The Importance of Using Quality Rivets in CNC Machining(plastic surface finish Godfery)

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Rivets are a crucial component in many CNC machined parts and products. While they may seem insignificant, using quality rivets can make a big difference in the durability and lifespan of your finished product. Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right rivets for your CNC machining application.
What are Rivets?
A rivet is a mechanical fastener that consists of two parts - a cylindrical shaft and a head. The shaft is inserted into a hole drilled or punched into the parts to be joined. The rivet head is then deformed on the other side, creating a bulge and clamping the materials together. This creates a permanent mechanical joint.
Rivets come in a variety of head shapes, materials, and sizes to accommodate different applications and materials being joined. Some common types of rivets are:
- Solid/Blind Rivets - tubular rivets with a head on one end. The opposite end is inserted into the hole and a tool deforms the tail to create the fastening bulge.
- Split Rivets - have a pre-cut split tail that folds outward during installation to create the fastening bulge.
- Drive Rivets - the rivet has a tapered square spindle that is driven into a tapered hole. This creates an incredibly strong joint.
- Structural Rivets - used for critical structural applications, these rivets have higher shear and tensile strength.
Why Use Quality Rivets in CNC Machining?
Using high-quality rivets in your CNC machined components is critical for several reasons:
Durability: Quality rivets are made from strong, durable materials that won’t degrade or corrode over time. They provide a robust, long-lasting fastening solution able to withstand vibration, shock loading, and temperature fluctuations. Inferior rivets may loosen or fail unexpectedly.
Precision: Precision-machined quality rivets provide consistent sizing and deformation. This allows for accurate, repeatable fastening during CNC machining operations. Lower quality rivets often have variations that can cause assembly problems.
Strength: Structural and high-strength rivets provide a vice-like clamping force and resistance to shear loads. Soft or substandard rivets are more likely to bend, loosen or shear off entirely under pressure.
Appearance: Superior finish and consistent shaping of quality rivet heads provide a neat, uniform appearance on CNC machined parts. Lower quality rivets often look irregular or sloppy.
What to Look for in Quality CNC Rivets
To ensure you choose the optimum rivets for your projects, keep these factors in mind:
Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and titanium alloys are common high-quality rivet materials. Choose rivets made from a material compatible with your application.
Coatings: Special coatings like zinc, cadmium, and anodized finishes protect against wear, galling, and corrosion. Use coated rivets for longevity in demanding environments.
Strength: Look for rivets meeting industry standards like NAS, AN, or MS specifications. These ensure adequate tensile and shear strength for critical structural joints.
Certifications: Reputable rivet manufacturers will provide certifications showing the rivets meet the required specifications. This validates the quality.
Precision: Quality rivets will have tight dimensional tolerances - especially the shaft diameter. This ensures consistent fit and installation.
Consistent Deformation: The rivet tails should deform evenly and predictably during installation. Test samples first to verify consistency.
Sourcing Your Quality Rivets
Reputable rivet manufacturers and machine shops are excellent resources for sourcing quality rivets for your CNC components. Here are some top suppliers to consider:
- Cherry Aerospace - Offers a huge selection of blind and solid rivets for aircraft, defense, and industrial uses.
- Falcon Fastening - Supplies a wide range of rivets and installation tools for the aerospace, automotive, and electronics industries.
- Ace Rivet - Large inventory of rivets for aircraft, marine, military, racing and other applications.
- Peterson Brothers - Rivet supplier specializing in aluminum, steel, stainless steel and specialty alloy rivets.
- Airpower America - Great source for hard-to-find and obsolete rivets for antique aircraft restorations.
- SkyGeek - Good inventory of rivets and rivet guns for airplane builders and restorers.
Investing in quality rivets from reputable suppliers is a smart tactic when undertaking any CNC machining project. The right rivets will help ensure your finished products have the highest levels of durability, strength, and quality possible. CNC Milling CNC Machining