Nyloc Nuts: metric and imperial

Locking nuts of the nylon insert (Nyloc) type.

Nuts on hang gliders should not be over tightened.  In fact in many applications, where the bolt is in shear, the nut is really only there to hold the bolt in place.  (Over tightening might, for example, just crush a tube.)  Thus the pilot should never just tighten the nut to try and prevent the nut from coming off.

Instead, to reduce the risk of nuts working loose, locking nuts are used extensively on hang gliders.  The nuts need only be tightened so that the thread extends through the nylon of the Nyloc.  The nylon grips the thread and will prevent easy loosening of the nut.

Nyloc locking nuts 'grip' the thread best when they are new.  That is why it is recommended to replace the nuts each time they are removed.

Avian also recommend that a locking compound (eg Loctite) is also used on all fasteners.  Clearly this is critical if the fastener is not of the locking type but also provides the assurance of 'belt and braces' for those bolts and Nylocs in critical places.

It is important to make sure one fits the same nut as that removed. 

Clearly the correct thread is essential.  Nylocs are colour coded to aid recognition of the type.  Imperial UNF nuts generally have a white or green nylon insert whereas metric nuts have a blue insert.  Always replace a nut with one of the same thread.

Get the correct thickness.

Thin UNF nyloc nuts can be quite difficult to obtain in Europe so pilots are sometimes tempted to replace a thin nyloc with a taller thick nyloc.  This can be a serious mistake if the thicker or taller nut means that the bolt no longer engages the nylon insert.  (The nut could then come off far more easily.)

  
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1/4" UNF Nyloc nut
1/4" UNF Nyloc Nut. Quarter inch diameter nylon insert lock nut. Unified Fine Thread.
£0.21
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1/4" UNF Nyloc nut THIN
Thin 1/4" UNF Nyloc Nut. Quarter inch diameter nylon insert lock nut. Unified Fine Thread. This nut is far thinner than standard and is quite often used on hang gliders.
£0.60
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5/16" UNF Nyloc nut
5/16" UNF Nyloc Nut. Quarter inch diameter nylon insert lock nut. Unified Fine Thread.
£0.21
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M6 Metric 6mm diameter  Nyloc nut
6mm diameter hole Nyloc nut. M6 Nyloc nut with blue insert.
£0.21
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M8 Metric 8mm diameter  Nyloc nut
8mm diameter hole Nyloc nut. M8 Nyloc nut with blue insert.
£0.21
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