Engineers at General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich., faced a challenge when designing the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle for the U. S. Marine Corps. The amphibious combat craft needed to be made mostly of a lightweight aluminum alloy so that it would meet its mission objectives. But aluminum is relatively soft, and fasteners used to attach components to the aluminum frame needed to satisfy several requirements. They had to be lightweight, create watertight seals, lock in place solidly, resist extreme vibrations and shock, and withstand extended exposure to saltwater. The Marines also wanted be able to remove and replace the fasteners in the field.

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