Quality Rivets: The Key to Durability in CNC Projects(non-ferrous metal Herbert)
- source:ESKRIDGE CNC Machining
In this article, we’ll explore what makes some rivets better than others and provide tips for sourcing premium rivets for your CNC applications.
What Makes a Quality Rivet?
Several factors contribute to rivet quality:
Material - Aircraft grade aluminum is the gold standard, providing strength while remaining lightweight. Steel is also durable but heavier. Avoid cheaper metals like copper which deform easily.
Strength - Measured in shear strength and tensile strength, quality rivets resist deformation under pressure. They won’t bend, buckle or snap when joining metal pieces.
Durability - Quality rivets maintain their holding power over years of vibration, shocks, and temperature fluctuations. Lower quality fasteners can loosen over time.
Consistency - Premium rivets offer consistent sizing and performance across large quantities. Cheaper varieties often lack uniformity.
Corrosion Resistance - Quality rivets feature coatings or alloying elements to prevent corrosion. This maintains strength and appearance over time.
Easy Installation - The best rivets install smoothly without jamming rivet guns. Poorly machined rivets often hinder installation.
When sourcing rivets, look for products that excel across these metrics with specifications to back it up. High-end brands typically outperform generic fasteners.
Choosing the Right Rivets for CNC Applications
With CNC machining, rivets must withstand constant vibrations from high-speed operation. The materials joined together – typically metals like aluminum, steel, or titanium – need strong, durable fasteners.
Here are some of the most common quality rivet types used for CNC applications:
Blind Rivets - These feature a built-in mandrel that gets pulled into the rivet during installation, expanding the body to cinch materials together. The mandrel snaps off flush when fully seated. Blind rivets work well for CNC because installation only requires access from one side.
Solid Rivets - No mandrel is used with these. They get hammered into shape during installation to flair out on the backside, securing the joint. Solid rivets work for basic CNC jobs but don’t allow quick, tool-free installation like blind rivets.
Self-Piercing Rivets - As the name implies, these pierce and interlock layered sheets of material upon installation. The semi-tubular body flares outward to clamp materials together. Ideal for CNC projects layering thinner gauge metals.
Large Flange Rivets – For joining thicker or multi-layered metals, large flange rivets provide extra clamping force. The wide flange distributes pressure evenly across the materials.
Screw Rivets - These combine rivet and screw properties. Screw rivets get driven flush like a rivet but feature threaded ends to accept nuts/bolts for easy disassembly. Great for non-permanent CNC fixtures or jigs.
For specialty applications, turned and large head rivets offer extra height or head diameter. This provides extended reach or wider clamping surface.
Sourcing Durable, High-Quality Rivets
When purchasing rivets, always go through reputable industrial suppliers with strict quality control and performance testing. This helps ensure you receive consistently exceptional fasteners. Here are some other tips for sourcing optimal CNC rivets:
- Check certifications - Leading aerospace brands like Cherry Aerospace will provide documentation on strength ratings, passing shear/tensile tests, etc. This validates quality.
- Inspect samples - Ask suppliers to provide sample rivets you can inspect and trial before fully committing. Check for precise machining and smooth operation.
- Compare specifications - Review the measured specs like diameter, hardness, head thickness, hole size, grip range, etc. Compare these across brands to aid choosing superior rivets.
- Consider custom options - For specialty CNC applications, customized rivets are available with application-specific dimensions, materials, strengths, coatings and more.
- Buy in bulk - Large quantity purchases often provide cost savings. Make sure any surplus rivets will get used rather than go to waste.
- Confirm compatibility - Double check chosen rivets work with your CNC machines and materials being joined. Consult rivet specs and operating manuals.
While small, rivets play an oversized role in structural integrity for CNC end products. Investing in quality rivets ensures your projects meet the highest standards for performance and durability. Take time to research and source components produced to aerospace levels of precision and strength. Your customers will appreciate the quality. CNC Milling CNC Machining