Top 10 Questions OEMs Need to Answer for Rivet Nut Applications

October 6, 2020


There is an Expansive Variety of OEM Rivet Nut Applications:

  • Aerospace Equipment Assembly
  • Agricultural Equipment Assembly
  • Appliance Assembly (Commercial & Residential)
  • Aviation Equipment Assembly
  • Boat Step Pad Assembly
  • Cabinetry Assembly
  • Car Assembly
  • Construction Equipment Assembly
  • Dock Panel Assembly
  • Electronic Assembly
  • Energy Component Assembly
  • Folding Furniture Assembly
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Assembly
  • Helicopter Assembly
  • Machine Tool Assembly
  • Medical Equipment Assembly
  • Metal Fabrication Assembly
  • Military Equipment Assembly
  • Motor Repairs
  • Passenger Vehicle Assembly
  • Pedal Bike Assembly
  • Plastics Assembly
  • Railway Assembly
  • Recreation Equipment Assembly
  • RV Equipment Assembly
  • Ship and Yacht Assembly
  • AND, MORE!

For nearly 100 years, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have been finding more and more ways to incorporate this fastener into Rivet Nut Applications. The rivet nut is the PERFECT solution for thin parent materials that need to gain superior thread strength for secondary attachment abilities.

Let’s go over the Top 10 Questions you’ll need to answer before designing in a rivet nut or obtaining a rivet nut quote:

1. What size thread is needed for your application?

Typically, you have a strength requirement or a mating bolt already picked out. Listed below is every CATALOG thread size, and Rivet Nut USA stocks them all! If you don’t see your thread size below, then prepare yourself for a larger order minimum with a longer manufacturing leadtime! Standard/Unified Rivet Nut Thread Sizes: 4-40 (440), 6-32 (632), 8-32 (832), 10-32 (1032), 10-24 (1024), 1/4-20 (2520), 1/4-28 (2528), 5/16-18 (3118), 5/16-24 (3124), 3/8-16 (3716), 3/8-24 (3724), 1/2-13 (5013) and 1/2-20 (5020)

Metric Rivnut® Thread Sizes: M3, M4, M5, M6, M8, M10 and M12

2. What is the thickness of your parent application material?

The material thickness is of CRITICAL IMPORTANCE, the thicker the material, the longer the rivet nut you need. Each rivet nut has a “grip range”, the grip range defines the minimum and maximum material thickness that rivet nut can “grip”.

If you have a thick 3/8” inch steel plate, you can install a tiny light-duty 6-32 thread or a heavy duty 1/2-13 thread, but both the 6-32 and 1/2-13 will need to have a longer-than-average shank length to accommodate your thicker material. Rivet nuts typically can grip material thicknesses between 0.010” up to 0.500” thick, but no one rivet nut can cover that entire range!

rivet nut applications

3. What type of material do you want the fastener made of?

Rivet Nut USA carries blind nut inserts made of Steel (typically 1008/1010), Stainless Steel (typically 400 series, such as 430), Non-Magnetic Stainless Steel (typically 300 series, such as 302HQ/304/316), Aluminum (typically 5052 or 6061) and Brass.

4. What type of finishing or plating (corrosion resistance) do you need on your blind fastener?

Stainless Steel, Aluminum or Brass: Typically, users won’t won’t seek additional plating as these materials already offer natural corrosion resistance. 300 series stainless is typically called out for use in food grade applications. Users may select to anodize the aluminum, but not always.

Steel: Common practice today is for users to plate with a zinc clear (-ZK or -ZNR) or yellow coloring (-ZY or -ZYR), which is RoHs & trivalent chromated. In the past, before environmental impacts were well understood, cadmium (-CSI) was used, which is non-Rohs & hexavalent chromated. For higher volume automotive/agriculture applications, it’s not uncommon to see a zinc nickel (-ZnNi) call-out, which can provide over 1,000 salt spray hours to red rust (and more to white rust)! For any type of plating, salt spray testing is available (additional charge with additional leadtime).

5. What body/shank style on the rivet nut is required for your application?

Rivnut® fasteners come in the original thick-wall round body, thin-wall round body, full-hex body, thin-wall half-hex body, Straight/Regular Plusnut® & Pre-Bulb Plusnut®.

The body style dictates the hole diameter and hole type (round or hex hole). Hex bodies help increase spin-out resistance, so you need to plan on lasering in the hex hole in your upfront design.  Thick-wall rivet nuts provides overall stronger performance characteristics, while the thin-wall rivet nuts still have amazing performance standards at a lower price point. Plusnuts® provide strong pull-out and push-through performance standards, especially in soft plastic applications.

6. What style of head will work best for your application?

Typical head options: flat/standard head, countersunk head, hex head and thin head (also called “low profile”, sometimes good enough with avoiding the need to perform a countersinking operation).

Less typical head options: super- or extra-thin head, wedge head, race-track oval Plusnut® head or square head.

7. Do you want an open-end or closed-end at the bottom of the rivet nut body shank?

Open-end: most common, as it allows the mating bolt to thread all the way through the rivet nut. An open-end also less costly.

Closed-end: typically designed into specific applications that need to keep external elements out of the application, like a watertight application. Closed-end costs a bit more than open-end and are less commonly in stock.

8. Uncommon Specialty Design Features Needed?

If not, skip this question. If special features are needed, then please review below and understand that while specialty design features can create your “perfect solution”, they will typically add minimum order requirements with non-stock longer manufacturing leadtimes.

  • Knurling on the body shank: The knurls, if properly installed, may increase spin out resistance. If looking to increase spin out resistance and you can laser in a hex hole, then opt for the hex body rivet nut for ultimate spin out resistance. Knurling does come as “standard” feature on certain thin-wall rivet nuts.
  • Plastic seals under head: Various sealing options under the head can help keep out unwanted external matter (liquids, water, dust, air, chemicals, etc) from seeping under the rivet nut head into your application.
  • Keyed Projection Under the Head: This is an early method of increasing spin-out resistance, especially before better manufacturing technology came along for the now more commonly used hex body rivet nuts. A tiny bump or projection under the head would slide into (or mate with) with a small keyway cut into the hole. These are still regularly used in military or aerospace applications that have design requirements that are proven to work or difficult to change.

rivet nut applications

9. How many blind nutserts do you require for your Rivet Nut Applications?

Rivet Nut USA is happy to serve all customers, from low volume sprinter van enthusiasts to high volume automotive tier one suppliers. We offer commonly stocked fasteners in any quantity (even 1 qty!), and we also supply large Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that use 100,000’s in high production rate environments. The more nutserts that you need, the better quantity discount that we are able to offer. We are happy to take blanket orders for just-in-time delivery, which minimizes leadtime and increases your working capital by keeping inventory on OUR shelf, rather than YOUR shelf.

10. Have you answered the first 9 questions?

If so, then you are ready to select your rivet nut! Take a look at our website and catalogs to select your perfect rivet nut, then give us a call or send us an email, we’d love to get you a quote!

11. And as a bonus question, users need to consider what is the best installation tool that will achieve the needed production requirements?

Rivet Nut USA is the leading supplier of battle tested, long lasting, dependable nutsert installation tools. Whether you require a field service hand tool or a high production rate pneumatic tool, Rivet Nut USA is here to help. Check out our tool page, or send us an email, or give us a call and we will get you the best tool for your production requirements.

Congratulations!!! You just successfully found a rivet nut and selected the best installation tool that will support your design and production needs. Please contact one of our sales engineers today – we would love to discuss, quote and supply your Rivet Nut Application requirements. Rivet Nut USA can also supply you with other hardware, tools, accessories and fasteners.