Riveting machinery inserts fasteners through aligned holes in components to be joined, then presses or hammers them from the insertion side to provide the second retaining head. The machine may be manually operated with a hand riveter or handheld rivet gun, pneumatically (pop riveters and air riveters), electrically, or hydraulically actuated (hydraulic and impact riveters).
The most common type of fastening tool used to make a joint is the rivet. Rivets are short metal pins that have a head on one end and a body with a hole in it on the other end. The process is used in a variety of industries such as aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, shipbuilding and consumer product manufacturing. Riveting produces a stronger joint than welding and is less hazardous due to the lack of heat.
Rivets are typically made of stainless steel or aluminum and come in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials. The most commonly used size is a standard round-headed rivet. Other types of fasteners include blind rivets, oval head rivets, and hex head rivets. The most common application for riveting is joining metal parts to other components such as metal panels or metal furniture.
A lap joint is created by overlapping two sheet metal components and installing a rivet on the overlapped portion. A lap rivet is a good choice for joining deformable materials as the process does not require access to both sides of the component to be repaired.
An impact rivet is set when the rivet gun is actuated and pressurized. The rivet is then driven downwards through the materials to be joined and into a forming tool known as a rollset. This force deforms the tail end of the rivet and secures the joint. The rivet is then removed from the gun and the process is repeated as needed.
When selecting a riveting machine it is important to define the assembly process objectives and constraints. Working with a vendor that offers a variety of rivet machine options and can offer guidance in deciding which process to use will help ensure the best results for your assembly project.
The rivet gun is a critical piece of equipment in the riveting process. A rivet gun includes a regulator, throttle valve and trigger which are powered by compressed air from an air compressor. This air powers a piston inside a sliding valve that is used to eject the rivet through the mandrel.
Dedicated sensors monitor the setting force and punch movement during the riveting process, producing a force-displacement curve. The sensor data is compared to a trained reference curve to ensure the correct setting of the rivet. Hydraulic systems have a positional sensor to locate the punch and up to two pressure sensors. Electric servo-systems have up to four sensor inputs to monitor the clamp, punch and rivet setting force. These systems allow the operator to control and optimize riveting operations and improve production efficiency. They can also help prevent the damage to a component caused by an improperly set rivet and prevent unscheduled downtime for repair.