Choosing High Quality Rivets for CNC Machining(acrylic cnc Flora)

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Rivets are an essential component in many manufacturing and construction projects. While traditional riveting relies on manual labor, computer numerical control (CNC) machining allows for faster, more precise, and consistent riveting. However, not all rivets are created equal when it comes to CNC applications. Choosing the right rivets can impact the quality, durability, and aesthetics of your finished product. Here’s what you need to know about selecting top quality rivets for your CNC machining needs.
Sourcing Rivets for CNC
When sourcing rivets for CNC machining, you’ll want to find a reputable supplier that specializes in hardware for manufacturing. Look for brands that manufacture rivets from durable metals like aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, and brass. The rivets should meet industry standards for dimensional accuracy with reliable head shapes, shank diameters, and lengths. High quality hardware suppliers test rivets extensively for shear and tensile strength. Avoid no-name rivets that lack verifiable specifications and quality control.
Metals and Finishes
Consider the type of metal and finish needed for your application. Aluminum and steel provide a good balance of strength and affordability. Stainless steel offers maximum corrosion resistance. Brass gives a decorative look. Copper is an excellent electrical conductor. Nickel and zinc coatings add corrosion protection to steel while aluminum comes in clear, colored, and black anodized finishes. The metal and coating should hold up to your CNC machining process without flaking or deteriorating.
Head Styles
Rivet heads are available in a range of styles including round, countersunk, large flange, and specialty shapes. Round head rivets have a dome shape that sits atop the material surface. Countersunk heads nest flush for a smooth finish. Large flange heads create wider clamping pressure. Specialty heads like multi-grip allow for variability in material thickness. Choose a head shape and size that provides sufficient bearing pressure without damaging the base material.
Shank Types
You’ll also need to decide between solid and semi-tubular shank types. Solid shank rivets are stronger but semi-tubular styles allow for tighter clinching. Closed end types offer the most strength while open end makes for easier installation. Opt for a shank diameter that gives a snug fit without splitting the rivet hole. It should adequately fill the hole to maximize compression strength when set.
Grip Lengths
Another key consideration is grip length, referring to the minimum and maximum material thickness the rivet shank can accommodate. Make sure the grip range can handle the exact stack-up of your parts being joined. Standard lengths like 1/8”, 3/16”, and 1/4” allow for typical material stacks. You can also source custom lengths for unique applications. The ideal grip leaves just enough shank protruding to form a full head without bottoming out.
Rivet Strength
As you evaluate rivets, pay close attention to shear and tensile strength values which indicate how much force the rivet can withstand before failing. Both solid shank and semi-tubular types should meet minimum strength criteria. Opt for rivets fabricated from robust metals and well-formed heads to achieve higher shear/tensile ratings. Testing is also critical to validate strength values from the manufacturer.
CNC Machining Settings
Your CNC programming and setup must align with the specifications of the rivets for optimal quality. Confirm the recommended force range for upsetting the rivet without cracking it. Enter the precise rivet length to position the workpieces for proper clinching. Set the anvil gap between the dies to allow complete rivet forming. Choose the number of hits and tonnage to cleanly set the rivet head without damage. Matching your tools, speeds, and forces to the rivet parameters prevents defects.
Automated Riveting Systems
For high volume production, automated riveting machines integrate seamlessly with CNC machining centers. These systems feed and upset rivets much faster than manual processes. Handheld riveting guns can tackle lighter duty connections. But auto-feed tools provide industrial-scale capabilities applied robotically or via CNC-programmed motions. This enables automated drilling, countersinking, insertion, and setting in a single work cell.
Inspecting Rivet Quality
Thorough inspection procedures are key to verifying rivet quality after CNC machining:
- Check for fully formed, concentric heads without cracks or chips. Heads should match shank diameter.
- Confirm full shank fill within holes and interlocking grip between top and bottom materials.
- Shear test sample rivets to validate clinch strength meets specifications.
- Examine for flush countersunk seating and uniform appearance across all rivets.
- Pull test rivets to check tensile strength and that shanks don’t pull out.
- Inspect for any scratching, gouging, or damage to material surfaces.
Proper rivet selection, CNC programming, and post-machining inspection ensures the high quality connections essential for durable products in sectors like aerospace, automotive, electronics, construction, and more. By partnering with an experienced hardware supplier and dialing in your automated riveting process, you can achieve consistent, long-lasting riveted joints. CNC Milling