Uses for Rivets in CNC Machining(cnc milling machine Oswald)

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Rivets are a popular type of fastener used in many CNC machining applications. They offer several benefits that make them a versatile and reliable choice for joining materials together. Here is an overview of some of the top uses and applications for rivets in CNC machining.
Aircraft and Aerospace Applications
One of the most common uses of rivets in CNC machining is in aircraft and aerospace manufacturing. Rivets are widely used to assemble the outer 'skins' of airplanes and other flying craft. The skins, or outer layer, consists of thin sheets of lightweight metals like aluminum that are riveted together over the internal frame and structure. Rivets allow for a smooth outer surface that is also lightweight and strong. CNC machines precisely drill the rivet holes and dimples into the skin panels.
Rivets are advantageous for aircraft because they create smooth, flush surfaces. Protruding fasteners like bolts would create drag. Rivets also have high shear strength, meaning they can resist forces trying to slide or twist the panels. The rivets help distribute loads efficiently across the skin for enhanced strength. Various alloy rivets are used, like steel, aluminum, titanium, or Monel rivets. CNC automation allows for the vast number of rivets used on aircraft to be installed consistently and efficiently.
Shipbuilding and Maritime Uses
Another transportation industry that relies heavily on rivets is shipbuilding and maritime manufacturing. Like aircraft, ships and boats use rivets to assemble sheet metal hulls and exterior components. The CNC machines used in shipyards are capable of handling large sheets of steel and other metals. The rivets are strong and corrosion resistant, which is vital for marine environments. They can join thick materials and hold up to harsh conditions out at sea. Hundreds of thousands of rivets are used to form the hull, decks, bulkheads and skin of ships and boats. Automated riveting with CNC means these ships can be built rapidly and safely.
Construction and Building Uses
In addition to transportation, rivets are commonly used in building and construction projects. Sheet metal workers doing roofs, siding, steel frames and more often use rivets in their CNC processes. For example, steel I-beams joined with rows of rivets form a sturdy and reliable framework for buildings and bridges. Exterior work like decorative facades or staircases use rivets both for strength and aesthetics. CNC automation allows rows of rivets to be precisely aligned and spaced.
Compared to welding, riveting offers a faster way to assemble structures. And unlike welding, rivets do not require highly skilled operators. Rivets are also useful when the materials being joined are too thin for welding. The CNC machines can control the riveting force so components are not warped. Construction projects use a wide range of rivet types, such as structural, semi-tubular and drive rivets. This versatility suits the needs of various building applications.
Automotive Uses
CNC riveting is commonly used in automotive manufacturing as well. Cars, trucks and buses have thin sheet metal exterior panels that are riveted together over the frame. Fenders, hoods, doors and roof panels all utilize rows of rivets assembled by CNC machinery. The smooth appearance and reliable strength make rivets ideal for auto bodies. Compared to spot welding, riveting also allows more flexibility if panels ever need to be replaced or removed for repairs.
Interior components like seats, flooring and doors are often riveted in place too. Self-piercing rivets join pieces without pre-drilled holes, speeding up the riveting process. Automotive plants rely on CNC automation in order to produce hundreds or thousands of identical vehicles. The programmed machines can rapidly rivet components together with consistency and precision. From concept cars to the mass production line, rivets are an essential fastening method.
Electronics Manufacturing
Moving from large-scale transportation into more precision equipment, rivets are invaluable in electronics manufacturing. Consumer goods like computers, cell phones and home appliances all contain small circuit boards inside that are assembled using rivets. The CNC machines can install very tiny rivets to fasten the fragile components in place. Rivets offer reliable mechanical strength without interfering with the electronics.
Riveting also allows manufacturers to encapsulate and protect the internal electronics in casings and covers. These include external parts like the rear panel of a stereo receiver or the access panel on the back of a TV. Inexpensive aluminum pop rivets are very common here for low cost and ease of assembly. Critical devices like medical equipment or laboratory instrumentation may use specialty high-strength rivets as well. CNC-automated riveting allows electronics to be assembled rapidly while minimizing human errors.
Industrial Machinery
Moving up again in scale and materials, we come to large industrial equipment. Heavy machinery used in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries often get assembled with rivets too. Excavators have sheet metal exterior panels and access doors riveted over their rough inner workings. Generators, compressors, and other large motors join thick steel coverings to their robust housings using rows of specialty industrial rivets.
CNC machining allows these oversized, heavy-duty components to still be drilled and riveted with accuracy and consistency. Operators can program the CNC to add extra reinforcement rivets to high-stress areas. Both solid and blind rivets are common to seal up the interior workings from outside conditions. Large equipment may also use buck rivets that flare out on the underside for added strength. In general, rivets allow robust construction while still keeping heavy machinery mobile and serviceable.
Mold and Fixture Construction
An entirely different application for CNC riveting is in the construction of molds, jigs, fixtures and tooling. These workholding devices often get built from sheets of plywood, plastics or light metals. For increased sturdiness, components can be joined together with rows of rivets. The CNC machines drill precision patterns of rivet holes into the parts being joined.
Rivets offer more shear strength than screws, allowing fixtures to withstand high clamping forces. Assembly and production jigs need to stand up to repeated use over years. Rivets maintain rigidity while allowing for some flexibility as the fixtures get handled and repositioned. Plastic molded components can utilize specialty rivets suited for polymers as well. For prototyping or low volume production, riveting provides a quick, reusable joining method. All in all, rivets are an economical choice for constructing functional tooling.
Product Design and Manufacturing
The final use case for exploring is rivets role in general product design and manufacturing. In products that include plastic, wood or light metal components, rivets often serve as an alternative to adhesives or ultrasonic welding. For example, plastic enclosures around electronics can snap fit together with plastic rivets instead of being welded. This allows easy disassembly for repairs. Plastic folding furniture may rely on rivets to create pivoting joints while keeping manufacturing costs low.
Many consumer products utilize rivets for assembly as well. These include items like barbecue grills, shelving units, handcarts, and more. Rivets provide durable mechanical joints at low cost in medium or high production runs. Compared to welding, screws or adhesives, rivets offer a good balance of speed, strength and quality. Products designed for flat-packed shipping can be quickly riveted together by the end user. CNC automation allows manufacturers to consistently produce identical rivet configurations for reliable products. With the wide range of rivet materials and types available, designers have lots of flexibility too. Taking all aspects into account, rivets are highly versatile for product manufacturing and design applications.
Rivets have been used since ancient times to mechanically fasten materials together in a wide array of applications. Today, modern CNC machines have automated the riveting process for precision, consistency and efficiency. Rivets play a key role across countless industries including aerospace, construction, automotive, electronics and more. Their versatility, strength and ease of use make rivets a staple technology that will continue enabling manufacturing and design innovation. CNC Milling