The Many Uses for Rivets in CNC Machining(hot vs cold rolled steel Orville)

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Rivets are a crucial fastening component for many CNC machined parts and products. Though often overlooked, rivets serve a variety of important functions across numerous industries. This article will explore the various applications and benefits of riveting in CNC work.
What Are Rivets?
A rivet is a mechanical fastener that consists of two main parts: the rivet body and mandrel. The rivet body is a head on one end, a shank, and a second head formed on the other end. The mandrel is the shaft that fills the hole in the middle of the rivet body.
Rivets are inserted into pre-drilled holes in the materials being joined. The rivet is placed in the hole and the mandrel end is upset, rolled, pressed, or hammered to flare out the second head. This creates a solid rivet tailored to the type of application.
Common Rivet Types for CNC
There are several types of rivets commonly used in CNC machining and fabrication:
- Solid rivets: Made entirely from the rivet body material. Used for high strength and permanent applications.
- Blind rivets: Have a mandrel that detaches after setting. Used where only one side is accessible for riveting.
- Drive rivets: Feature a small stem protruding from the rivet body. Set by a rivet driving tool.
- Semi-tubular rivets: Have a partial hole and are lower profile. Used for lightweight materials.
- Structural rivets: Have large domed heads and high shear strength. Used for structural assemblies.
- Self-piercing rivets: Cut their own hole during setting. Used on soft or coated materials.
Benefits of Riveted Construction
Riveting offers many benefits that make it a highly versatile joining method in CNC work:
- Strong and reliable fastening: Rivets form a tight mechanical connection. Proper installation resists vibration loosening.
- Adjustability: Shank can pivot within hole allowing alignment of uneven surfaces.
- Easy inspection: Visual checking for proper set head formation to ensure quality.
- No heat or sparks: Cold setting reduces fire risks compared to welding or brazing.
- Variety of materials: Rivets come in many materials like aluminum, steel, copper, titanium, and more.
- Quick installation: Automated rivet setting allows fast production rates.
- Low skill requirement: Minimal training needed for manual and automated riveting.
- Weight savings: Rivets utilize thinner materials than alternatives like bolts.
Key CNC Applications for Rivets
Riveting is commonly used across many CNC machining applications. Here are some of the most prominent uses:
Aerospace and Aviation
Aircraft construction heavily utilizes riveting to join lightweight aluminum sheeting and frames. The reliability, vibration resistance, and flexibility of rivets make them ideal for aerospace assemblies. Self-piercing rivets allow efficient fastening of layered composite materials.
Transportation Manufacturing
From automobiles to railcars, rivets provide trusted durability for vehicular structures and enclosures. The combination of strength and adjustability suits the assembly of large transportation components. Riveting also withstands environmental exposure better than adhesives.
Electronics Enclosure and Mounting
Rivets offer secure fastening of sheet metal electronics enclosures while avoiding electrical hazards of welding. They also mount internal components like circuit boards and maintain grounding continuity. Vibration and drop resistance help protect sensitive electronics.
HVAC Ducting Systems
HVAC duct sections are commonly joined using rivets due to speed of installation and reliable sealing against air leakage at joints. Riveted ducts also allow for flexibility to accommodate routing around structural features.
Plumbing and Tank Fabrication
Rivets provide leak-proof joining of plumbing pipes as well as storage tanks for liquids and gases. The mechanical clinching and inherent redundancy of multiple rivets prevent risky leaks. Riveting also joins dissimilar metals like plumbing fixtures and valves.
CNC Machining Capabilities for Quality Riveting
To properly utilize rivets in CNC projects requires machining capabilities tailored to rivet installation and production. Here are some key CNC features for riveting operations:
- Automated rivet feeding for inserting rivets into pre-drilled holes. Reduces assembly time.
- Computer-controlled rivet setting using presses, rollers, or integrated tools. Ensures consistent and repeatable clinching.
- Precision hole drilling with servo-driven spindles. Delivers accurate and smoothly drilled rivet holes.
- Integrated inspection systems. Automated checking of rivet placement and set head formation.
- Robotic arms for riveting of large or complex parts and structures. Increases flexibility.
- Software support for rivet program generation. Simplifies riveting pattern and sequence planning.
-Toolchanging capabilities. Allows automatic changing of drills and rivet setters to reduce downtime.
By utilizing these advanced capabilities, CNC machines can fully leverage rivets to streamline manufacturing and improve part quality.
With their combination of strength, flexibility, and process integration, rivets are a truly invaluable fastening solution for CNC applications. CNC's precision and automation graft especially well with rivets to enable efficient and high-quality fabrication across a diverse array of industries and products. Riveting will continue seeing widespread use thanks to reliability, cost-effectiveness and performance advantages over alternatives. By understanding the forms, benefits and applications for rivets, CNC programmers and machine operators can produce superior riveted components. CNC Milling CNC Machining