Uses for Rivets in CNC Machining(metal parts manufacturing Nick)

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Rivets are a common fastener used in many manufacturing applications, including projects done with CNC machining. CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining utilizes computer-controlled equipment to automate fabrication processes like milling, routing, grinding, and drilling. Understanding the role rivets play in CNC machining is important for producing high quality finished parts. In this article, we'll explore some of the top uses for rivets in CNC work.
Joining Thin Materials
One of the most common uses for rivets in CNC machining is joining thin materials. Rivets create a solid mechanical attachment between sheets of metal, plastic, fiberglass, and other thin substrates. The riveting process involves drilling a hole through the materials to be joined, inserting the rivet, and deforming the protruding ends to clamp everything together. CNC machines excel at the precision hole drilling required prior to rivet installation. They allow for perfectly aligned holes in multiple parts, ensuring a tight fit when riveting thin substrates together.
Attaching Hardware and Components
In addition to joining thin sheets, rivets are also useful for attaching hardware, brackets, and other components to CNC machined parts. For example, rivets provide a durable fastening method to affix hinges, latches, and handles onto doors, lids, and panels fabricated through CNC processes. The rivets grip the machined part on one side and the hardware component on the other. Automated CNC drilling ensures accuracy when placing the rivet holes. Rivets eliminate the need to tap threads or weld small hardware pieces, simplifying production.
Permanent Fastening
For applications that require a permanent fastening solution, rivets are a good choice. Once installed, the deformed rivet ends are impossible to remove non-destructively. This permanent joining is advantageous for critical CNC machined components that must maintain their integrity. Compared to screws or bolts, rivets do not loosen or fall out from vibration. CNC fabrication often produces parts that will undergo dynamic loading, so permanent riveted fasteners enhance durability. The automated nature of computerized riveting also leads to consistency, unlike manual methods.
CNC machined enclosures, junction boxes, and assemblies meant for outdoor use are commonly riveted together to achieve a watertight seal. The physical deformation of the rivet shrinks and compresses the materials being joined, closing any gaps. When combined with a gasket or adhesive sealant, the result is an enclosure that resists moisture intrusion. Riveting the seams makes sense when a permanent waterproof joining method is needed, as screws or bolts could eventually leak. CNC automation allows for precision placement of rivets along the mating surfaces.
Weight Savings
While high strength, rivets are also very light. They weigh less than comparable threaded fasteners. Maximizing strength while minimizing weight is important for many CNC machined components, especially in the aerospace industry. Hundreds or even thousands of rivets may be required to assemble large CNC machined structures like wings or fuselages. So a small per-rivet weight savings multiplies into significant overall mass reduction. The automation and precision of CNC riveting also allows for tighter spacing between rivets than manual installation. More rivets can be fit into the same space, enhancing joint strength.
Speed of Assembly
When constructing CNC machined products that require many fastener points, riveting offers time savings versus screws or bolts. The installation of rivets is fast and easy, allowing for rapid joining of sub-assemblies. This speed is amplified by CNC equipment that can drill holes and install multiple rivets simultaneously. Automated riveting stations further reduce cycle times. The speed gains are most noticeable on large CNC fabrication jobs like aerospace structures, which may utilize thousands of rivets. Overall manufacturing throughput benefits from the ease and quickness of riveted connections.
The smooth appearance of flush rivets provides an aesthetic advantage over hex head bolts and exposed fasteners. On CNC machined parts where the exterior look and finish are important, rivets allow for sleek, streamlined joints between components. The minimal protrusion of rivet heads gives a clean integrated appearance, with no unsightly fastener holes. Products like consumer electronics can take advantage of this rivet benefit, with beautiful unbroken lines and surfaces. The precision hole drilling of CNC machinery ensures consistency in rivet placement and spacing.
Strength and Reliability
While their small size may be deceiving, rivets form incredibly strong, reliable joints. The physical deformation and radial expansion of the rivet as it is set squeezes materials tightly together between the head and tail. This clamping force is maintained indefinitely, providing joints that resist separation under tension or shear stresses. The integrity of connections is boosted further when using specialty rivets with teeth, ribs, grooves, or other mechanical locking features. CNC automation allows rivets to be installed with optimal force, maximizing strength. Consistency in hole drilling and rivet setting also improves joint reliability.
Low Part Count
When evaluating a CNC machined assembly, engineers always aim to minimize the overall part count. Fewer unique parts leads to simpler and more cost-effective production. Rivets aid this goal because a single hardware type can fasten many different configurations. The same rivet spec can join different material thicknesses, replace a range of threaded fasteners, and attach assorted components. CNC setup time is reduced by using a common rivet type for all sub-assemblies. Less rivet inventory is required. There is also less chance of missing hardware during field repairs.
In summary, rivets serve a variety of important functions in CNC machined products. From joining thin sheets to permanently fastening critical structures, rivets are versatile and dependable. Automated CNC machines provide speed, precision, and repeatability when drilling and installing rivets. Engineers should consider the benefits of rivets when designing parts and assemblies slated for CNC fabrication. Taking advantage of riveting technology leads to optimized manufacturing. CNC Milling CNC Machining