Introduction(broken tap removal Christine)
- source:MAJA CNC Machining
Common Uses of Rivets
Aircraft and Aerospace Applications
One of the most common uses of rivets is in the assembly of aircraft and aerospace structures. Rivets are widely used to join the thin sheets of aluminum that make up the fuselage, wings, and other components of airplanes and spacecraft. The light weight and high strength of rivets make them ideal for these applications where weight savings are critical. Hundreds of thousands of rivets may be used in the construction of a single aircraft. Rivets help provide the structural integrity to hold aircraft together even under extreme loads and vibration. They are also easily installed using automated riveting machines.
Rivets have long been used in the construction and repair of ships, boats, and marine structures. The hulls of ships were traditionally made of steel plates riveted together to form a strong, watertight seal. Rivets provide the strength to withstand forces from waves and water pressure. They are corrosion resistant and reliable when properly installed. Historic ships like the Titanic used over three million rivets in its hull and superstructure. Modern shipbuilding has replaced many rivets with welds, but they are still commonly used.
Metal truss bridges and other large structures often rely on rivets to connect structural steel members. Rivets provide a dependable clamping force to join beams, girders, and truss sections even under heavy loads and vibration. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, for example, used over 1.2 million rivets in its construction. Rivets allow for easier field assembly and repairs compared to welds.
Rivets have been essential fasteners in the railroad industry since early locomotives and rail cars were fabricated from sheets of steel. Rivets assemble boxcars, locomotives, cabooses, and other rail equipment. Rail joints connecting lengths of track also relied on rivets. Rivets provide a durable fastener capable of handling the vibration and loads associated with rail transport. Riveting machines allowed fast installation of thousands of rivets during rail construction.
Construction and Infrastructure
In building construction, rivets anchor steel beams and girders to columns and foundations. They are also used to fasten rebar within concrete for added strength. Rivets assemble prefabricated steel frameworks in bridges, transmission towers, and industrial structures. Tunnel boring machines use rivets to erect tunnel liner segments underground. Rivets are also commonly used in roofing and cladding applications. Their versatility and reliability make rivets ideal for connecting structural building components.
Heavy machinery, including cranes, bulldozers, and presses, use rivets in their structural frames. Mining equipment, oil rigs, heavy trucks, and construction equipment rely on rivets to handle vibration and shock loads while maintaining long service lives. Farm equipment, locomotive undercarriages, and other rugged machinery applications also employ rivets.
Many production lines use rivets for assembling products and parts. Appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators use rivets to fasten sheet metal housings. Automobiles use millions of rivets in their body assemblies. Castings, stampings, injection moldings can all be fastened with rivets in manufacturing facilities. The precision, reliability, and speed of automated riveting make it ideal for mass production.
Advantages of Rivets
Rivets provide a number of advantages that lead to their varied use across many industries:
- High clamping force and shear strength for structural joints.
- Uniform clamping along the length of the rivet.
- Tight precision fits of riveted parts.
- Smoother surface finish compared to welds.
- Easy to inspect visually.
- Vibration and fatigue resistant.
- Suitability for field installation and repairs.
- Can accommodate thin or dissimilar materials.
- Long service life.
- Corrosion resistant when properly selected.
- Cost effective fastening solution.
- Easily automated for high volume production.
- Established, proven technology.
Types of Rivets
There are many types, styles, and materials of rivets used in different applications:
- Solid rivets: made of a single material like steel, aluminum, copper. Easy to install.
- Blind rivets: hollow with a mandrel to mechanically expand. Used where only one side is accessible.
- Drive rivets: hammered into place similar to a nail. Used for scaffolding, temporary structures.
- Split rivets: rivets pre-split to ease installation and clamping.
- Tubular rivets: hollow without a mandrel to provide tight joints.
- Self-piercing rivets: cut through and punch out material when driven. No pre-drilling.
- Structural rivets: used for critical load bearing structures. High shear strength.
- Semi-tubular rivets: partial hollow shank. Balance cost and strength.
- Specialty rivets: high temperature, non-sparking, non-magnetic, micro rivets, quick installation.
- Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, nickel, and other alloys or coatings.
Rivet Installation Processes
There are several techniques used to install rivets depending on the application:
- Hand riveting: hammering the rivet in place manually. Lower cost but slower.
- Pneumatic riveting: using compressed air tools to drive rivets. Faster than hand but noisy.
- Hydraulic riveting: fluid powered squeezing of rivets. Used for larger rivets.
- Electric riveting: electromagnetic hammer or press to install rivets. Preferred for automation.
- Rotary forge riveting: spinning headed rivets using friction and forging. Leak-proof, reliable.
- Impact riveting: high energy impact to upset rivet shanks. Used where access is limited.
- Orbital riveting: spinning concave head using a slow orbiting motion. Minimal heat or part damage.
- Automated riveting: robots, assembly lines with multiple rivet processes for mass production.
Proper tool selection and setup helps achieve a quality rivet joint and avoids part damage. Operator skill also improves consistency and reduces rework.
Inspection and Testing
For critical applications, rivets undergo testing to verify their performance:
- Tensile testing: measure clamp load and shear strength of riveted samples.
- Fatigue testing: determine rivet life under cyclic or vibration loads.
- Environmental testing: evaluate resistance to temperature, corrosion, fluids.
- Microscopic inspection: check for cracks, damage, improper deformation.
- Tap testing: tapping rivets and listening for differences in sound can identify loose or faulty rivets.
- X-ray and ultrasonic inspection: used to inspect deeply embedded or blind rivets.
- Proof testing: test to destruction to validate design margins and quality control.
Proper rivet inspection and testing assures riveted structures meet design requirements over their intended service life.
Rivets have proven to be a versatile, reliable, and cost-effective fastening method since ancient times. From aircraft and bridges to appliances and rail cars, rivets are found connecting critical structures and components across many industries. Their high strength, precision fit, and vibration resistance make rivets an essential manufacturing tool. With ongoing advances in materials science and automation, rivets will continue improving the products we use every day. Understanding proper rivet selection, installation, and inspection helps engineers and manufacturers achieve safe, long-lasting riveted assemblies. CNC Milling CNC Machining