Rivnuts were originally developed in the late 1930s by the BF Goodrich Company and sold under the trademark RIVNUT®. They are also known as blind rivet nuts or threaded inserts. The makeup of a rivnut is one piece that is threaded internally which is able to be anchored entirely on one side. The rivnuts were first used to mount de-icing boots to aircraft wings. Rivnuts are now available in many variations and sizes and therefore used for many different fastening capabilities. But they are also still important components for aviation.
A main strength of rivet nuts are that, just like with traditional rivets, they are blind. Meaning, these fasteners can be installed securely from one side of the work piece. No need to struggle to reach around the back of the bolt to fasten the material with a nut. Once the rivet nut is installed, fasten your material through the rivet nut with any compatible externally threaded fastener and you’re all set.
The rivet nut itself can be installed into a variety of a different materials including metal, plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber. Rivet nuts offer a number of advantages that make them suitable for various applications where other blind rivets won’t do. We’ve already mentioned aviation manufacturing, but rivet nuts can also be used for appliances, automotive manufacturing, office furniture, playground equipment, solar installations, electronics, boats, pools and hot tubs, military equipment, and even bicycles.
Rivet nuts are more versatile than self-tapping screws or pressed inserts. They can be made from steel, stainless steel, brass, and other materials, and are not affected by heat, which makes them more convenient for applications such as plastic or wood where conventional welding is impractical.
They come in two variations of end style – either open ended where the bolt can protrude through the rivet nut without obstruction, or a closed end type. Closed end type rivet nuts are ideal if you’re looking for a sealed end rivet nut, providing an effective option for the ingress of water.
In some manufacturing settings, rivet nuts are preferred because they enable faster assembly at reduced costs. Rivet nuts were made to be automated and can be used with a six-axle robot or other automated assembly tools. If you’re looking for a fastener that provides fast installation at minimal cost a rivet nut is the ideal solution and can easily be installed by air rivet nut tooling or hand tooling.