This study analyzes US supply of and demand for industrial mechanical fasteners. Historical data (2008, 2013, and 2018) and forecasts (2023) are provided in current dollars for demand, shipments, and net exports for industrial fasteners overall and for the aggregate standard-grade and aerospace-grade fastener product categories.
Products covered in this study include:
standard-grade and aerospace-grade externally threaded fasteners, such as bolts and screws
internally threaded fasteners, such as nuts and threaded inserts
nonthreaded fasteners, such as rivets, pins, and washers
application-specific (or specialized) standard-grade fasteners, including miscellaneous formed fasteners
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For the purposes of this study, the term “aerospace-grade” refers to a category of high-performance industrial fasteners manufactured to the specifications of aerospace/defense companies and agencies. End-use applications for these fasteners, however, are not confined to the aircraft/aerospace industries; they can also include:
various other settings where the capabilities of such fasteners are warranted.
Excluded from the scope of the study are:
nails, brads, spikes, tacks, and related items
adhesives and other joining/bonding products
nonindustrial type products like buttons, paper clips, and zippers
Although these products are excluded, they are discussed for their potential impact on industrial fastener demand.
US demand for industrial fasteners is expected to increase 2.7% per year through 2023 to $16.5 billion. Because fasteners are used in the manufacture and repair of a vast array of durable goods, the market is mature and gains will largely stem from pricing growth. Additionally, because OEMs are the largest market for fasteners by far, an expected improvement in durable goods manufacturing will support demand gains.
Competitive pressure from alternative joining technologies, while still a factor in the market, is expected to have only a minimal effect on fastener use going forward. Much of the shift toward lightweighting has already occurred in easily adaptable applications, so further technological development will be necessary before fasteners see competition in applications where they are more difficult to replace.
Key Findings in the
Industrial Fasteners Study:
Growth in Aerospace-Grade Fasteners to Fly Past Standard-Grade
Rising production of aircraft, and the widespread use of expensive fasteners in their manufacture, for both civilian and military use will cause demand for associated fastening products to grow. Military aerospace equipment will register particularly strong gains through 2023, the fastest of any major market segment, because of a sharp increase in military spending, which has been a priority of the Trump administration.
Increasing demand from end users beyond aerospace equipment for stronger, better performing fasteners will also support rapid gains.
Motor Vehicle & Machinery Production Will Generate Significant Fastener Demand
Motor vehicles and machinery utilize a significant number of fasteners, and through 2023, these two markets will account for more than 40% of all additional fastener sales. Demand for fasteners will be supported by:
strong gains in light truck (a byproduct of changing consumer preference for SUVs) and medium and heavy vehicle production
a rebound in machinery production following a long period of decline
Competition from Alternative Fastening Technologies Waning
The maturity of the fastener industry makes it susceptible to competition from alternative joining technologies. In some instances, manufacturers have replaced fasteners with adhesives and welding to shorten assembly time and, in the case of motor vehicles and some machinery, to reduce equipment weight.
However, much of this change has already occurred, and while equipment engineers continue to look for additional ways to improve productivity or reduce weight, the further adoption of other fastening systems to achieve these goals is slowing.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $14.4 billion US industrial fasteners market. It presents historical demand data (2008, 2013, 2018) and forecasts (2023) by product (standard-grade or aerospace-grade), physical design (externally threaded, internally threaded, nonthreaded), and market (OEM, maintenance and repair operations, construction). The study also evaluates company market share and competitive analysis on industry competitors, including Agrati, Arconic, Berkshire Hathaway, Hilti, Illinois Tool Works, LISI, Stanley Black & Decker, and TriMas.