Producing High Quality Rivets with CNC Machining(what are torsion snap joints used for Theresa)

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Rivets are a crucial fastening component used in many industrial applications from aircraft construction to bridges and machinery. While rivets may seem simple, producing rivets that meet exacting quality standards requires advanced manufacturing techniques. This is where computer numerical control (CNC) machining shines for rivet production.
CNC machining utilizes computer-controlled equipment to automate and precision-machine components. CNC milling and turning centers can be programmed to rapidly produce large volumes of rivets with consistency and accuracy impossible with manual methods.
By incorporating CNC machines into the rivet production process, manufacturers can achieve:
- Tighter dimensional tolerances - CNC machines cut or grind rivet blanks within microns of specifications. This ensures rivets fit perfectly into drilled holes.
- More consistent quality - CNC automation eliminates deviations caused by manual processes. Parts are machined the same way every time.
- Faster production - CNC machines work continuously with minimal downtime. More rivets can be produced per hour compared to manual fabrication.
- Lower labor costs - One CNC machine and operator can replace several manual milling stations. This reduces direct labor requirements.
- Flexible production - CNC programs can be switched out to machine different rivet designs and sizes. Setups take minutes compared to hours for manual changeovers.
These advantages make CNC technology an essential component of modern rivet manufacturing. Here is an overview of how CNC milling and turning are applied in rivet production.
CNC Milling Rivet Blanks
Rivet blanks are the starting material that get formed into final rivet components. CNC milling provides a fast and precise method for cutting rivet blanks from rod stock.
The milling process starts by loading rods of steel, aluminum, or other rivet materials into a CNC machining center. The rods are indexed into position and the milling head cuts discs or slugs to the required thickness for the rivet blanks.
CNC milling stations can be fully automated with rod loaders to continually supply fresh rod stock into the machine. Conveyors transport finished rivet blanks out of the machine where they are collected in bins or hoppers.
Milling offers advantages over slice cutting rivet blanks on manual machines or power saws. The automated CNC process yields rivet blanks with minimal burrs or slag. Blanks have consistent dimensions from one part to the next. And material waste is minimized by precision-spacing blanks along the rod.
Shaping Rivet Heads with CNC Turning
The distinctive head shapes of rivets are created using CNC turning centers. Blanks cut on the CNC mill are fed into high speed CNC lathes that form the rivet head profiles.
Modern CNC lathes have live tooling options. This allows machining operations to be performed from the side and end of the part in addition to traditional turning. Live tooling unlocks more potential for complex rivet head designs.
For example, a rivet blank is precisely gripped and rotated in the CNC lathe. The turning tool cuts the head shape - flat, round, countersunk, etc. Live side tools can then mill flats or grooves around the sides of the rivet head. In one setup, the lathe machines all head features to create finished rivets.
CNC turning produces rivets with excellent head consistency. The automated process eliminates variability from manual methods. And quick changeovers between batches allows various rivet designs to be produced efficiently from the same equipment.
Automated Finishing Steps
The final steps to complete high quality rivets involve some automated finishing processes. Typical operations include:
- Deburring - Removes any residual burrs or slag from the milling and turning processes. Tumbled or vibratory deburring equipment can be integrated into the production line for automatic deburring after machining.
- Surface treatments - Adds protective platings or coatings. Barrel plating lines electroplate rivets with zinc, cadmium, tin, or other metals to prevent corrosion. Paint or powder coat systems can also apply decorative and functional coatings.
- Head stamping - Imprints identification codes, manufacturer logos, or part numbers into the rivet head. Automated stamping presses add these marks without affecting rivet dimensions.
- Packaging - Counts and bags or boxes finished rivets for shipment. Automated counters, weighers, and packers prepare rivet orders for delivery while keeping parts protected.
With the help of this supporting automation, CNC machined rivets can go directly from production into packaged inventory ready for distribution.
Quality Control Testing
To ensure rivets meet specifications, rigorous quality control checks are performed throughout the manufacturing process:
- Dimensional Inspection - Sample rivets have dimensions checked on manual measurement devices, vision inspection systems, or CMMs. Critical dimensions like head diameter and thickness are verified to be within tolerance.
- Mechanical Testing - Rivets undergo load testing to confirm the designed shear and tensile strength. Destructive testing determines rivet performance for intended applications.
- Surface Defect Detection - Parts are visually examined and run through automation to check for flaws in the surface finish. This confirms no burrs, pits, or handling marks that could cause issues during riveting.
By thoroughly inspecting rivets at multiple points in production combined with the precision of CNC machining, manufacturers can guarantee each batch meets quality expectations.
CNC Machining Maximizes Rivet Quality
From cutting and forming to finishing and testing, CNC automation enables mass production of rivets with the highest level of quality control. The technology built into CNC milling centers and lathes results in rivets that are remarkably consistent, durable, and perfectly matched to assembly specifications. This gives manufacturers and end users complete confidence that rivets perform reliably once installed in the field.
With continued advances in precision machining and quality control, CNC processes will remain instrumental for producing the tight-tolerance and high-quality rivets needed for industrial manufacturing applications. CNC Milling