Introduction (cmm manufacturing Clement)

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Rivets are a popular type of mechanical fastener used in many manufacturing and construction applications. In computer numerical control (CNC) machining, rivets serve important functions in joining metal components together in a strong and permanent way. This article will provide an overview of common uses and applications for rivets in CNC projects.
What are Rivets?
A rivet is a short cylindrical rod with a head on one end. The rod is inserted into pre-drilled holes in the materials being joined. The plain end is then deformed with force, upsetting the rod and forming a second head. This process cold-works the rivet material and creates a permanent connection.
Rivets are available in many materials, including aluminum, steel, titanium, copper, and Monel. Aluminum and steel rivets are most common. The rivet diameter, length, and head styles can be specified based on the application requirements.
Benefits of Rivets
Rivets offer unique benefits compared to other fastener types:
- Permanent - Once installed, rivets cannot be removed easily, providing more security.
- Vibration resistant - Riveted joints can withstand vibration better than bolted or screwed joints.
- Weight savings - Rivets are lighter than bolts while still providing substantial load carrying capability.
- No machining needed - Parts don't need tapped holes or precision mating surfaces. Just simple drilled holes.
- Easy installation - Riveting is relatively simple and often automated in production environments.
- Good shear strength - Rivets have high resistance to shear forces trying to slide the joint.
- No damage to parts - Properly set rivets do not damage or distort the base materials.
These properties make rivets well suited for many CNC applications.
CNC Uses for Rivets
Rivets have many uses in CNC machining and fabrication. Here are some of the most common:
Aircraft Assembly
Aircraft construction relies heavily on rivets to assemble the various aluminum skin panels, ribs, stringers, and other components. Riveting provides lightweight and secure fastening that can withstand vibration and fatigue over the plane's service life. CNC drilling machines install thousands of rivets into the assembled parts.
Metal Enclosures & Frames
Electronics enclosures, equipment frames, robot arms, and kiosks often use CNC punched or machined aluminum or steel parts. Riveting offers a fast way to permanently join the panels and structural shapes into a final product. Cosmetically pleasing results are possible with flush riveting.
Sailboat Mast & Keel Assembly
Rivets make ideal fasteners for joining aluminum sailboat spars and accessories. Marine-grade rivets provide corrosion resistance and allow for some flexing between components. Weight savings are beneficial in sailing. CNC routers cut and prepare the rivet hole locations.
Mass Transportation Manufacturing
Trains, buses, utility vehicles, and other mass transit rely on strong and lightweight body construction. Riveting of extruded aluminum profiles and sheet metal is commonly CNC controlled for precision and automation. Riveting also allows for modular assembly and simplifies repairs.
Metal Space Frames
Some modern architecture uses metal space frame structures built up from intersecting tubular components. This 3D truss-like design achieves impressive strength-to-weight ratios. CNC fabrication and riveting make these complex assemblies possible.
Sculptures & Art Pieces
For structural metal sculptures, kinetic sculptures, or abstract shapes, CNC machined components are frequently joined by riveting. The permanence of rivets allows more aggressive finish grinding and polishing without loosening. Riveting also enhances the visual design. CNC Milling CNC Machining