Why Using Rivets in Aircraft Construction Is Important
Anytime you look at an aircraft, you’ll notice that it is made with rivets rather than welding. Rivets are a type of fastener. They come in plenty of different types. That said, they all serve to join two pieces of material together. They are often used on seams, much like welding.
While welding has been around for a long time, rivets still have several advantages that make them the primary choice. Additionally, several welding features make it the lesser of the two options. These features have made rivets the choice for aircraft since they were first invented. Here’s more on why planes need to be made from these fasteners.
Aluminum Isn’t Heat Tolerant
One of the biggest reasons aircraft rivets are used over welding is that aluminum cannot tolerate heat. Since most airplanes have an aluminum body, this is a problem. Aluminum is the go-to metal because it is cheap and light. Lighter planes are more fuel-efficient and more affordable to fly. However, the welding process will damage the aluminum, so it is necessary to use rivets to join seams.
Rivets Are Easy To Inspect
Rivets are also much easier to inspect than welded seams. It only takes a visual inspection to check the security of these fasteners. However, welded seams must be tested with a machine. You can’t look at a weld and tell if it is solid. Therefore, rivets have become the go-to method to make inspections more straightforward, faster, and safer, so passengers don’t meet their maker earlier than expected.
So, why do aircraft have rivets instead of welding? If you answered because these fasteners are easier to work with and spare the aluminum body, you’re correct. These are just some of the biggest reasons rivets are chosen over welding. There are too many more to list on paper. Hopefully, this helps you understand more about the construction of the next aircraft you board.