Uses for Rivets in Manufacturing and Construction(aircraft fastener types Luther)

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Rivets are a versatile fastening technology that have been used for centuries in manufacturing and construction. A rivet is a short metal pin that is inserted through holes in two or more layers of material and then deformed on one or both ends to hold the layers together. Rivets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials to accommodate different applications. Here are some of the main uses for rivets in industry:
Aircraft and Aerospace Applications
Rivets are extensively used in aircraft and aerospace applications to assemble airplane fuselages, wings and other components. Aerospace grade rivets are made from lightweight and high-strength metals like aluminum, titanium and specialty alloys. Rivets create very secure joints that can withstand tremendous forces and vibration without coming loose. The riveting process also creates a smooth outer surface that reduces drag. Common aircraft rivets include solid shank, blind, drive, flush and specialty rivets.
Automotive Uses
Rivets are ubiquitous in automotive manufacturing for assembling body panels, frames, engines and interior components. Self-piercing rivets (SPRs) are commonly used to join sheet metal layers on car and truck bodies without pre-drilled holes. SPRs pierce through stacks of metal while mechanically clinching the bottom layer during installation. Rivets provide high shear strength to withstand crash forces. They also accommodate differences in thermal expansion between dissimilar metals like steel and aluminum. Popular automotive rivet types include blind, drive, pan head and countersunk.
Appliance and Electronics Riveting
Riveting is ideal for joining thin sheets of metal and other materials used in appliances, computers and other electronics. The riveting process is highly automated using specialty rivet setting machines. Blind and self-clinching rivets are common for assembling internal components where only one side is accessible for installation. Drive rivets are used for fastening external appliance panels together. Electronics use tiny rivets to secure circuit boards, casings and other enclosures.
Plumbing and HVAC Applications
Rivets are relied upon in plumbing and HVAC systems to create leakproof joints between pipes, ducting, water tanks and other components. Solid aluminum and stainless steel rivets withstand very high pressures. Blind rivets allow pipes and tubing to be joined where only one side is accessible. lap joints are often riveted for connecting round HVAC ducting. Rivets also provide reliable performance in boilers, heat exchangers, valves and industrial plumbing.
Building and Construction Uses
Rivets have been used in building and construction for centuries because they create very strong joints. Large structural rivets hold together steel beams and girders used in bridges, buildings, transmission towers and other structures. Smaller rivets are ideal for assembling roofing, siding, railings, drainage systems, glass curtain walls and more. Drive rivets are common for securing studs, brackets and other fixtures to building frames. Blind rivets are popular for joining sheet metal awnings, gutters and ducting.
Marine and Shipbuilding Applications
The marine environment is harsh on fasteners, but rivets can withstand exposure to saltwater along with forces from waves. Marine grade rivets are used to assemble ship hulls, decks, bulkheads and other components. Blind rivets allow access from only one side which is critical in confined spaces. Self-piercing rivets efficiently join aluminum decking to steel frames. Solid copper rivets provide long-lasting performance on wooden boats. Marine rivets are also used for offshore oil platforms, docks, buoys and other structures.

Manufacturing Equipment and Machinery
Riveting is an ideal joining method for manufacturing equipment and machinery because it assembles components accurately and securely. Large steel rivets can withstand tremendous shear, tensile and vibration forces in heavy machinery. Countersunk rivets provide flush surfaces needed for movement. Self-clinching rivets allow pre-assembly and modular construction. Access limitations often make blind rivets the optimal choice for machinery. Manufacturing applications include cranes, conveyor systems, rail cars, farming equipment and more.
Military and Defense Uses
Rivets have played a crucial role in military and defense products since early aviation and armor systems. Aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks and artillery all rely on heavy-duty structural rivets. Waterproof and shockproof properties make rivets ideal for electronics like radios, radar systems and missiles. Self-piercing rivets enable field repairs of equipment and vehicles when welding is not practical. Rivets also allow bulletproof armor to withstand ballistic impacts through load spreading.
Product Design and Consumer Goods
Rivets offer manufacturability, reliability and appearance for diverse consumer products. Designers select rivets for functionality as well as aesthetics. They are commonly used on items like camping gear, luggage, musical instruments, cookware, furniture, bicycles and more. Self-piercing rivets efficiently join layers of material like plastic and sheet metal that have different physical properties. Decorative rivets can provide the finishing touch on leather goods, jewelry and clothing. Riveting improves quality while reducing total product cost.
Rivet Materials and Finishes
Rivets come in a wide range of materials to meet application requirements:
- Aluminum - Lightweight, corrosion resistant and strong for aircraft, cars, boats, appliances and machinery. Available in multiple alloys.
- Steel - Highly versatile for construction, manufacturing and industrial uses. Various grades and finishes available.
- Stainless Steel - Offers good corrosion resistance and strength for plumbing, chemicals, appliances, hardware and more.
- Copper and Brass - Great for marine applications because of seawater corrosion resistance. Also used decoratively.
- Monel - Strong nickel-copper rivets for highly corrosive environments like chemicals, waste treatment and saltwater.
- Titanium - Extremely lightweight and strong. Used in aircraft, spacecraft and high-end sporting goods.
- Plastics - Light duty plastic rivets for appliances, furniture and consumer products.
Surface finishes like zinc plating, anodizing, epoxy and paints protect against corrosion. Colored finishes are applied for appearance.
Rivet Installation Methods
There are various techniques used to install rivets depending on the application:
- Hand - Manual hammering remains common for solid rivets. Requires access to both sides of a joint.
- Pneumatic - Air-powered squeeze rivet tools efficiently set blind, self-piercing and specialty rivets.
- Hydrolic - Hydraulic squeezers are used for large structural rivets in construction and heavy machinery.
- Impact - Battery-powered impact rivet tools install fasteners in tight spaces where hammer swinging is difficult.
- Automated - Robotic auto-riveting systems are used for mass production in manufacturing plants.
In summary, rivets are relied upon to assemble products and structures ranging from airplanes to appliances due to their strength, reliability and ease of installation. Their versatility ensures rivets will continue playing a vital role in manufacturing for years to come. CNC Milling CNC Machining