bigHead: The intelligent fastening solution 14 February 2023

Here, KVT-Fastening outlines the advantages of its composite solution – bigHead fastening elements – which are available in a wide variety of designs and offer a reliable fastening of components.

Lightweight materials have become indispensable in the construction of modern racing and sports cars, but also yachts and luxury watercraft. Modern composite materials have numerous advantages, as they can be shaped in almost any way, withstand the highest loads, and also reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles due to their low weight – a plus for the range as well as for the reduction of CO2 emissions.

However, innovative materials often present designers with major challenges when it comes to processing and assembly. Traditional connectors and fasteners quickly reach their limits, especially with light carbon and modular products. To combat this, KVT offers its bigHead solution.

Traditional fastening systems designed for metal and wood are often incompatible with composite materials or require major processing concessions. The best-known composites are carbon fibres, also known as carbon. They represent the trend to replace tried and tested materials with lighter and more stable ones. Conventional punching and drilling often are not possible with carbon plates, because this would destroy the stability of the inserted fibres and impair the strength of the component. BigHeads are used here as base plates to which any fastening elements, such as pins, nuts, threaded bolts or hooks, can be attached by welding.  

Gluing instead of drilling

Carbon fibre-reinforced plastics in car body parts are often only a few millimetres thick, which can pose a problem with the correct attachment. In this case, bigHeads can be integrated directly into carbon and other composites or plastics during production, which means, for example, that optical and functional features can be better reproduced without having to accept compromises in terms of resilience. The large base plates of the fasteners can simply be laminated in or glued onto surfaces or into sandwich materials. This is a discreet and efficient way of processing even the thinnest of structures while preserving form and function as well as process reliability.

From the hybrid Porsche to luxury yachts

A large area of application for the bigHeads, which are available in galvanised steel or stainless steel, is the automotive industry. Carbon parts are increasingly being used in sports cars due to weight optimisation. In the hybrid Porsche Spider 918, for example, the supply to the ventilation box is held by bigHeads.

Since stainless steel bigHeads with a quality of AISI 316 have been certified as resistant to sea and chlorine water, they are also very popular with yachts and speed boats. The most exclusive example is the Kormaran made in Salzburg. Here the bigHeads are used to hold the cable strands.

Safe and well hidden

bigHeads also offer a solution which doesn’t compromise the overall aesthetic, since there are no rivets or drill holes and no shadows. The fasteners are usually attached by laminating or with adhesive, which, thanks to the design of the base plate, flows through the holes in a targeted manner and thus holds the connecting element in position, achieving the desired high stability and high strength. The product range currently includes around 1,000 different designs and 400 standard products, and their design can also be customised for each application.

Becca England Assistant Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 615 413

Becca is the latest member to join our team and is eager to get stuck into the world of fasteners. She brings an enthusiastic and fresh outlook on what we do editorially and will be leading our social media activity – including sourcing material, editing articles and posting online.