Introduction(machining services Franklin)

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Rivets are a simple yet highly useful mechanical fastener used in many industries and applications. A rivet consists of a cylindrical shaft and head which is inserted through holes in multiple layers of material. The tail of the rivet is then mechanically deformed so that it spreads out and locks the rivet in place. This creates a solid, permanent joint between the riveted materials. In this article, we will explore the wide variety of uses and applications for rivets in manufacturing, construction, aviation, and beyond.
Manufacturing Uses
Rivets play an integral role in manufacturing across many industries. In sheet metal fabrication, rivets are commonly used to join metal sheets and plates in everything from electronic enclosures to automobile bodies. The riveting process is fast, simple, and economical compared to welding or screwing. It also creates a reliable, permanent joint without altering the chemical properties of the metal.
Rivets are also extensively used in the assembly of a wide range of manufactured products. Appliances like ovens, washing machines, and refrigerators all contain numerous riveted joints. The same goes for furniture, where rivets hold together frames and join laminate sheets to substrates. Rivets also assemble ventilation ducting, piping, tanks, and more. Nearly any product made from multiple parts will make use of rivets for efficient mechanical fastening.
Construction Applications
In building and construction, rivets serve as an important fastener for connecting structural steel. Steel I-beams, channels, and angles used in bridges, buildings, transmission towers, and equipment frames are all joined together with rivets. The process of riveting these heavy materials together produces permanent, load-bearing joints that are far superior to bolting or screwing.
Rivets are also used to fasten rebar within concrete for added strength. Rebar lattices, stirrups, and tension wires are all riveted at intersections to prevent slippage before pouring concrete. Rivets also affix steel studs, track, and different building materials to concrete or steel during construction. Additionally, specialized rivets can fasten materials like insulation, siding, roofing, and drywall to underlying structures.
Aviation Riveting
In aircraft construction, riveting is arguably the most important fabrication process. Nearly every structural component of an airplane, including wings, fuselages, bulkheads, and flight control surfaces, is held together almost entirely by rows and rows of specialty rivets. The shear strength, vibration resistance, and reliability offered by quality rivets is crucial to aircraft safety.
Aircraft-grade rivets come in a variety of head styles - round, brazier, countersunk - for smooth aerodynamics. They are made from lightweight aluminum, titanium, or specialty alloys matched to the underlying airframe material. Aircraft rivets must be perfectly flush and secure to withstand tremendous in-flight stresses and fatigue over thousands of flight hours. Riveting also maintains a smooth outer surface for drag reduction. Simply put, aviation would not be possible without the precision, strength, and durability afforded by rivets.
Other Rivet Applications
Beyond construction and manufacturing, rivets have many other useful applications:
- Joining armor plates on military vehicles like tanks, personnel carriers, and ships
- Permanently fastening truck and trailer bodies, rollover bars, steps, and other accessories
- Assembling railroad tracks and attaching them to railroad ties
- Anchoring cables, wires, ropes, and nets with the holding power of riveted terminations
- Affixing signage, billboards, scaffolding, ladders, cabinets, and more to walls and structures
- Holding together conveyor belts and systems with small rivets every few feet
- Building fences and gates with riveted wire, panels, and posts
- Joining corrosion-resistant or decorative sheets to home siding, roofs, and rain gutters
- Anchoring studs on leather goods like belts, shoes, jackets, and bags
The combination of strength, durability, vibration resistance, and quick installation makes rivets an economical fastening solution in almost any application.
Rivet Materials and Manufacturing
Rivets are made to demanding specifications from a variety of metals for optimal strength and performance in different operating environments. The most common materials include:
- Aluminum - Lightweight yet strong, aluminum is ideal for aircraft and applications needing corrosion resistance.
- Steel - The go-to choice for high-strength structural joints, carbon steel rivets are widely used in construction and manufacturing.
- Stainless Steel - Offers excellent corrosion resistance along with strength for harsh outdoor or chemical plant environments.
- Copper - Used for its corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity in electrical products and chemical processing equipment.
- Monel - A nickel alloy known for corrosion resistance as well as high strength and hardness for demanding applications.
- Titanium - Extremely strong yet lightweight titanium rivets are ideal for aerospace as well as corrosive and high-temperature situations.
Rivet manufacturing begins with wire drawing to achieve the desired diameter, followed by heading to form the rivet head. The rivet body is then precisely cut to length before heat treating and final head forming. Quality control ensures consistency in hardness, strength, and dimensions. Threading, coating, and custom head shapes are also options available from rivet suppliers.
Installation Tools and Techniques
Installing rivets requires just a few specialized tools. The rivet body is inserted through aligned holes in the materials being joined. The tail is then mechanically upset and flared outward using a rivet gun, hammer, or hydraulic squeezer. This deforms the rivet and clamps the materials together.
For blind rivets, pull mandrels are used to draw the rivet tail into the body and flare it outward for blind-side clamping. Self-piercing rivets directly pierce and flare into only one side of a material. Access limitations often dictate what installation tools and techniques are used for particular rivet applications.
Proper hole sizing, material prep, and rivet specs are key factors for achieving secure, load-bearing rivet joints. With correct techniques, rivets form permanent, vibration-resistant connections between almost any materials from foils to structural steel. This versatility makes rivets an essential fastening method across countless industries.
Rivets may appear to be humble fasteners, but their incredibly varied usage and sheer ubiquity in manufactured goods highlight their importance. From aircraft and bridges down to a pocket knife, rivets deliver reliable fastening strength wherever permanent mechanical joints are needed. Their installation is quick and economical as well. With myriad types and materials available, rivets can be specified for the most demanding structural, mechanical, and environmental conditions. No other fastener matches the versatility and performance of the venerable rivet. CNC Milling CNC Machining