Rivets Play an Important Role in CNC Manufacturing(online sheet metal fabrication Tom)

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Rivets may seem like simple fasteners, but they are an essential component in many products produced using computer numerical control (CNC) machining and other manufacturing processes. With capabilities to join materials securely while allowing some flexibility and movement, rivets serve a range of critical functions. Understanding the uses for rivets in manufacturing can help designers and engineers select the best options for their specific applications.
What Are Rivets?
A rivet is a mechanical fastener that consists of two main parts - a smooth cylindrical shaft and a head. The shaft is inserted into holes in the materials being joined. The head is wider than the shaft and is formed on one or both ends to create a strong joint. As the rivet is set, the materials being joined are held securely together between the head and shaft.
Rivets are available in many materials, sizes, and styles to accommodate different applications and requirements:
- Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, and titanium are common rivet materials. Lightweight aluminum is often used in aircraft applications. Stainless steel provides good corrosion resistance.
- Standard diameters range from 1/16 inch to 3/8 inch. Lengths vary based on material thickness.
- Solid rivets require access to both sides of a joint. Blind rivets can be set from one side when access is limited.
- Countersunk head rivets sit flush with materials. Dome head rivets protrude slightly.
Key Uses for Rivets in CNC Applications
Because of their versatility, strength, and ease of installation, rivets serve many important functions for products manufactured with CNC machining.
Joining Dissimilar Materials
One of the chief advantages of rivets is their ability to join dissimilar materials securely. For example, rivets can create strong joints between metals and plastics that might be difficult to weld together. The automotive industry relies heavily on rivets to assemble parts with mixed materials.
Providing Flexibility
Unlike welds, rivets allow some movement and realignment as materials shift and settle. This makes rivets well-suited for applications where vibrations or other forces may stress joints over time. Rivets help prevent cracking and fractures from developing in products.
Allowing Maintenance and Repair
It is relatively easy to drill out worn or damaged rivets for maintenance and repair purposes. New rivets can then be installed to return products to like-new condition. Rivets make rework simpler compared to permanent welds.
Securing Panels and Housings
Stamped or machined metal panels and housings are often joined together with rivets. The rivets allow easy assembly while creating durable, rattle-free enclosures for components.countersunk rivets provide a smooth surface for a quality finish.
Providing Non-Corrosive Fastening
Stainless steel and aluminum rivets provide corrosion-resistant fastening important for machinery and structures exposed to weather. Plastic rivets also resist corrosion for electronics housings, chemical tanks, and other applications.
Joining Dissimilar Thicknesses
Rivets readily join materials of varying thicknesses. The rivet length can be matched to the thinner material while still spreading properly in the thicker material. Lap joints take advantage of this flexibility.
Allowing Movement for Thermal Expansion
As temperatures change, materials expand and contract. Rivets allow the movement needed for thermal expansion to occur without distorting products. Machinery often includes rivets for this purpose.
Speeding Assembly Times
Riveting is very quick compared to machining threaded holes and bolts or other fastening methods. Large numbers of rivets can be installed rapidly using pneumatic tools for high-volume production.
Providing Design Flexibility
Rivets come in many head styles and materials to satisfy aesthetic requirements along with structural needs. Designers can select rivets to enhance rather than detract from the look of products.
Withstanding Vibration and Shock Loads
The grip of the rivet shaft and the relative flexibility of the joint allow rivets to resist vibration forces extremely well. Rivets also withstand shock loads from impacts better than most fasteners, a key advantage for equipment.
Rivet Options for CNC Manufacturing
With the right rivets selected for specific applications, CNC-machined products can achieve optimal quality, durability, appearance, and performance. Here are some top options to consider:
Aluminum Rivets - Lightweight and corrosion-resistant, these are ideal for aircraft, marine, electronics, and similar uses where weight savings matter.
Stainless Steel Rivets - For the best corrosion resistance and high strength, stainless steel rivets are effective but more costly. Common for chemical equipment and exterior structures.
Large Flange Rivets - The oversized flange spreads force over a wider area for extra joint strength. Useful where vibrations are present.
High Shear Rivets - Extra resistance to shear loads makes these suitable for high stress environments. Aerospace applications often utilize them.
Multi-Grip Rivets - Different diameters on a single rivet allow joining of varying material thicknesses efficiently. Reduces rivet sizes needed.
Custom Length Rivets - For unique material stack-ups, custom rivet lengths provide the proper grip range and optimum function.
Blind Rivets - Offering easy installation from one side, blind rivets reach internal locations. Used extensively in HVAC ducting, trucks, machinery, and similar equipment.
Rivets Play an Integral Role in Manufacturing
While hidden inside finished products, rivets perform critical functions in the manufacturing process. Their unique advantages allow rivets to solve design and production challenges that other fastening methods cannot always address effectively. With the right rivets selected for specific applications, high quality and durable products can be produced efficiently using CNC machining and other technologies. By understanding rivet options and capabilities, manufacturers can optimize processes, reduce costs, and deliver exceptional results. CNC Milling