Introduction(how strong is titanium Jeff)

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Rivets are a critical fastening component used extensively in manufacturing and CNC machining applications. A rivet is a mechanical fastener that consists of two main parts - a smooth cylindrical shaft and a head. The shaft is inserted into pre-drilled holes through the materials being joined and the head is upset, spread, bucked or shrunk to form the second head. This creates a permanent mechanical joint.
Rivets come in a variety of styles, sizes and materials to meet different design and assembly requirements. Choosing the right rivet is important to achieve a strong, reliable joint. Common rivet types used in CNC include blind rivets, solid rivets, drive rivets and special purpose rivets. Rivets offer numerous advantages that make them a popular choice for mechanized fastening in manufacturing.
Benefits of Rivets in CNC Machining
There are several key reasons rivets are extensively used for fastening in CNC machining and fabrication:
- High strength - Properly installed rivets form very strong, permanent joints. The upset head anchors materials together firmly. Joint strength meets or exceeds that of bolts.
- Reliability - Rivets joints have excellent vibration resistance and rarely come loose. Fatigue strength is higher than threaded fasteners.
- Speed - Automated riveting is extremely fast compared to other mechanical fastening techniques. CNC machines can install hundreds of rivets per minute.
- Low cost - Rivets are an economical fastening solution. Installation requires access to only one side which reduces labor. Minimal consumable parts keeps riveting costs low.
- Material versatility - Rivets come in a wide range of materials including aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, nickel and monomers. Suitable for joining dissimilar metals.
- Weight savings - The smooth shank and low profile head of rivets minimizes weight versus bolts. Weight reduction is advantageous in transportation applications.
- Improved appearance - The smooth appearance of rivet heads provides a more aesthetically pleasing fastened joint compared to bolts or screws.
Common Uses of Rivets in CNC Applications
Rivets serve many critical purposes in CNC machining and fabrication. Here are some of the most common applications:
- Sheet metal fabrication - Riveting sheet metal components together to produce enclosures, chassis, housings, ducts, cabinets etc. Blind rivets allow access from one side.
- Machinery assembly & repair - Rivets are ideal for joining machinery parts including gears, sprockets, chains, guards, handles and more. Allows precise fastening alignment.
- Outdoor equipment - All types of outdoor products from playgrounds to bleachers use rivets for durable exposed fastening. Resists corrosion and vibration loosening.
- Truck and trailer bodies - Rivets are extensively used in assembly of heavy truck and trailer parts. Provides reliable fastening under vibration and shock loads.
- Aluminum boats - Marine grade rivets join aluminum sheets to form hulls and decks on boats and ships. Prevents galvanic corrosion.
- Aircraft assembly - Aircraft grade rivets secure fuselage skins, wings, panels, ribs and other components on airplanes and helicopters. Optimizes weight savings.
- Rail cars - Riveting is essential for assembling rail car bodies, frames, doors and interior parts. Withstands heavy loads and vibration during transport.
- Cranes and lifting equipment - Critical components including booms, platforms, outriggers and cabs are riveted for safety and durability.
Types of Rivets Used in CNC Machining
There are many types of rivets available for CNC machining, each optimized for different applications and materials. Common varieties include:
- Blind rivets - Tubular rivets installed through only one side of a joint using a specialized setting tool. Used where there is only single side access.
- Solid rivets - Cylindrical rivets where both heads are formed during installation. Requires access to both sides of a joint.
- Drive rivets - Includes round, countersunk and large flange rivets. Set by hammering to deform the manufactured head.
- Self-piercing rivets - Pierces and clinches material in a single operation without pre-drilling. Joins dissimilar/overlapping materials.
- Structural rivets - Large heavy rivets used for joining structural steel components. Includes universal head and countersunk head.
- Monel rivets - Corrosion resistant nickel-copper rivets used in marine, chemical and other harsh environments.
- Expanding mandrel rivets - Blind rivets with an expanding mandrel for high strength large diameter joints.
- Screw rivets - Threaded tubular rivet with nut, allows for field disassembly. Used where periodic fastener removal is required.
Rivet Materials
Rivets are manufactured from various metals to provide different strengths, corrosion resistance and other properties. Most common materials include:
- Aluminum - Lightweight aircraft grade aluminum used for high strength and corrosion resistance. 2117 is a common aircraft rivet alloy.
- Steel - Low carbon steel and alloy steel rivets with high shear and tensile strength. Used for structural applications.
- Stainless steel - Corrosion resistant stainless rivets for highly demanding environments. 304 and 316 grades common.
- Copper - Good conductivity and corrosion resistance. Used in electrical applications and acidic/alkaline conditions.
- Monel - Nickel-copper alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. Used in marine and chemical environments.
- Titanium - Extremely strong but lightweight rivets. Used in aerospace applications where weight savings are critical.
Rivets are an indispensable permanent fastener used throughout manufacturing and CNC machining. Their vibration resistance, strength, speed of installation and reliability make them ideal for mechanized production. With the variety of head styles, materials and installation methods available, rivets can meet virtually any application requirement. Their extensive use in all forms of fabrication will continue due to the performance and economic benefits riveting provides. CNC Milling