Integral Mechanical Attachment

A Resurgence of the Oldest Method of Joining


  • Robert Messler, Professor and Associate Dean of Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA

Integral Mechanical Attachment, highlights on one of the world’s oldest technologies and makes it new again. Think of buttons and toggles updated to innovative snaps, hooks, and interlocking industrial parts. Mechanical fasteners have been around as long as mankind, but manufacturers of late have been re-discovering their quick, efficient and fail proof advantages when using them as interlocking individual components as compared with such traditional means of joining materials like welding, soldering, gluing and using nuts bolts, rivets and other similar devices. For many years, it has been virtually impossible to find a single-source reference that provides an overview of the various categories of fastening systems and their various applications. Design engineers should find this book to be an invaluable source of detailed, illustrated information on how such fasteners work, and how they can save time and money. Students, too, will find this book to be extremely useful for courses in mechanical design, machine design, product development and other related areas where fastening and joining subjects are taught. This will be the first reference book to come along in many years that will fully illustrate the major classes of integral mechanical fasteners, replete with examples of typical assembly and ideas and suggestions for further research.
View full description


Professional Engineers in Mechanical, Aerospace Engineering, and Civil Engineering, particularly those involved with designs for assembly of components and product manufacturing. Manufacturing and Industrial Engineers who are interested in new forms of product design and assemblyManufacturers of traditional and non-traditional fasteners and joining systems; Plastics Engineers, Ceramics Engineers, Metallurgists, and general Materials EngineersUpper Undergraduate and First-year Graduate students in Mechanical, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Materials Engineering


Book information

  • Published: June 2006
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-7965-7

Table of Contents

PrefaceChapter 1: Introduction to Integral Mechanical Attachment1.1 The Oldest Method of Joining: Using Natural Shapes and Forms1.2 The Process Evolves: But Not Much!1.3 Integral Attachment: A Form of Mechanical Joining1.4 Integral Mechanical Attachment vs. Mechanical Fastening and Fasteners1.5 Advantages of Integral Attachment1.6 Potential Shortcomings of Integral Attachment1.7 SummaryChapter 2: Classification of Integral Mechanical Attachment2.1 Why Classify Methods at All?2.2 Integral Attachment’s Place within the Taxonomy of Joining Methods2.3 A Classification Scheme for Integral Mechanical Attachments Based on Feature Character or Operation2.4 An Alternative Classification Scheme Based on Method of Feature or Joint Creation2.5 Rigid vs. Elastic Integral Attachment Methods2.6 Forces and Motions Necessary to Assemble Rigid or Elastic Attachments2.7 Plastic Attachment Methods2.8 Attachment Methods vs. Materials: Is It That Simple?2.9 SummaryChapter 3: Rigid Integral Mechanical Attachments or Interlocks3.1 How Rigid Interlocks Work3.2 Sub-classification Schemes for Rigid Interlocks3.3 Completely Rigid Interlocking Joint Elements3.4 Integral Rigid Locking Features3.5 Integral Rigid Attachment Features3.6 Rigid Couplings and Connectors3.7 Embedded Rigid Fasteners3.8 Rigid Locating Features (Locators) for Elastic Snap-fit Assembly3.9 Joint and Attachment Feature Permanency3.10 SummaryChapter 4: Elastic (Snap-fit) Integral Mechanical Attachments or Interlocks4.1 How Elastic (Snap-fit) Interlocks Work4.2 Sub-classification of Elastic Snap-fit Attachments or Interlocks4.3 Cantilever Hooks and Cantilevered Holes4.4 Compressive Traps and Beams4.5 Annular, Leaf-spring, and Window Snaps4.6 Post-and-socket Snaps4.7 Bayonet-finger Snaps4.8 Combining Assembly Motions4.9 Hooks-and-Loops4.10 Other Elastic Attachment Methods 4.11 Joint Enhancements4.12 SummaryChapter 5: Plastic (Formed-in) Integral Mechanical Attachments or Interlocks5.1 How Plastic (Formed-in) Interlocks Work5.2 Sub-classification of Plastic (Formed-in) Interlocks5.3 Formed Tabs5.4 Formed or Co-formed Features or Structures5.5 Crimping and Hemming5.6 Staking or Setting [including in glass and plastics, with thermal staking]5.7 Other Plastic Attachment Methods [Tog-L-Loks and Lance-N-Loks]5.8 SummaryChapter 6: Classification Revisited6.1 Comparison of Methods: Relative Advantages & Disadvantages6.2 A Taxonomy of Integral Attachment Methods6.3 SummaryChapter 7: Metal Attachments7.1 Properties of Metals that Facilitate Integral Mechanical Attachment7.2 Sheet-metal Attachment Schemes and Attachments7.3 Cast Attachments7.4 Extrusion Attachment Schemes and Attachments7.5 Forging Attachment Schemes and Attachments7.6 Machined Attachments 7.7 SummaryChapter 8: Polymer Attachments8.1 Properties of Polymers that Facilitate Integral Mechanical Attachment8.2 Molded-in Integral Attachments8.3 Molded-in-place Inserts for Attachment or Fastening8.4 Processed-in Attachments [thermally bonded stakes]8.5 Rubber Connections8.6 SummaryChapter 9: Wood Attachments 9.1 Properties of Wood that Facilitate Integral Attachment9.2 Corner Joints9.3 T-joints9.4 Splice Joints9.5 Joint Enhancements9.6 SummaryChapter 10: Cement, Concrete, and Masonry-unit Attachments10.1 Properties of Cement, Concrete, and Masonry Units that Facilitate Attachment10.2 Pre-cast Integral Attachment Features10.3 Cast-in (Embedded) Attachments10.4 Natural or Cut-in Features for Attachment of Masonry Units10.5 SummaryChapter 11: Glass and Ceramic Attachments11.1 Properties of Glass that Favor Attachment11.2 Glass-to-Glass Joining vs. Glass-Metal Mechanical Seals11.3 Glass-Metal Mechanical Seals11.4 Properties of Ceramics that Favor Attachment11.5 Cast or Molded Attachments in Ceramics11.6 Cast-in (Embedded) Attachments in Ceramics11.7 SummaryChapter 12: Mechanical Electrical Connections12.1 Demands of Electrical Connections that Favor Mechanical Attachment12.2 Electrical Attachment Schemes and Attachments12.3 Mechanical Attachments in Microelectronics12.4 High-current Electric Power Mechanical Connections12.5 SummaryChapter 13: The Future of Integral Mechanical Attachment: Where from Here?13.1 Joining Methods Must Advance as Materials and Structures Advance13.2 Moving to Higher Performance Attachments13.3 Moving to Smaller Scale Attachments [self-assembly in MEMS]13.4 Moving to Biomedical Attachments13.5 Integral Mechanical Attachment and Hostile Environments13.6 Closing ThoughtsIndex