What Are Blind Rivets and Why They Are Used in Aircraft?

Serving as the world's most complex vehicle, the airplane is made up of many parts. As an example, the Boeing 747 contains roughly 6 million individual components. When considering all parts, some play a more significant role than others in holding everything together or for providing safety during flight, such as structural panels and fasteners, for instance.

Whether it is an Airbus A330 or the Boeing 787, almost every aircraft is made up of riveted joints. Riveted joints are established through the process of joining two parts using a fastener called a 'rivet.' Riveting is a great way to join two components together permanently. There are different types of rivets, including lap joints and butt joints, but they all have one thing in common – their purpose of making the connection between surfaces strong enough so that they will not come apart.

Apart from rivets, welding is another way to join two metals, and the process has been around since the 1800s. As such, you might be wondering why welding is not used for such applications. The answer is that using rivets in the aviation industry has more advantages such as ease of inspection, maintenance, and repeatability. Another reason for not using welding methods is the thickness of aircraft parts. It is hard to weld aircraft parts together because the thickness is inappropriate for weld joints.

As of the present, it has been almost a century that we have been using rivets in the aircraft industry. Though the rivet technology looks simple, there are several unique benefits of rivets that make them an ideal choice for aircraft construction. One such rivet is the blind rivet, a common type of fastener used in airplanes. In the next section, we will detail what blind rivets are and why they are used in airplane construction.

What Are Blind Rivets?

Sometimes it is hard to access the backside of your parts when you are joining them together. That is where blind rivets come in handy. It is necessary to fasten two or more parts together without access from the backside in some situations. The backside, also called the "blind" side, is what you cannot see when putting an assembly together, and this can be accomplished with blind rivets, also known as pop rivets.

How Blind Rivets Work

Rivet joints are a very common way to join multiple parts together. Some types, like blind rivets, have an extra component that makes them unique from other standard fasteners – the body and stem combination, which can come in many different shapes or sizes depending on your needs and requirements.

The body is at the top of the blind rivet and acts as a shell, while the stem is a long and narrow rod that is connected to the same element. When installed, the body will expand as the blind rivet is inserted through a hole, and then it will be pulled back out. This process creates tension on both sides of your fastener, which results in it swelling up. Once the body is expanded, the stem is released, leaving parts connected.

Why Blind Rivets Are Used in Airplanes

The blind rivet was designed for the aerospace industry and is used to securely fasten multiple parts of an airplane. They are often found on trailing edges where there is little access or visibility from behind, and even if you do not have direct sight of your target, it will still hold tightly in place. These clever blind rivets are a simple and effective solution for those hard-to-reach places.

Some may wonder why screws are not used in lieu of rivets, as the two are both reliable fasteners for securing assemblies. Generally, the most important reason is that rivets are much better at withstanding vibration. Also, the rivet will expand with time and fill the remaining space of a hole. In contrast, the high-speed vibration of an aircraft's engines causes screws to come loose, which is why rivets are used in their place. Furthermore, rivets can grip metal better than their counterparts due to their significantly lighter weight – making them perfect for use on sensitive parts like wings!

In Conclusion

The blind rivet was designed for use in airplanes because of its tiny size and durable metal composition. Blind rivets are often found on the trailing edges of wings where there is little or no access to the backside of the assembly.

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