Introduction to Rivets and Their Uses(zinc alloy casting Jerome)

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Rivets are a fundamental fastening technology that have been used for thousands of years. A rivet is a short metal pin that is inserted through holes in two or more pieces of material and then deformed on one or both ends to hold the pieces together. The deformation on the ends is called the shophead and bucktail of the rivet. Rivets allow for a strong mechanical fastening of materials that can withstand significant stresses and vibration. They are commonly used in many industrial applications as well as traditional crafts. In this article, we will provide an overview of rivet types and their many uses across industries.
Major Rivet Types
There are several major types of rivets used today including solid rivets, blind rivets, drive rivets, and special purpose rivets.
Solid rivets are one of the original rivet types consisting of a cylindrical body and head. To apply them, the material is drilled through and the rivet body is inserted into the hole. The excess body material beyond the hole is then forged into a second head opposite the pre-formed shophead, creating the bucktail. This process deforms the rivet body to grip the materials tightly together between the two heads.
Blind rivets emerged as a convenient alternative that could be inserted on one side of a material and buckled on that same side without access to the opposite side. The rivet is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and a tool pulls the stem of the rivet, expanding the body and forming the bucktail. The stem then snaps at a breakpoint, leaving the set rivet in place.
Drive rivets have a hollow body and are applied using a headed pin tool. The pin is inserted into the rivet body and struck by the tool which flares out the body to form the bucktail. The flaring action locks the rivet in place without deforming the opposite side.
Special purpose rivets include a variety of designs optimized for specific applications and environments. Some examples are large structural rivets, drive rivets, blind flush rivets, and rivets tailored for high temperatures.
Uses of Rivets Across Industries
Rivets serve an important role in many industries providing reliable and robust permanent fastening. Here are some of the leading applications.
Aircraft Manufacturing - Aircraft contain thousands of rivets in skins and structural components. The aerospace industry relies heavily on specialty rivets including flush, blind, and drive rivets optimized for lightweight, high-strength, and vibration resistance.
Construction - Solid aluminum and steel rivets are commonly used in building construction for joining structural members, HVAC ducting, metal studs, and corrugated decking. Riveting provides reliable connections that won't come loose over time like fasteners.
Automotive - Cars use rivets in internal frames, springs, panels, trim pieces and more. Blind rivets allow riveting of components from only one side during assembly. Rivets from hardened materials prevent vibration loosening.
Appliances - Household appliances like ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc. all rely on rivets to assemble sheet metal housings and attach components. The permanence and vibration resistance of rivets helps appliance lifetime and durability.
Jewelry Crafting - Small lightweight rivets provide an alternative to soldering for jewelry makers to join pieces of chain, findings, leather, and metal sheets. Hand tools allow jewelry artists to set rivets for custom designs.
Leathercraft - Leather artisans and crafters use rivets to join pieces of leather for belts, bags, wallets, sheaths, and horse tack. The large flanged heads provide stability and decorative accents. Rivets withstand flexing better than stitching alone.
Woodworking - Furniture builders and woodworkers use rivets for joining metal brackets, handles, and edging to wooden pieces. The permanence of rivets prevents loosening over time from vibration and wear.
Marine Applications - Riveting remains a preferred fastening method for boat hulls and marine components. The vibration resistance and corrosion allowance makes rivets well suited for the marine environment.
Industrial Fabrication - Heavy machinery, agricultural equipment, cranes, platforms, and structural fabrication all employ rivets for permanent critically stressed joints. Large structural rivets join steel I-beams, building frames, crane booms, and more.
Riveting Processes and Best Practices
Properly applying rivets requires care and the right equipment to produce secure lasting joints. Here is an overview of modern riveting processes.
Hole Sizing - For most applications, the drilled hole should be the same diameter as the rivet body. Aircraft rivets require precise hole sizing to 0.002 inches larger than the rivet. Tight holes ensure the rivet fills and grips the entire hole.
Drilling - Drilling materials to be riveted should be firmly clamped together if possible. Backing the drill with a block of wood prevents burrs and deformation. Slow feed rates and frequent bit clearing gives clean cuts.
Countersinking - For flush rivets, holes must be countersunk to seat the flush shophead using tapered countersink bits. Depth must be precisely controlled to avoid too shallow or deep sinks.
Rivet Setting - Pneumatic rivet guns provide the force needed to upset rivets. Guns range from light pop rivet tools to large bucking bar riveters for structural steel. Proper gun size, air pressure, and nosepieces ensure quality bucktail formation.
Head Finishing - Bucktail rivets may have remnants of the stem or small burrs that can be lightly sanded or filed off for a smooth finished look. Flush rivets can be precisely milled to a smooth surface.
Inspection - All completed rivet joints should be inspected for proper seating of the rivet head and shophead, full engagement into the base material, and alignment of the rivet axis with the joint direction. Any defects could compromise strength.
By following these best practices for hole preparation, rivet selection and specification, and controlled process execution, rivet joints can achieve their full load capability and service life. Attention to detail allows rivets to continue excelling in permanent joining applications across every industry.
Rivets have proven their immense value as a fastening method since ancient times. The variety of modern rivet types including solid, blind, drive, and specialty rivets means there is a suitable option for almost any application where a permanent, vibration resistant joint is needed. Industries across the board take advantage of rivets unique qualities to improve product lifetime, durability, and reliability. With care and know-how, rivets can continue delivering robust and lasting fastening solutions. CNC Milling CNC Machining