PEM® fasteners up in space 09 April 2024

PEM® fasteners have played an important role for the overall application of a Danish satellite orbiting Earth, launched by students in a collaboration across several universities.

Last year in spring 2023, a Danish satellite was launched by a rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA. Featured onboard were components by PennEngineering® in the form of PEM® press fasteners – supplied by the Danish sales and engineering house Hans Buch A/S.

The satellite with PEM® press fasteners is called DISCO-1 and is the first of a series of satellites in the DISCO programme – established in a never seen collaboration by students from four different Danish universities.

A crucial lightweight solution 

The satellite is built by the company Space Inventors, which Hans Buch assisted in identifying the advantages of using the press fasteners over many other fastening solutions. 

The total weight was decisive for the satellite’s properties. Rasmus Pedersen, director and CCO of the industry division at Hans Buch, explains: “It was essential for the design of the satellite that the weight could be kept down without compromising on quality. Our PEM® press fasteners played a crucial role.”

The PEM® press fasteners used were the self-clinching nuts CLA™-M2-2 in aluminium. They were mounted on a milled aluminium bracket that was anodised to increase the corrosion resistance. Overall, the PEM® press fasteners enabled an application consisting of aluminium plates with a thickness of just 2mm. This was made possible without compromising on the durability and whilst still ensuring the products could handle the harsh conditions during the rocket launch and while orbiting the Earth from space.

Uncovering new knowledge of climate changes

The satellite measures 10cm x 10cm x 10cm, weighs just approximately 1kg, and is the first of a series of satellites that will help researchers understand climate changes in Greenland. DISCO-2 is planned for launch in the summer of 2024.

“We are excited and we are proud to contribute to the successful creation of the first DISCO satellite, and we have avidly followed the launch of the satellite. The DISCO program aims, among other things, to attract young talent to the Danish space sector, which is growing strongly, and thus, demands an increase in workforce. We are delighted that the project aims to inspire young, technical talents to choose the space sector as a field of expertise and future career. It is great for a company like Hans Buch to be a small part of,” concludes Rasmus.  

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.

Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.