Introduction to Rivets in CNC Manufacturing(brass is made of Julia)

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Rivets are a critical component in many CNC manufactured products. A rivet is a metal fastener that consists of two main parts - the body and mandrel. The body is a cylindrical shaft with a head on one end. The mandrel fills the hollow shaft of the body and has a formed head on one end that folds out on installation to grip the rear surface of the workpieces being joined.
Rivets allow two or more materials to be mechanically fastened together using clamp force and friction. Unlike screws or bolts, rivets do not require nuts or threaded holes to secure materials. This makes rivets ideal for CNC manufacturing where speed and efficiency are key.
In CNC manufacturing, rivets are commonly used in applications like:
- Metal fabrication - Rivets are used extensively in sheet metal fabrication to join pieces of sheet metal or plates together, such as in aircraft fuselages, automobile chassis, and enclosures. CNC punch presses and brakes are programmed to punch or drill precision rivet holes. Robotic riveting systems then insert and upset the rivets to spec.
- Piping systems - Rivets are relied upon in piping systems to create strong, leak-proof joints in boilers, heat exchangers, hydraulic systems, and more. CNC pipe cutting machines pre-pierce rivet holes so pipelines can be rapidly assembled.
- Construction equipment - Excavators, cranes, bulldozers and other heavy machinery require extremely rugged construction. Rivets are ideal for joining the thick steel structural components and body panels while resisting extreme vibration and load forces.
- Railroad industry - Rivets join the complex network of steel plates and supports on locomotives, rail cars and track infrastructure. CNC cutting helps prep these parts for automated riveting.
- Bridges - Structural steel rivets create critical load-bearing joints for beams, braces and gussets on bridges. CNC machining drills holes for rivets to be inserted by hand or pneumatic rivet tools.
- Shipbuilding - The hull, decking and bulkheads of ships and boats can be riveted together for structural integrity that welds cannot match. CNC cutters and punch presses are programmed to prep steel for manual or robotic riveting.
Key Benefits of Rivets in CNC Applications
There are several key reasons rivets are heavily utilized in CNC manufacturing:
- Speed - Rivets can be quickly installed manually or by automated systems to join materials rapidly and efficiently. This allows high-volume production.
- Strength - The thick shank and mechanically expanded head creates a strong, permanent joint that does not loosen over time. Riveted joints maintain strength even with vibration or load shocks.
- Reliability - Properly installed rivets provide consistent and dependable fastening performance. Joints are resistant to fatigue and stress fractures.
- Versatility - Rivets come in a wide range of materials, sizes and styles to accommodate different joint requirements. Countersunk, round head, flat head and other profiles are available.
- Economy - Riveting avoids the material waste of welding. Hole punching prep work is minimal compared to machining threads for bolts. Quick manual or automated installation reduces labor.
- Disassembly - Rivets can be drilled out more easily than removing welds or bolts if items need disassembly for repair or part replacement.
- Appearance - The smooth appearance of rivet heads provides an attractive industrial look for many products compared to the threaded ends of bolts and screws.
CNC Optimization for Riveting
To gain the full benefits of rivets in CNC production, machining and fabrication processes are optimized:
- Precision hole punching, drilling and nibbling by CNC turret punches, lasers, routers and machining centers to prep parts for riveting.
- Programming of automated riveting equipment like autofeed rivet guns and robotic riveting cells.
- Custom rivet die design and in-house cold forming fastener production for specialty rivets.
- Creation of custom joining jigs and fixtures to hold parts in position for accurate riveting.
-Integration of in-process inspection systems to validate rivet integrity during production.
With advantages like quick installation, high strength and versatility, rivets are a staple fastening method in CNC manufacturing. CNC automation allows rivet prep and installation to be optimized for speed, quality and economy across many industrial applications. Continued advances in riveting technology and equipment will drive even broader adoption on the factory floor. CNC Milling CNC Machining