Quality Rivets: Best Fastening Solution for Complex Parts
Next we’ll go into detail on how rivets are typically installed, the materials used to make quality rivets, and a few varieties of quality rivets that are frequently employed.
Understanding Rivets: Function and Installation Process
Rivets are integral permanent mechanical fasteners designed for the purpose of joining two or more components together, with a wide variety of rivet types available. Each rivet consists of three essential parts: a head, a shank, and a tail. Installation involves inserting the rivet into a slightly oversized hole and subjecting it to a process that permanently alters its shape through the application of compressive force. The specific tools used for this process depend on the type of rivet employed.
Rivet installation generally utilizes methods such as pneumatic or manual hammering, hydraulic pressing, and handheld rivet guns, which can be either manually or pneumatically operated. When selecting rivets, careful consideration of factors like grip length and hole size is vital. Various grip lengths are accessible for each hole size to accommodate different sheet thicknesses.
Rivets are typically crafted from materials like aluminum and steel, although alternatives such as copper are also in use. Industries that frequently rely on rivets for their assembly needs encompass automotive, aerospace, marine/naval, construction, aviation, and manufacturing, among others.
Varieties of Rivet Materials
Rivet materials are carefully selected to match specific applications, and the following materials are commonly used:
Aluminum rivets are the most prevalent choice. They are lightweight, offer good resistance to corrosion and weathering, and can be easily deformed. Hand-operated rivet tools are suitable for installing blind aluminum rivets.
Stainless steel rivets exhibit exceptional corrosion and weathering resistance. However, their hardness can make them challenging to install with hand-operated tools. For blind stainless steel rivets, pneumatic rivet guns are recommended.
Copper combines outstanding electrical and thermal conductivity with ease of deformation.
Carbon steel rivets are typically available in solid or hollow shank variations and necessitate installation through pneumatic or hydraulic equipment. Low-carbon steel is preferred due to its ductility compared to rigid, high-carbon steel.
Brass, an alloy of zinc and copper, boasts exceptional corrosion resistance and strength. Additionally, it is non-sparking, making it ideal for applications in the oil and gas industry. Brass rivets are also valued for their aesthetic appeal.
It’s important to note that certain materials may potentially create a galvanic corrosion cell. Hence, the choice of rivet materials should be made judiciously to ensure compatibility with the materials they will be fastened to.
Various Types of Rivets
Quality rivets come in diverse types, each engineered for specific applications:
Blind Rivets (Pop Rivets)
These quality rivets, also known as pop rivets, are used when there is no access to the rear of the components being fastened. They consist of a shank and a stem, with the stem snapping off upon reaching a specific clamping force, producing an audible pop. They are versatile and come in various configurations, making them suitable for sheet metal constructions.
Solid rivets, an age-old rivet form, feature a shank and a head. They are installed by hammering or using a rivet gun to deform the straight end into the desired head shape. In some cases, heating is used to soften the rivet. Solid rivets are robust and applied in critical areas like vehicle bodies and structural members.
Tubular rivets resemble solid rivets but have a hole on one side, making them easier to deform since only the thin hole walls need to be flared. They are used in applications like HVAC ducting and low-risk scenarios due to their thinner walls.
Drive rivets, a type of blind rivet, consist of a short shank and a protrusion on the head. The protrusion is driven with a hammer to deform the shank and clamp the joint. Special riveting tools are not needed for their installation, and they are common in commercial sheet metal fabrication.
Split rivets have a split shaft and are suited for light-duty applications. They are installed into pre-drilled holes, with the two legs separated and flattened against the rear component using a hammer. Split rivets are used on materials like plastics, textiles, and thin metal sheets.
These quality rivets are distinctive in that they require no pre-drilled holes and do not pass entirely through the second plate. They are installed using a press, piercing into the top sheet while forming an embossed section on the rear plate. Access to both sides is necessary for this high-speed process, and self-piercing rivets are utilized in applications requiring watertight connections, such as in the aerospace industry.
Advantages of Using Rivets Fasteners
Quality rivets serve as popular fasteners, offering various advantages:
Simple Installation: Quality rivets are known for their quick and easy installation. For instance, blind rivets can be swiftly installed with the use of pneumatic tools.
Accessibility: Rivet installation requires access to only one side of the joint, unlike many other joining methods that demand access to the faying surfaces or both sides.
Cost-Efficiency: Quality rivets provide a cost-effective alternative to bolted connections, particularly when the joint needs to be permanently fastened.
High Strength: Solid rivets offer one of the strongest connections available, displaying resistance to loosening due to vibration and maintaining their integrity over extended periods.
Disadvantages of Using Rivets
Despite their advantages, rivets are not always the ideal choice, and they come with certain disadvantages:
Permanence: Rivets are designed as permanent fasteners, making them less suitable for assemblies requiring disassembly. They are primarily employed in permanent installations like bridges or aircraft body panels.
Inferior to Welding: For permanent joints, welding often provides a stronger and more cost-efficient connection. Welds typically do not weaken the base parts as rivets do, as rivets necessitate creating holes in the base material, reducing the cross-sectional area that bears stress.
Not Watertight: Most rivets, except for hot rivets or self-piercing rivets, do not offer a watertight seal. Consequently, additional expenses and effort are needed to establish a watertight seal for riveted joints.
Sungplastic’s Quality Rivets Manufacturing
It also often requires the connection and fixing of quality rivets between the parts for best performance. We can assist you with producing any type of component you need to link with rivets (or other techniques), whether it be through CNC machining, injection molding, 3D printing, stamping, or casting.
If your custom projects need the quality rivets, please contact us.
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