A guide to panel fasteners
In today's modern fabrication, panel fasteners come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and materials. They're useful in various applications and industries:
• Aerospace and aeronautics
• Ship building
• Electric cable enclosures
• Cabinet making
Solid, round head rivets have been used for centuries, as far back as the bronze age. Often used in ship and bridge construction, these rivets consist of a shaft with a round head on one end. After being heated to the correct temperature, they're placed in holes that join panels to framework. The exposed end of the shaft is hammered to flatten it, making a strong, secured attachment.
Here's an interesting historical fact: the Golden Gate Bridge that spans the San Francisco Bay in California has approximately 600,000 rivets per tower.
Fortunately, you probably won't need nearly that many rivets for your engineering projects. And much of the time, you'll be using panel fasteners made of nylon, plastic, or other synthetic materials.
When specifying a fastener, you need to consider one or more of these conditions and requirements:
- The materials of the mating surfaces
- The thickness of both the panel and the structure to which is attached
- The environment it will be located in (wet or damp, acidic or caustic, high or low temperature)
- How often, if ever, that the panel will need to be removed
- The strength of the join required, both shear and tensile
- And of course, the aesthetics or appearance of the fastener
Let's look at some examples in the full article here.
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