High Quality Rivets for Precision CNC Machining(machinable plastic Bernie)

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Rivets are a crucial component in many manufacturing and engineering applications. Especially for projects involving CNC machining, having high quality rivets that meet exacting specifications is essential. In this article, we’ll explore what makes for an excellent rivet for CNC work and discuss some of the top options on the market today.
What Are Rivets?
A rivet is a mechanical fastener that consists of two main parts - a smooth cylinder shaft and a head. The shaft is inserted into pre-drilled holes in the materials being joined. The excess portion of the shaft extends out the other side and is mechanically deformed to create a second head. This process is called riveting. The deformed shaft creates a permanent connection between the rivet and the materials.
Rivets come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and materials. But for CNC machining applications, solid aluminum and steel rivets with chamfered heads are generally preferred. The chamfered head design provides a smooth, flat surface for precision clamping and drilling by CNC machines.
Key Properties of Quality CNC Rivets
Strength and Consistency
Rivets used in CNC applications need to have high shear and tensile strength. The material must withstand powerful machining forces without cracking, bending or deforming. Consistent hardness and composition is critical so the rivets perform reliably in automated CNC processes. Aircraft grade aluminum and hardened steel are common material choices.
Precision Dimensions
All dimensions of the rivet shafts and heads must adhere to tight tolerances. The diameters must match the CNC drill bits, and the lengths should allow the rivet to sit flush within the materials joined. Any deviations can impede automated machining. Diameters commonly range from 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch for most CNC applications.
Chamfered Heads
As mentioned above, rivets with chamfered heads are preferred for CNC workholding. The 45 – 90 degree chamfers provide flat, stable contact points for drill bits, clamping jaws and other CNC tooling. Rivets with rounded heads are prone to spinning and misalignment.
No Burrs or Imperfections
The shafts and heads should have smooth, uniform finishes free of burrs, cracks or other defects. Any surface imperfections can deform the materials when pressure is applied during automated riveting. This can reduce strength and precision.
Corrosion Resistance
Rivets used in CNC machining should resist corrosion from coolants and oils used in the machines. Aluminum and stainless steel offer excellent corrosion resistance for most shop environments.
High Quality Rivet Options for CNC
Here are some of the top rivet choices for precision CNC applications:
Cherry Aerospace Aircraft Rivets
Cherry Aerospace offers extensive lines of aluminum and steel rivets ideal for CNC machining. Different series are optimized for strength, shear resistance and other mechanical properties. The stiff rivet shafts deform uniformly during heading. And the precision chamfered heads provide secure clamping. Common options include:
- 3/32” and 1/8” aluminum alloy 2117 rivets with 75 – 90 degree chamfered heads
- 1/8” corrosion resistant steel rivets with 45 degree chamfered heads
LPA Monobolt® Tension Rivets
Monobolt tension rivets from LPA are engineered to provide up to 3 times the fatigue life of standard rivets. The mechanical tensioning and heat treating create an incredibly strong locked joint. They are available in aluminum, titanium, and corrosion resistant steel. And the rivets feature a precision 45 degree chamfer under the head for optimized CNC clamping. Popular options include:
- 1/8" and 5/32” diameter aluminum 2024-T4 rivets
- 1/8” diameter stainless steel A286 rivets
Boellhoff® BSOZTM Blind Rivets
For specialized blind riveting in CNC applications, Boellhoff BSOZ rivets offer high strength and precision. The large flange head has a 90 degree chamfer to prevent spinning. And the closed-end shaft design allows rivet setting from one side only. They install flush for an attractive finish. Common choices include:
- 1/8” and 3/16” diameter aluminum alloy blind rivets
- 3/32” and 1/8” diameter stainless steel blind rivets
Opting for rivets designed specifically for CNC machining is the best way to maximize the precision and accuracy of automated processes. The high shear strength, consistent sizing, and chamfered heads of quality rivets from brands like Cherry Aerospace, LPA, and Boellhoff will help produce outstanding machined components. Check with suppliers to find rivets suited to your specific CNC equipment and applications. With the right rivets inserted in your CNC programs, you can achieve reliable, repeatable results. CNC Milling CNC Machining