Introduction to Rivets and Their Uses in CNC(chrome plating removal Nat)

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Rivets are a crucial fastening component used in many CNC (computer numerical control) manufacturing applications. A rivet is a mechanical fastener that connects two or more materials by inserting a metal pin through pre-drilled holes and deforming the free end to create a head. The deformation tightens the rivet in place, forming a permanent joint. Rivets come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and materials to accommodate different design needs. Understanding when and how to utilize rivets is an important skill for CNC operators and engineers. This article will provide an overview of common rivet types, their manufacturing process, and key uses cases for rivets in CNC machining.
Blind Rivets
One of the most popular rivet types used with CNC equipment is the blind rivet. As the name implies, these can be inserted and fastened from one side of a workpiece without needing access to the opposite side. Blind rivets are cylindrical and have a pre-formed head on one end. The rivet body is inserted into pre-drilled holes in the materials being joined. A special blind rivet gun is used to draw a mandrel through the center of the rivet, flaring out the free end and clamping the rivet in place.
Blind rivets are extremely useful when assembling layered or sandwiched materials in CNC manufacturing. They provide a fast, reliable joining method without the need for manual access to both sides of the assembly. Common applications include fastening sheet metal fabrications, securing insulation or sound damping materials inside enclosures, and assembling electronic components. The automation friendly process lends itself well to CNC assembly operations.
Solid Rivets
Solid rivets are among the most traditional rivet types used in industrial applications. They consist of a solid cylindrical rivet body without a mandrel. Solid rivets are inserted into pre-drilled holes across two or more stacked materials. The protruding end is then upset and hammered by a rivet gun or other tool to flare out the rivet head. This deformation creates a wide clamping force along the length of the rivet shank.
Solid rivets provide a very strong, permanent joining solution. They are commonly used in heavy machinery, aircraft and structural fabrication. CNC machining centers can automate the drilling and riveting process for high volume production. Operators load rivets into specialized tool magazines that feed into automated riveting spindles. This allows flexible drilling and driving thousands of solid rivets quickly and reliably. The process is commonly used to assemble large aerospace structures and other high-demand industries.
Self-Piercing Rivets
Self-piercing rivets completely eliminate the need for pre-drilled holes. As their name states, these rivets pierce through stacked materials and mechanically join them without separate hole drilling. A semi-tubular rivet body is pressed into the materials at high force. The force flares out the bottom of the rivet body into an interlocking head.
This makes self-piercing rivets extremely fast and automation-friendly for CNC machinery. Operators simply load rivet strips into a special spindle tool magazine. The CNC machine handles precise piercing and flaring of the rivet in a single step. No drill bits or tool changes are required. Self-piercing rivets are commonly used to assemble overlapping sheet metals, plastic and composite materials in a mass production environment.
Rivet Nut Fasteners
While most rivets are used to join materials in flat layers, rivet nuts provide fastening capability for securing bolts and screws in a perpendicular orientation. A rivet nut consists of a threaded fastener segment mounted into a rivet body. Special riveting tools insert and flare the rivet nut into materials rapidly. The result leaves permanent, machine screw threads in the workpiece.
This technique is commonly used on CNC routers to create fastening points in wood, plastic and sheet metal materials. Operators can then quickly secure ancillary components like hinges, handles and brackets using standard bolts and screws. This saves the cumbersome step of tapping many individual threaded holes. Permanent rivet nuts also have vibration and pullout resistance superior to threaded inserts.
Automated Riveting Systems
As rivets grow in popularity for mass production, CNC machinery builders have responded with automated systems to handle every aspect of the riveting process. This includes automated loaders to keep spindle magazines stocked with rivets, servo-driven drill modules for precision hole alignment, and pressure foot tool changers for rapid rivet upset. Operators simply load the raw materials and enter the appropriate program coordinates.
The CNC machine handles precise hole sizing, rivet type selection, insertion and flaring completely unattended. Such automation enables lights-out manufacturing for maximum productivity. Automated riveting cells help industries like electronics and aerospace fabrication meet rising demand while minimizing labor costs. Continued innovation in tooling, materials and machine integration will likely make automated riveting systems even faster and more affordable for small manufacturers.
Rivet Technology and Material Advances
Both rivet designs themselves and the materials used continue advancing to meet changing manufacturing needs. New polymer and composite rivets provide good fastening capability with reduced mass compared to steel or aluminum. Specialty rivet alloys resist vibration loosening in high stress environments. Large flange head designs distribute load over wider areas for structural joints. And new installation tools allow easier access in tight spaces.
CNC controllers now have expanded software support for controlling every aspect of the riveting process. This includes options like variable hole centering to account for material variance, special flattened rivet tips that flare smoothly, and selective rivet inversion where head location is important. Modern CNC systems also collect and analyze rivet setting force data to fine tune quality control.
As materials science and software tools progress, so will the applications possible with automated riveting technology.
Rivets remain one of the most widely used and reliable mechanical fasteners for CNC fabrication and assembly. From simple blind rivets for adding layers, to permanent solid rivets for heavy joining, to exotic self-piercing and nut insert designs, the flexibility is unmatched. With modern advances in automated tooling and data driven process control, rivets will continue growing as a superior fastening solution. Companies can leverage these technologies to build complex products faster, safer and more cost effective than ever before. By understanding the core capabilities and use cases, CNC programmers can apply automated riveting to a widening range of manufacturing challenges. CNC Milling CNC Machining