Introduction(types of fit Bert)

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Rivets are one of the oldest and most reliable methods for fastening materials together. A rivet is a mechanical fastener that consists of two main parts - a smooth cylindrical shaft and a head. The shaft is inserted into holes that have been drilled through the materials to be joined. The excess length of the shaft extends beyond the bottom material. A second head is then formed onto the protruding end of the shaft, mechanically locking the rivet in place.
Rivets have been used for thousands of years in construction and manufacturing applications. Although welding, adhesives and other fastening methods exist, rivets continue to be widely used due to their strength, durability and versatility. This article will provide an overview on rivet types, materials, installation processes and the many uses and applications for rivets across various industries.
Types of Rivets
There are several different types of rivets designed to meet the needs of diverse applications. The most common types include:
- Solid/blind rivets - tubular rivets with a built-in stem used for blind applications where access is only available to one side of the workpieces. The stem is pulled to flare out the rivet body and clamp materials together.
- Split rivets - tubular rivets with a pre-cut split along its length. The rivet has a domed head that is set by using a rivet gun or hammer to flare out the legs, clamping materials together between the head and legs.
- Drive rivets - tubular rivets with pre-assembled drive pin stem used in automated riveting systems. The drive pin is displaced during installation to flare the rivet body.
- Structural rivets - large, heavy duty rivets with elongated shafts and large head diameters designed for structural metal fabrication and boiler applications.
- Semi-tubular rivets - half-tubular rivets with no flange that are rolled into place to produce a second low-profile head. Used where a flush surface is needed.
Rivet Materials
Rivets come in a wide assortment of metals, polymers and composites to suit various performance requirements:
- Aluminum - lightweight, general purpose metal rivets with good corrosion resistance. Most common rivet type.
- Steel - strong carbon steel and alloy rivets with high shear and tensile strength. Used for high-stress applications. Can be heat treated. Prone to corrosion.
- Stainless steel - rivets with excellent corrosion resistance and temperature operating range. Used in harsh environments.
- Copper - rivets with good conductivity and corrosion resistance in non-oxidizing environments. Used in electronics.
- Monel - nickel-copper rivets with corrosion resistance comparable to stainless steel. Used in marine applications.
- Titanium - extremely strong yet lightweight rivets used in aircraft and high-performance applications.
- Plastic/nylon - lightweight general purpose polymer rivets with good electrical and thermal insulation.
- Composite - rivets made with high-strength reinforced fibers sandwiched between polymer matrices. Used in aviation.
Rivet Installation Processes
There are several techniques used to install rivets depending on rivet type and application requirements:
- Hand riveting - manual installation using a bucking bar on the backside and rivet hammer or rivet gun on the frontside to flare the rivet body. Used with many solid, blind and split rivets.
- Pneumatic riveting - air-powered rivet guns are used to quickly drive split, blind and some solid rivets. Allows high riveting speeds.
- Hydro-mechanical riveting - hydraulic squeezes or presses are used to install structural and large diameter rivets in heavy fabrication. Allows high force generation.
- Self-piercing rivets - tubular rivets driven through only one material layer by a die to flare and pierce into the lower layer. Used to join dissimilar metals.
- Orbital riveting - spinning radial forming heads are used to cold form the rivet head. Provides a flush surface finish. Used in aircraft.
- Automated riveting - robots and CNC machines instal drive rivets and specialty fasteners for mass production environments.
Uses and Applications
Rivets have an expansive range of uses and applications throughout manufacturing and construction industries including:
- Connecting steel I-beams, channels and zees in structural framing. Used extensively in bridges, towers, cranes and buildings.
- Joining roofing panels, siding and decking sheets on buildings. Provides leakproof joints.
- Assembling scaffolding frames, ladders, railings, ramps and other temporary structures. Allows onsite customization.
- Installing screens and panels on railcars, trucks and tractors. Provides removable and damage-resistant fastening.
Aircraft Manufacturing
- Fastening aircraft skin panels, ribs and stringers to the internal frame. Critical for airframe strength and life.
- Joining control surfaces like flaps, slats, rudders and stabilizers. Rivets allow smooth aerodynamic profiles.
- Assembly of engine casings, cowlings, pylons and landing gear doors. Reliable in high vibration environments.
Appliances and Electronics
- Manufacturing household appliances like washers, dryers and fridges. Joins outer shells and inner assemblies.
- Connecting electronic device enclosures and chassis. Provides electromagnetic interference shielding.
- Joining heatsink fins or panels to processor and power components. Facilitates heat dissipation.
- Assembling solar panel frames and satellite antenna dishes. Resists fatigue from wind loading.
Transportation Equipment
- Assembly of truck and trailer bodies from panels and structural members. Provides durable yet removable fastening.
- Joining railroad car and intermodal container bodies. Allows onsite repairs and modifications.
- Connecting vehicle body panels, roofs, deck lids, doors and fenders. Allows mass production with precision fit.
General Manufacturing
- Securing guarding panels, covers, motors and enclosures on machines and equipment. Provides protection and accessibility.
- Joining ducting sections, chutes, hoppers, silos and belt housings. Allows customized lengths and sealed joints.
- Fastening signs, railings, platforms and stair treads. Enables visible, safe and slip-resistant installations.
- Riveting shipping and storage container panels. Accommodates dimensional changes and abuse.
Rivets are a simple yet highly functional and cost-effective mechanical fastener proven through millennia of use across countless demanding applications. They continue to be a preferred choice over alternative fasteners methods in many situations due to their strength, reliability, design flexibility and ease of installation. Rivets come in a vast selection of types, materials and installation processes to suit nearly any industrial or construction application. Their versatility ensures rivets will remain a staple fastening technology for the foreseeable future. CNC Milling CNC Machining