The Many Uses for Rivets in CNC Machining(hot rolling Penny)

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Rivets play an important role in manufacturing, especially in computer numerical control (CNC) machining. A rivet is a mechanical fastener that connects two or more objects together by inserting the rivet through holes in the parts to be joined and deforming the protruding ends. Rivets come in a variety of styles, sizes and materials to accommodate different applications and joining requirements. Understanding the uses for rivets in CNC can help manufacturers select the right rivet type and process for their specific needs.
Common Rivet Types Used in CNC
There are several basic types of rivets used in CNC machining:
- Solid rivets - These are one-piece rivets made entirely of the rivet material. Common materials are steel, aluminum, copper and stainless steel. The rivet head and shank are machined as part of the rivet body.
- Blind rivets - These have a hollow body and a mandrel through the center. Blind rivets are inserted into a hole and as the mandrel is pulled, the rivet body expands to create a head. The mandrel is then discarded.
- Drive rivets - These have an offset head so they can be driven into place similar to a nail. Once driven, the opposite end is flattened to create the second head.
- Split rivets - These have a pre-cut split along the shank so they can expand when driven into place. The head compresses the legs together.
- Structural rivets - Used for high-strength critical joints, these have large flange head styles. They are commonly made of steel, titanium or nickel-based alloys.
- Semi-tubular rivets - These have a partial hollow body and are ideal for softer, more ductile materials like copper, brass and soft steel.
Key Uses for Rivets in CNC Applications
Rivets serve both functional and aesthetic purposes in CNC products across a broad range of industries. Here are some of the most common uses:
Aerospace - Rivets are extensively used in aircraft assembly to join the fuselage skins and airframe components. The aviation industry commonly uses solid rivets made of aluminum, titanium and nickel-based alloys. Riveting provides reliable structural integrity.
Appliances - Many appliances rely on rivets for durable assembly. They are used to attach panels, handles, hinges and other components on products like washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers. Stainless steel and aluminum rivets are common.
Automotive - Cars, trucks and other vehicles use thousands of rivets during assembly. Body panels, frames, doors and interior parts are frequently joined with steel, aluminum and copper rivets. They also attach nameplates, trim and underhood components.
Electronics - Rivets provide reliable connections for electronics parts that must withstand shock, vibration and thermal stresses. They are commonly used to assemble mobile devices, computers, monitors, control panels, power tools, appliances and more.
Jewelry - High quality jewelry often incorporates rivet construction. Rivets provide durable mechanical connections for assembly versus soldering or welding. Precious metals like gold, silver and platinum are common.
Medical Devices - Rivets join medical equipment components that require rigid, failsafe connections. Surgical instruments, implants, hospital beds, monitors and tools rely on rivets made of stainless steel, titanium and other alloys.
Military/Defense - Rivets are indispensable in military equipment for rugged structural connections. Missiles, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and more leverage rivets made of steel, aluminum, titanium and nickel alloys.
How Rivets Are Installed in CNC
There are automated riveting techniques commonly used in CNC machining, including:
- Orbital riveting - This uses a CNC machine with a rivet insertion head and an orbital forming tool. The machine precisely aligns the parts, inserts the rivets and then forms the shop head. This provides excellent consistency and quality.
- Impact riveting - The CNC machine aligns the parts and inserts the rivet. Then an impact riveting tool forms the shop head using hammering force. This allows high-speed riveting.
- Rotary riveting - The CNC machine inserts the rivet into the aligned parts. A spinning chuckis applied to the rivet tip to form the shop head. This is fast and ideal for blind rivets.
- Roll forming - The rivet shank is inserted in the parts and then rolled between two CNC-controlled wheels to deform it and create the shop head. No impact force is required.
- Swaging - This uses a CNC-controlled swaging spindle to compress the inserted rivet shank and form the shop head. It creates a very uniform finish.
- Upsetting - Similar to swaging, the rivet shank is compressed between two CNC-controlled dies to flare out the tip and form the shop head.
Benefits of Riveting in CNC
Compared to welding, soldering or adhesives, riveting in CNC offers:
- High strength - Rivets form a direct metal-to-metal connection that maintains joint integrity under load.
- Consistency - CNC automated riveting provides excellent consistency in quality and strength.
- Speed - Automated riveting is very fast compared to manual methods.
- No heat - The cold forming process avoids any heat-related deformation.
- Material versatility - Rivets can join dissimilar metals without compatibility issues.
- Reusability - Most rivets can be drilled out and replaced if needed for repairs or design changes.
- Improved aesthetics - Rivets provide a clean visual appearance versus welding marks.
By understanding the various types and uses for rivets in CNC machining, manufacturers can effectively leverage riveting to optimize both the fabrication process and the finished product quality. The versatility and reliability of rivets will continue making them a go-to fastening solution across countless industries. CNC Milling