Rivets - Versatile Fasteners With a Wide Range of Uses(aerospace cnc machining Burgess)

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Rivets are versatile mechanical fasteners used to join and assemble materials in a wide range of applications. Though often associated with metalworking, rivets can be made from various materials and used to fasten many different types of materials together. Let's explore the functionality, benefits, and diverse uses of rivets.
What Are Rivets and How Do They Work?
A rivet is a cylindrical shaft with a head on one end. The shaft is inserted through pre-drilled holes in the materials being joined, and the second end is hammered/pressed to form another head. This process is called riveting. The deformed shaft mechanically fastens the materials together using the clamping force exerted by the two heads.
The main types of rivets are:
- Solid/Blind Rivets - The rivet is entirely solid and hammering the tail end flares it to form the second head. Used where only one side is accessible.
- Split Rivets - These have a pre-cut split shaft that folds outward during installation. This allows use where both sides are accessible.
- Structural Rivets - Used for critical load-bearing joints. They have higher shear and tensile strength.
- Semi-Tubular Rivets - Resemble small tubes rather than solid shafts. Used for lighter materials.
Benefits of Rivets:
- Durable fastening even under vibrations and loads
- Do not come loose over time like screws or bolts
- Quick and easy installation in most cases
- Can accommodate some variations in hole size/alignment
- Temporary fastening possible by leaving off second head
- Less need for specific torque specifications during installation
- Variety of head shapes and shaft types available
Uses of Rivets Across Industries
Rivets are one of the most widely used mechanical fasteners thanks to their versatility, effectiveness, and ease of use. Some of the most common applications include:
Aviation and Aerospace
Rivets are extensively used in aircraft assembly. The integrity and reliability of riveted joints are crucial for flight safety. Different types like solid, blind, and structural rivets are used according to requirements. Riveting assembles everything from the airframe to interior furnishings.
Construction and Infrastructure
Steel structures like bridges, towers, cranes etc. involve riveted connections for critical load-bearing joints. Rivets assemble transmission towers, mobile cranes, offshore oil rigs, stadium roof supports and more. They are also commonly used to affix rails, pipes, wire ropes/cables, and ducting.
Manufacturing and Plant Equipment
Industrial machinery, processing equipment, generators, and associated structures often use rivets for assembly. They can join sheet metal enclosures, frames, hoppers, silos, and various mechanized parts. Riveting aluminum is especially common for equipment like walkways, ladders, process vessels etc.
Automotive and Transportation
Cars use rivets to assemble chassis, body panels, frames, and other sections subjected to vibration. Trucks, rail cars, trailers, bicycles, ATVs, and watercraft also involve riveted construction. Special rivets are used around windows and the trunk because they provide a tight seal against water and air leakage.
Electronics and Appliances
Electronics housings, brackets, wire managers, circuit boards, transformers, etc. often employ rivets for cost-effective fastening and electrical bonding. Appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc. use rivets to assemble sheet metal casings and frames that must withstand vibration and impacts over years of use.
Military and Defense Equipment
Ballistic panels, armor plates, vehicle and vessel hulls, shields, protective gear, and weapon accessories utilize heavy-duty rivets including specialty types like high-shear rivets. Riveting provides reliable assembly that survives shock, vibration, and harsh operating conditions.
Furniture and Fixtures
Rivets offer high shear strength for assembling furniture frames, legs, hinges, rails, stands, racks, cabinets, and more. They can join materials like aluminum, steel, wood, and plastic. Riveting is also used for fixtures like shelving, safety barriers, retail displays, workbenches, and counters.
Jewelry Making
Jewelry craftspeople use small, decorative rivets to join and adorn necklaces, bangles, pendants, brooches, and more. Tiny rivets add a rugged, industrial vibe. Some rivets designed for jewelry making have semi-precious stones set into the heads.
Clothing and Accessories
Denim jeans, leather jackets, belts, wallets, purses, shoes, boots, backpacks, straps, and similar goods often use rivets for decoration as well as durability. Rivets reinforce stress points and add stylistic flair. Colored and branded rivets can make the designs pop.
Key Takeaways
Rivets provide reliable, vibration-resistant fastening for an enormous range of products and structures. Easy installation and durable performance make them a versatile mechanical fastening solution for all sorts of materials across many industries. While often seen in metal applications, rivets work with plastics, composites, leather, wood, and more. Whether an airplane or a pair of jeans, rivets deliver practical fastening and plenty of design appeal. CNC Milling CNC Machining