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    Rob Dell'Elmo

    Recent Posts

    The Austin Hardware® Guide to Blind Rivets, Part Two

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Mar 29, 2021 9:30:00 AM

    This is Part 2 of a 4-part series on Blind Rivets

    In part one of our series on blind rivets, we briefly looked at the history of the blind (a.k.a. pop) rivet and discussed the two most important considerations to maximize joint integrity when using them: Grip Range and Hole Size. If you have not yet read that post, click HERE.

    We'll now break down the third and fourth most important aspects to consider to maximize joint integrity using blind rivets: Material and Installation Tooling.

    • Material - A good rule of thumb when selecting a blind rivet is to use the same material rivet as the substrate into which it's being installed. If you're riveting sheets of steel together, use a steel rivet. The same goes for aluminum and stainless steel. This is important because using dissimilar metals may result in galvanic corrosion, depending on the application's environment.

    Installation Tooling - What role exactly does installation tooling play in how a blind rivet works? It's simple. An installation tool has one job … to pull the stem of the blind rivet up through the rivet body until the pull force of the tool overcomes the tensile strength of the rivet stem, resulting in the stem breaking off at its predetermined breakpoint.

    There's nothing more to it than that. All strength parameters and application criteria of a properly installed blind rivet reside within the rivet itself. If the installation tool breaks off the blind rivet stem, it's done its job. So, this means that the primary consideration for blind rivet installation tooling is accessibility. Can the tool fit into the area around where the rivet needs to go? Fortunately, there are many different configurations and types of tooling available. So, in most cases, you'll find an installation tool that quite literally "fits" your needs.

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    Topics: fasteners

    Now Available: NEW Locking Feature On Austin Hardware's Patented Front Drawer Release (FDR) Systems.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Mar 16, 2021 11:27:01 AM

    Statistics from the National Truck Equipment Association indicate commercial (cargo) van sales increased by 56.7% between 2013 and 2019, and there's no sign of that trend slowing down. While cargo vans are becoming more and more common for delivery services (if you've had an Amazon delivery lately, you know this to be true), they're also widely used by businesses of all types as service vehicles. 

    Larger vehicles, such as box trucks, will always have a substantial market position for their advantage in capacity. This is especially true for delivery services as their size advantage allows for the delivery of larger items and helps to minimize trips. However, cargo vans generally cost less to purchase, and their smaller size makes them more fuel-efficient and able to fit into tighter spaces. This economy and agility make cargo vans a better choice for delivering smaller parcels and for use as service vehicles.

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    Topics: Austin Engineered Solutions™, Innovative Solutions

    The Austin Hardware® Guide to Blind Rivets, Part One

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Feb 10, 2021 9:30:00 AM

    This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on Blind Rivets.

    What is a blind rivet? Simply put, it's a rivet that can be installed from just one side of the application, thus the term "blind."

    The development of blind rivets can be traced back to the aircraft industry.

    According to Assembly magazine,

    "The blind rivet was originally developed as a replacement fastener for solid rivets where service repair was required. Blind rivets also trace their roots to the aircraft industry. Before blind rivets were widely accepted, installation of solid aluminum rivets in fuselages, wings and other airframe components typically required two assemblers: one person with a rivet hammer on one side of the structure and a second person with a bucking bar on the other side. Since rivets were often inaccessible from both sides of the work, this assembly process was extremely slow and very time consuming."

    Continuing with the history lesson, blind rivets were initially dubbed "pop rivets" because of the popping sound made during installation when the stem (a.k.a. mandrel) breaks off. Later, the originating company branded its version of blind rivets as POP® rivets. To this day, blind rivets are generically known as "POP rivets," much the same way tissues are referred to by the prominent brand Kleenex. But in reality, while all POP® rivets are blind rivets, not all blind rivets are necessarily the POP® brand. Interestingly, while the roots of the original POP® fasteners live on, the company is now a part of STANLEY Engineered Fasteners, a division of Staley Black & Decker. 

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    Topics: Austin Hardware® News, Blind Rivets, Blog

    The Austin Hardware® Fastener Blog Series: Lockbolts Explained.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Dec 11, 2020 10:00:00 AM

    In an earlier post on structural fasteners, we began discussion on lockbolts. A lockbolt is a 2-piece, permanent, mechanically locked structural fastener. Their primary benefit is that they offer long-lasting vibration resistance and won't loosen even under the most extreme vibration. This is because an installed, fully swaged (cold-formed collar on the grooved pin) lockbolt has no gaps between the grooves of the pin and the swaged collar, as found in threaded fasteners such as nuts and bolts. It's essentially a best-of-both-worlds hybrid of a bolt and a rivet.

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    Topics: fasteners

    The Austin Hardware® Fastener Blog Series: Learn More About Lock Washers.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Nov 13, 2020 10:30:00 AM

    Lock washers work on the nut side of the fastener, supplying added tension to an assembly to help prevent nuts and bolts from turning, slipping, and coming loose due to vibration and torque. Thus, their use is common in the transportation industry and on commercial products such as washing machines where vibration is a significant factor.

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    Topics: fasteners

    Scorpion Products For Your Truck.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Nov 2, 2020 11:41:46 AM

    You rely on your pick-up truck to haul all sorts of things. Whether it’s for work or play, you use your truck hard and want it to last a long, long time. You also know that the cargo you’re hauling around can scratch, gouge, dent, and ding your pick-up’s bed, reducing its useful life.  

    To protect the bed from damage and rust, you can install a bed-liner. The two most common types of bed-liners are drop-in and spray-on.  

    Drop-in liners are typically hard plastic or rubber and are “dropped in” to the back of the truck. Unfortunately, unless the drop-in liner is specifically designed for your truck’s make and model, this may not be the best option.  

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    Topics: trucks, work trucks

    The Austin Hardware® Fastener Blog Series: Your Guide to E-Clips.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Oct 21, 2020 10:30:00 AM

    E-Clips are a radially assembled tapered section retaining ring. With three points of contact they provide a larger surface for retainingand yield a higher thrust load capacity than other types of external rings. 

    As discussed in a previous post, retaining rings are designed to restrict the movement of mating components and keep them securely in place during operation. By creating a shoulder to retain the assembly, retaining rings are a cost-effective solution, reducing the need for threaded fasteners or machining shoulders on to components. They can be used to replace cotter pins or other traditional fasteners in a number of applications. 

    Composed of thin metal, retaining rings are generally either stamped, machined, or made from coiled wire.

    They function by being fitted into a machined groove, either on the inside of a bore, or the outside of a shaft. Once in place they reduce vibration, maintain placement of two parts of an assembly, and withstand axial loading.  

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    Topics: fasteners

    The Austin Hardware® Fastener Blog Series: Learn More About Using Grooved Pins for Your Hardware Needs.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Sep 28, 2020 11:30:00 AM

    A grooved pin is a solid pin, similar to a dowel, except with swaged grooves (or flutes) that run vertically. Ordinarily, there are three grooves that can vary in length. They can run the entire way down the pin to as little as just one-third the length.

    Applications:

    • Locking collars
    • Linkage or Hinge Pin
    • Valve T-handle
    • Spring anchor
    • Roller and Stop pins
    •  

    Typically, sizes range from 1/16” to ½” in diameter, with lengths up to 3-3/4”. Grooved pins generally are used in friction fit holes, creating a connection that is almost as strong as a dowel with the added benefit of excellent vibration resistance.

    The primary functional difference between a grooved pin and a dowel is that, while displaced material of the swaged grooves increases the pin’s diameter, the grooves close when pressed into a hole. This makes grooved pins appreciably more pliable than dowels, resulting in pins that can be used in holes that may not be formed to an exact size or circular shape. Tolerances for a dowel are considerably tighter. Grooved pins can also be removed and reused more easily because of their enhanced pliability.

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    Topics: fasteners

    The Austin Hardware® Fastener Blog Series: An Overview of Self-Clinching Nuts for Your Hardware Needs.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Sep 10, 2020 11:30:00 AM

    In a previous post, we discussed in broad terms the basics of self-clinching fasteners. We noted that self-clinching fasteners are typically used for metal assemblies that may be too thin for tapping or in applications where it’s not feasible to employ stamped or extruded threads. They’re found in everything from household appliances and electronics to medical, telecom, and automotive equipment.

    The three primary forms of self-clinching fasteners are Nuts, Studs, and Standoffs. Standoffs are used most often in Printed Circuit Boards and electrical assemblies to protect the circuitry. Studs present a threaded fastener into the product allowing for the mounting of essential components. We’ll dive deeper into those two specific self-clinching fasteners in future posts.

    This blog is going to take a little closer look at self-clinching nuts. 

    Self-clinching nuts provide strong, load-bearing threads to accept bolts and screws in thin sheet metal applications. They’re typically pressed into the metal using a manual or hydraulic press and swage the surrounding metal, which makes them a strong and permanently affixed component.

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    Topics: fasteners

    The Austin Hardware® Fastener Blog Series: Your Guide to Structural Fasteners.

    Posted by Rob Dell'Elmo on Aug 19, 2020 11:30:00 AM

     

    The meaning of the term "structural fastener" is somewhat ambiguous. Here's what it used to mean:

    As recently as a January 2020 article by ITA Fasteners, structural fasteners are described as being, "… characterized by strong, heavy-duty materials that facilitate the construction of structures employing steel to steel connections. They are an ideal choice … for connecting one metal structure to another." 

     

    While not inaccurate, according to Steave Klein, National Sales Manager for Fasteners at Austin Hardware®, "That phrasing comes from a time when steel was the strongest material available for construction and structural applications. In the modern world of today, while steel is still commonly used in all types of manufacturing, we also have many other materials, some of which are stronger than steel, and due to some of their other characteristics, better suited to certain load-bearing applications." 

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    Topics: fasteners