Rivet nuts—also called rivnuts, blind rivets, blind rivnuts, rivnut rivets, snap fasteners, or snapfasts—are designed to be used in sheet metal applications to provide a quick way of securing mechanical parts.
These kinds of rivet nuts are utilised when permanent or semi-permanent installation is needed and access for further fabrication isn’t available after the initial application. These rivnuts are great for electrical panels when they’re needed on top of wire tray shelves. Often rivnuts are found in the construction business where technicians use rivnuts in metal studs to mount equipment like speakers or vented wall boxes with ease.
Riveted through thin pieces of sheet metal, rivnuts provide a smooth, finished look that allows the rivnut to be installed flush with the material. The rivnut creates its own thread as it is turned into place and tapped down. After installation, rivnuts are designed to lie completely flat against the sheet metal.
Rivet nuts are different from standard blind nails or rivets because they use threads instead of ridges to fasten two pieces of material together.
Rivet nuts require special tools for installation which can include rivnut pliers (similar in design to mole grips) and rivnut setting tools (which resemble an adjustable wrench).
A rivnut tool uses a circular collet system that squeezes the rivnut into the holeand sets the rivnut without crushing it.
The rivnut is placed in position and rivnut pliers are used to firmly grip the rivnut as the rivnut setting tool (the adjustable wrench like tool) is attached to tighten into place. Once tightened, rivnuts should remain flat against the sheet metal surface without protruding above it.
The installation of rivnuts can be tricky for those with limited mechanical assembly experience and require a steady hand and patience due to their small width and close tolerance fit. Improper installation will result in rivnuts that don’t hold securely or partially-inserted rivnuts which can fall out if enough pressure is applied from one side. If this occurs,rivnuts should be discarded and rivnut installation attempted again.
When rivnuts are installed in thin sheet metal, they don’t protrude above the material, making them very discreet and easy to install. They’re much more discreet than using rivets because rivnuts can be installed flush with the sheet metal leaving no evidence of their existence except for the rivnut threads that are used to hold the rivnuts in place.
Rivet nuts can be applied when an even or flush surface is required where a threaded fastener won’t work. Rivnut characteristics make them ideal for tight places where steel screws aren’t practical. Rivnut installation offers better vibration resistance compared to traditional point-type blind fasteners..
A rivnut can also reduce labor compared to traditional threaded fasteners because rivnuts are inserted with simple rivnut installation tools. This reduces the time required for fabrication, saving money on rivnut installation costs.
A rivnut swage tool is used to install rivnuts into slightly curved sheet metal surfaces or flat panels that require rivnuts into difficult-to-reach areas like behind electrical equipment where rivnuts work great for wire tray applications.
Rivet nuts are often mistakenly referred to as rivets so it’s important to use specific terminology when discussing these products in order to avoid confusion.