Rivets: A Versatile and Useful Fastener(die cast definition Marian)

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Rivets are a common mechanical fastener used in many industries and applications. Though simple in design - typically just a cylindrical shaft with a head on one end - rivets serve as a sturdy, reliable way to join materials together. In this article, we'll explore the many uses and advantages of rivets.
What are Rivets?
A rivet is a permanent mechanical fastener that consists of two main parts - the rivet body, which is the shaft that goes through the materials being joined, and the rivet head on one end that is wider than the shaft. The rivet body is inserted through aligned holes in the materials, and then the excess shaft is removed, leaving just the rivet head on one side. The rivet head keeps the materials securely together.
Rivets come in a variety of styles, sizes, and materials. Some common types include:
- Solid/blind rivets - tubular rivets that are inserted and deformed for a tight fit. No access to the back side is needed.
- Structural rivets - used for high-strength applications. Require access to both sides.
- Drive rivets - have a pre-formed head and are driven into place with a tool.
- Pop rivets - tubular rivets that are set using a rivet gun. The gun pulls on the mandrel, deforming the rivet.
Rivets are commonly made from aluminum, steel, copper, or Monel (a nickel-copper alloy). The material is chosen based on required strength, corrosion resistance, and cost.
Key Uses and Applications
Rivets have been used since ancient times to join materials together. Today, they have numerous applications across many industries, including:
Aviation and Aerospace
Rivets are extensively used in aircraft construction to assemble the frame and attach outer 'skin' panels. Rivets in aircraft are typically aluminum or specialized high-strength alloys called cherry rivets. Usage of rivets instead of welding provides reliable fastening without risk of structural weaknesses developing due to heat-affected zones of welding. Rivets also allow for repairs and disassembly.
Building Construction
Rivets are commonly used to join gutter materials, secure roofing elements like flashing, and assemble framing pieces. Stainless steel rivets provide corrosion resistance for outdoors. Rivets distribute stress evenly across materials and allow for movement, an advantage over mortar and screws in some applications.
Automotive Manufacturing
Vehicles utilize rivets in interior and exterior parts assembly. Body panels, frames, doors, roofs, chassis elements and more are riveted for durability and ease of installation. Rivets withstand vibration and impacts well. Manufacturing with rivets also permits flexibility in design compared to welding.
Plumbing and HVAC Systems
Copper rivets are the preferred fastener for assembling copper pipes and tubing. The copper-to-copper contact avoids corrosion caused by dissimilar metals. Rivets also allow for quick installation and future adjustment if needed.
Electronics and Appliances
Rivets are common in the manufacture of electronics like computers, TVs, and home appliances. Small lightweight rivets efficiently attach internal framework, circuit boards, outer casing pieces and more. Varieties like drive rivets allow automated quick assembly.
Industrial Machinery
Manufacturing equipment across industries utilizes rivets for steel or aluminum construction. The balanced clamping force and reliability of rivets make them ideal for moving parts and vibrations. Regular machine inspection and rivet replacement can extend equipment lifetime.
Cans and Containers
The bodies and tops of aluminum cans are joined with rivets for air and liquid tight assembly. Pop rivets allow fast production line speeds. Rivets also join rolled steel in drum containers and sheet metal enclosures for equipment.
Other Uses
Further applications of rivets include securing truck beds and camper shells, building furniture, attaching sign letters, assembling playground equipment, creating jewelry, attaching straps and handles to luggage, and too many more uses to list!
Advantages of Rivets
There are many good reasons rivets continue to be a popular fastening choice across industries, including:
- Strong and permanent - Properly installed rivets form a tight clinch that does not loosen over time. The joint strength equals or exceeds the base materials.
- Vibration/shock resistant - Rivets maintain integrity through impacts, shaking and other stresses that can deteriorate other fasteners.
- Evenly distributes load - The full shank of the rivet shoulders force across the joint area rather than concentrating in one spot.
- No damage from drilling/threading - Hole drilling for rivets causes no material weaknesses like threaded fasteners can.
- Corrosion resistant options - Many rivet types resist rust, galvanic corrosion and other environmental damage.
- Quick installation - Riveting is simple and fast, allowing efficient production line use. Hand riveting takes little training.
- Variety of styles and sizes - With different rivet types, there is a suitable option for virtually any application.
- Adjustments/disassembly possible - Drilling out rivets allows repairs, changes and part reuse, unlike welding.
- Cost effective - Rivets are inexpensive relative to many other permanent fasteners. Automated riveting also lowers assembly labor costs.
While no single fastener is suited for every situation, rivets are a time-tested choice valued across countless industries. Their versatility, strength and ease of use will ensure rivets remain a vital component of modern manufacturing and construction for the foreseeable future. CNC Milling CNC Machining