Uses for Rivets in Manufacturing and Construction(7075 vs 6061 aluminum Kerr)

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Rivets are one of the oldest and most reliable fastening systems, dating back thousands of years. A rivet is a short metal pin with a head on one end that is inserted through holes in multiple pieces of material. The unheaded end is then mechanically deformed with a rivet gun or hammer to create a second head, clamping the materials together. Rivets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials for diverse applications. Understanding the capabilities and advantages of rivets can help determine if they are the right fastener for a particular project.
Common Uses for Rivets
Aircraft and Aerospace Applications
Rivets are extensively used in aircraft and aerospace applications to assemble light-weight components. Aircraft-grade rivets are made from lightweight and strong aluminum alloys, titanium and specialty steels. The riveted joints are reliable and can withstand enormous stresses from pressurization, maneuvering and turbulence. Rivets distribute load over a wider area compared to bolts, reducing risk of material failure. They can be installed quickly with automated equipment, an important factor in large-scale aircraft production. Rivets also minimize protruding surfaces that would increase drag.
Metal Fabrication and Machinery
Rivets are commonly used to assemble sheet metal fabrications of all kinds. They are applied to join sheets, plates, handles, hinges, frames and enclosures with precision alignment. Rivets allow for quick fastening and installation compared to welding or adhesives. The joints also allow for some flexibility and vibration damping that is not possible with welds. Rivets are advantageous for assembling heavy machinery, appliances, storage containers, furniture and many other products. Self-piercing and semi-tubular rivets eliminate the need to pre-drill holes.
Automotive Assemblies
Rivets offer several benefits for automotive manufacturing. Steel and aluminum rivets provide reliable fastening between body panels and frames. Self-pierce rivets can join different thicknesses and dissimilar materials like steel and aluminum. Access limitations make welding difficult for some automotive applications. The rapid cold joining process with rivets allows high-speed automation on assembly lines. Structural joints with rivets also dampen noise and vibrations.
Construction and Infrastructure
The versatility of rivets makes them ideal for assembling structural frames, railings, bridges, cranes and various building components. The clamping pressure of cold-driven rivets creates tight joints needed for heavy structural loads. Aluminum and stainless steel rivets withstand weather elements and prevent rust. Access limitations for site construction favor riveted connections over welding. Pop rivets allow for simple hand installation. Structural rivet applications must follow proper spacing and edge margin requirements.
Shipping Containers and Boilers
Marine grade rivets reliably fasten thick high-strength steel used in shipping containers, barges and boilers. The flowing metal and high clamp force of hot driven rivets compensate for variability in drilled holes. Lap joints allow reliable seals while accommodating some flexing. Large diameter rivets are commonly used for joining thick steel plates in these heavy industrial applications.
Key Properties and Advantages of Rivets
High Tensile Strength
The thick shank and head of most rivets match or exceed the tensile strength of the materials they join. This allows rivets to withstand significant static and cyclic loads without stretching, bending or cracking. Aircraft-grade rivets come in extra high strength varieties.
Reliable Joints
The cold flow and radial expansion of rivet installation creates consistent clamping force to hold materials securely together. The joints can handle vibration and shock better than nuts and bolts. Joint strength remains more consistent with variable operator installation compared to fasteners requiring torquing.
Corrosion Resistance
Aluminum and stainless steel rivets maintain their integrity through years of service in harsh environments. Monel and titanium rivets provide excellent corrosion resistance for specialized applications such as marine hardware. Zinc plating or dichromate coatings protect steel rivets.
Quick Installation
Riveting tools allow rapid installation optimal for production environments. Self-piercing rivets eliminate the need for pre-drilled holes in many applications. Robotic riveting achieves very high speed and consistency. Permanent rivets cannot loosen over time like threaded fasteners.
No Heat or Sparks
The cold joining process allows use of rivets near flammable materials. No sparks or heat-affected zones are created. Separate surface treatment is not needed after riveting. Riveting causes no distortion compared to welding, ideal for precise assemblies.
Weight Savings
Rivets made from aluminum, titanium and other lightweight alloys minimize weight in aircraft, autos and other assemblies. Smaller diameter rivets can often replace larger bolts. Overall reductions in component weight by using rivets can be significant.
Noise and Vibration Damping
The clamping force of rivets creates stiff joints needed for strength and precision. However, riveted joints also allow more elastic deformation and flexibility compared to welds. This damping effect helps reduce noise and vibration transmission in machinery and structures.
Rivet Options and Materials
Blind Rivets
Also known as pop rivets, these have internal stems that are pulled to expand the rivet bodies. Blind rivets are installed from one side without access to the opposite side.
Solid Rivets
A shank and head are forged together out of a single piece of material. Common head styles include round, flat and countersunk.
Structural Rivets
These have large diameters and high shear strengths designed for joining structural steel. They are driven using heavy tools and large set.
Self-Piercing Rivets
As the name implies, these rivets do not need pre-drilled holes. They have very hard heads that cut through materials and interlock when driven.
Aluminum Rivets
Offering light weight and good corrosion resistance, aluminum is the most common rivet material. Aircraft grade aluminum rivets come in 2000, 5000 and 7000 series alloys.
Steel Rivets
Low-carbon steel, alloy steel and stainless steel rivets cover a wide range of strength and corrosion resistance needs. Zinc plating provides corrosion protection for steel rivets.
Monel Rivets
This nickel-copper alloy has excellent corrosion resistance while maintaining good strength and ductility. Monel rivets are used in marine applications.
Titanium Rivets
Titanium offers the best strength-to-weight ratio and withstands severe operating environments. Rivets made of titanium alloys excel in aerospace applications.
In summary, rivets offer unique advantages as reliable and rapid fastening solutions. Their flexibility, dampening, and corrosion resistance suit diverse construction, industrial and aerospace applications. With variety of types and material options, rivets continue growing as a popular modern assembly choice alongside threaded fasteners and adhesives. Understanding rivet properties and capabilities allows selecting the optimal option. CNC Milling CNC Machining