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Why aircraft panels are fixed with rivets

2020-06-20

Rivets

There are many fuselage panels on the plane that are fixed by rivets, but if you use screws to connect, is it more convenient from the perspective of disassembly? Why use rivets instead of screws?

From a detachable point of view, priority is given to using screw-type fasteners such as screws. It is easy to disassemble, which can make subsequent maintenance easier. But besides this advantage, it seems that there is nothing else.

The rivet connection needs to squeeze the connected plates together and transfer the shear force. This squeezing force will cause friction between the plates, and this friction is an important part of the load transfer between the connected plates. In order to withstand the maximum possible shear load, rivets often require smooth surfaces, and threaded fasteners are often more vulnerable at this point because of the notch effect.

Normally, the fuselage panel is made of two very thin aluminum plates with a honeycomb structure bonded between them, which makes the fuselage panel have excellent resistance to flexure, compression, and very light . However, from the perspective of fastener connection, when a screw is used, the inward twisting force of the screw can easily deform the panel surface; and the rivet is a force that expands evenly outward, and this pressure is only when the expansion is in contact Will act on the plate.

From the perspective of anti-vibration loosening, after the rivet is correctly installed, it will not loosen due to vibration, so it is more safe and reliable. From the perspective of aerodynamics, the rivet can be flush with the surface of the fuselage. I believe that the bolt or screw is difficult, or simply ask "Is it possible?" In addition, I can also think of the economic cost, the rivet is aviation fastening The only thing in the article that says “there is no need to say”, a large number of fasteners are required to fix the skin of the fuselage. Based on such a large number, the advantages of rivets can be imagined.