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- source:TAMIKO CNC Machining
In CNC machining, rivets provide a quick and efficient way to assemble parts that need a permanent mechanical connection. They are also easily installed using automated riveting machines. Understanding where and how rivets are used in CNC can help machinists optimize their production processes.
Sheet Metal Fabrication
One of the most common uses of rivets in CNC machining is for assembling sheet metal fabrications. Rivets create durable joints between pieces of sheet metal while allowing some flexibility in the joint. This is important when assembling complex sheet metal enclosures, brackets, chassis, and other structural fabrications.
The automated nature of CNC machining makes it easy to drill consistent rivet holes at precise locations in sheet metal parts. This ensures proper alignment when the parts are assembled. The male and female parts of the rivet joint are placed together and then a rivet gun or other automated system drives the rivet in place to flare out the tail and create a permanent joint.
Rivets create smooth exterior surfaces compared to screw or bolt heads, improving aesthetics on external sheet metal surfaces. They also distribute stresses more evenly across the joint compared to screws which concentrate force. This can help prevent cracks from forming around holes in thin sheets.
Piping and Plumbing Systems
In plumbing and piping systems, rivets provide leak-proof joints between tubes, pipes, flanges, brackets, and hangers. Aluminum and stainless steel rivets are common for assembling hygienic food processing piping while steel rivets are used in high temperature steam pipe systems.
CNC machining excels at fabricating these piping system components because of the accuracy needed in hole placement. A small deviation can lead to misaligned joints and leaks. CNC drilling, tapping, and riveting systems produce precision parts ready for reliable assembly.
Riveting also allows joints to be made in tight spaces where welding would be difficult. And unlike screws, rivets do not loosen over time when subjected to vibration and thermal cycles. This helps maintain integrity in systems carrying fluids under pressure.
Electronic Device Assembly
Rivets are commonly used inside electronic devices to assemble casing and bracket components. The rivets act as permanent fasteners between sheet metal and plastic parts that house printed circuit boards, displays, and other electronics.
CNC machining helps mass produce these electronic enclosures with excellent fit and finish. Parts can be drilled and riveted with tight tolerances thanks to the precision of CNC. This improves assembly efficiency and product longevity compared to lower accuracy manual processes.
Using rivets instead of screws on the product exterior also contributes to a cleaner industrial design. Rivets allow for flush surfaces without fastener heads protruding. And the permanence of rivets prevents consumers from improperly opening devices during repair attempts. Interior screws are still used for serviceability while exterior rivets keep the product securely sealed.
Aerospace manufacturing was an early adopter of rivets for assembling airplane fuselages, wings, and other structures. Riveting provides the combination of strength, stress distribution, and lightweight properties needed in aircraft design.
While much aircraft production has transitioned to automated composite fabrication, aluminum sheets riveted together are still used extensively on aircraft exteriors. CNC machining cut these sheets to shape and drills the rivet holes with tight tolerances. Automated riveting machines then join the parts together into subassemblies like wings which are joined to the fuselage.
CNC precision minimizes errors that could compound during the assembly process leading to misaligned airframe structures. This level of quality control ensures aircraft meet strict regulatory standards for safety and reliability. And on a finished aircraft, several million rivets may be used to hold the entire structure together.
Though one of the oldest mechanical fastener technologies, rivets continue to be a vital part of modern CNC machined products. They create durable and permanent joints between sheets, plates, tubes, and other structures when an assembly needs a smooth exterior surface. With CNC precision, rivets can be quickly applied for mass production while maintaining high quality standards. From aircraft to electronics, plumbing to enclosure panels, rivets solved key assembly problems. Continuing to understand their advantages allows CNC machinists to produce innovative manufactured goods. CNC Milling CNC Machining