Quality Rivets Are Essential for CNC Machined Parts(gcode m codes John)
- source:ZIEG CNC Machining
What are Rivets?
A rivet is a mechanical fastener that secures two or more materials together. Rivets consist of a cylindrical shaft and a head. To install a rivet, the shaft is inserted into pre-drilled holes in the materials being joined. The rivet head is then deformed to create a second head, clamping the materials together. This creates a permanent mechanical bond.
Rivets come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and materials to accommodate many different applications:
- Blind rivets - tubular rivets designed to be installed where only one side is accessible. The mandrel stem is pulled to deform the rivet.
- Drive rivets - cylindrical and installed by applying force to the rivet head to flare out the opposite end.
- Structural rivets - used for critical structural joints, high shear strength alloys like steel, titanium, and nickel are common.
- Pop rivets - pre-assembled blind rivets that are quick and easy to install where access is limited.
- Solid rivets - rivets made entirely from the shaft material rather than hollow tubing.
Why Rivet Quality Matters
While rivets may seem insignificant, poor quality rivets can lead to product failures, accidents, and injuries down the line. Some key factors that influence rivet quality and performance include:
- Strength - The shear and tensile strength determines how much load the rivet can withstand before failing. Aerospace and structural applications require very high strength rivets.
- Durability - Exposure to stresses, vibration, chemicals, weather, and other factors can degrade the rivet over time leading to joint failure. More durable materials prolong service life.
- Precision - The rivet shaft and hole diameters must match closely to achieve a tight fit without cracking the surrounding material during installation.
- Consistency - Trusted brands repeatedly deliver rivets within precise specifications, while cheap rivets often have deviations that cause issues.
For CNC machined parts and products, low quality rivets present considerable risk. A faulty rivet in a critical joint could cause a complete product failure. Consistency and precision are especially vital for CNC machines to function properly. Many CNC applications also demand high strength rivets capable of withstanding heavy vibration and loads.
Choosing the Best Rivets for CNC Machining
Here are some recommendations when selecting rivets for CNC machined components:
- Consider the joint strength needed - Does it need to withstand heavy loads and vibration? Structural steel or titanium rivets may be warranted. Or for lighter duties, aluminum and pop rivets often suffice.
- Use reputable brands known for consistency - Established manufacturers like Cherry Aerospace, Avdel, and Allfast deliver certified, precision-made rivets batch after batch. Avoid no-name products.
- Match the rivet material to the application - Make sure the material offers adequate corrosion resistance and compatibility with other parts it contacts.
- Get the right surface finish - Polished, anodized, or coated rivets resist corrosion and meet cosmetic requirements. Standard aluminum and steel rivets have a matte mill finish.
- Confirm specifications match your tooling - Double check the rivet diameter, grip range, head type, and other specs work with your riveting equipment and CNC program.
- Request mechanical certifications - Reputable suppliers will provide documentation like test reports to validate the rivet meets industry specifications for shear strength, tensile strength, and other critical metrics.
By taking the time to research and select the optimal rivets for your CNC application, you can avoid headaches, delays, and dangers down the road if inferior rivets fail prematurely. Paying a little more upfront for quality, certified rivets from leading manufacturers will pay dividends in product performance, safety, and reduced downtime over the long run.
Automated Riveting Options for CNC Machines
Installing rivets manually can be labor intensive and inconsistent. Many CNC machines can be outfitted with automated riveting modules for higher throughput and precision. Here are some popular riveting options compatible with CNC equipment:
- Auto-feed rivet guns - Rivets are fed automatically into the rivet gun from a reel or tube supply. The gun inserts and sets each rivet at the programmed location without operator intervention.
- Multi-axis riveting heads - programmable hydraulic or pneumatic riveting heads can access confined spaces. Powerful clamping ensures consistent pressure.
- Robotic riveting arms - Industrial robots outfitted with rivet gun end effectors can be programmed to install rivets in complex patterns and hard-to-reach spots. Excellent for automation.
- Specialty CNC riveting machines - Purpose-built CNC machines using auto-feed guns for high volume rivet assembly. Ideal for mass production.
- Vision systems - Cameras and software can inspect each rivet joint for proper installation and alignment before moving to the next rivet.
For critical aerospace, medical, transportation, and equipment applications, automated riveting systems preserve quality and provide traceability. Proper documentation validates that structural rivets meet required specifications and are installed according to stringent procedures.
The tiny rivets used to assemble CNC machined components play an outsized role in product performance and safety. Selecting the optimal rivet design, material, and supplier gives your CNC machined parts the best chance of success. Investing in automation tools can boost riveting productivity while maintaining oversight and quality records. By giving rivets their due diligence, you can feel confident in the integrity of your CNC machined products. CNC Milling CNC Machining