven responsibly. Though, while their concerns were spot-on, their solutions were unfortunately quite flawed.

Today, we design cars with “crumple zones,” so that, upon impact, they absorb a great deal of kinetic energy while preserving the cabin, where passengers reside. But back in the day, we weren’t aware that transferring kinetic energy would be so important to passenger safety. Instead, automotive engineers were more concerned with making vehicles that wouldn’t fall apart in a collision. As a result, automotive fasteners were large, heavy things that were often attached through a welding process.

By 1960, we began to replace these dense, heavy automotive fasteners with smaller, lighter designs.

Post-War Automotive Fasteners

Post-war automotive fasteners are designed with crumpling safety measures in mind. As a result, we got the lightweight, high-stress automotive fasteners you know today. We accomplished this thanks to new techniques in manufacturing, such as cold-forming steel. These new techniques paired with innovations in vehicle designs to create a new era of specialized automotive fasteners.

Modern Automotive Fasteners

Today, automotive fasteners are designed using Computer-Aided Design (CAD), which greatly increases the ability of engineers to create unique and custom clips and fasteners. At the same time, more materials are available for mass production today than ever before, creating a veritable renaissance for automotive fastener creators. Some of these new types of fasteners include:

  • Stainless steel fasteners
  • Plastic fasteners
  • Titanium fasteners
  • Nylon fasteners

For a full list of materials that we offer for our automotive fasteners, click here.

The history of automotive fasteners is long and winding, but it’s also a testament to the ingenuity and cooperation of humans as a species. Thanks to the generations of work by dedicated engineers and innovators, we now have more options for fasteners than the industry’s founders ever thought possible. To order your automotive fasteners, click here to request a quote today.

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