Uses for Rivets in Manufacturing and Construction(cnc machining parts Murray)
- source:ESKRIDGE CNC Machining
What are Rivets?
A rivet is a mechanical fastener consisting of a cylindrical shaft and head. During installation, the rivet is placed in a pre-drilled hole through the materials being joined, and the tail end is upset - either with a hammer or rivet gun. This upsetting process deforms the tail and creates a second head, clamping the materials together. The rivet heads on each side grip the materials and prevent the rivet from being pulled back out.
Rivets come in a variety of head shapes, materials, and sizes to accommodate different applications and material thicknesses. Though conceptually simple, well-designed rivets and proper installation results in a permanent, reliable, and vibration-resistant fastening method.
Key Benefits of Rivets
Compared to other fastening methods, rivets offer:
- Permanent fastening: Once installed, rivets cannot come loose or unfasten on their own. This makes them ideal for critical applications.
- Vibration and shock resistance: The upsetting process work-hardens the rivet shank, while the rivet heads grip materials on both sides. This makes rivets optimal for high vibration environments.
- Strength in shear: Rivet heads on either side of a joint create strong resistance to shear forces trying to slide materials laterally.
- Tolerance of some material mismatch: Small gaps between materials can be taken up in the deformation of the rivet tail during installation.
- No damage to materials: Properly installed rivets do not damage or stress materials the way screws can. No threads are cut.
- Installation in any orientation: Rivets can be installed vertically, horizontally, or overhead - unlike screws which require access perpendicular to the surface.
- Lower skill requirement: Less training needed compared to welding or precision bolting.
The most common rivet materials include:
- Aluminum - Lightweight, moderate strength, and good corrosion resistance make aluminum ideal for aircraft and construction.
- Steel - Highly versatile for high strength applications across industries. Can be heat treated. Prone to corrosion if not plated or stainless steel.
- Stainless steel - The highest strength and corrosion resistance. Used in harsh environments.
- Copper - Used for piping and plumbing applications. Malleable and machinable.
- Plastics - Light duty applications. Easy to cut flush after installation.
- Monel - Stronger than aluminum with good corrosion resistance. Used in marine applications.
- Titanium - Highest strength-to-weight ratio. Used in aircraft. Difficult to machine.
There are two primary methods of installing rivets:
Hand Tools: Riveting hammers, squeezers, and bucking bars allow rivets to be set manually. Best for smaller scale production or one-off repair work. Operator skill influences quality.
Pneumatic/Hydraulic Tools: Rivet guns use air pressure or hydraulics to automate the pulling and upsetting process consistently. Used for mass production or construction projects. Allows high installation rates.
Rivet guns require access only to the rivet head side, while hand tools require both sides for bucking. Pop rivets can be installed from one side when blind access is an issue.
Uses Across Industries
Rivets have broad appeal for engineers across many applications, including:
Aircraft Manufacturing - Rivets are the preferred fastener for aircraft assembly. Aluminum and specialty rivets help reduce weight while maintaining strength, fatigue life, and vibration resistance. Aerospace-grade rivets are rigorously regulated and tested.
Construction - Steel rivets are common for connecting structural beams, bracing, HVAC ducting, cranes, and transmission towers. Their shock load capacity suits construction sites. Stainless rivets withstand weather exposure.
Automotive - Body panels, dashboards, bumpers, frames, and engine components frequently use rivets for damage-resistant fastening during crashes. Quick manual installation suits auto manufacturing.
Appliances - The vibration resistance, sealing, and non-damaging expansion of rivets makes them useful for consumer appliances that experience banging, drops, and rattling during shipping and use.
Electronics - Small aluminum or plastic rivets securely fasten internal components of computers, appliances, and machinery while allowing serviceability when needed.
Rail and Transportation - Rivets withstand the rattling, impacts, and shear forces experienced by rail lines, trucks, buses, trailers, and agricultural equipment. Their durability and easy inspection suits heavy machinery.
Infrastructure - Bridges, railings, powerline towers, and municipal structures take advantage of rivet strength, longevity, and corrosion resistance in public works. Their non-destructive installation and one-sided access aids repairs.
Plumbing and Piping - Copper rivets provide reliable, permanent pipe joining that does not loosen over time like solder or glue. Useful for both freshwater and waste plumbing.
Whether the job calls for lightweight strength, vibration resistance, easy installation, or economic fastening of heavy materials, rivets deliver across nearly all manufacturing and construction sectors. Their versatility, strength, and longevity make them a frequently indispensable fastening technology. With various head styles and materials to suit each application, rivets will continue serving critical roles wherever reliable, permanent fastening is required. CNC Milling CNC Machining