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What is a rivet nut?

  • A rivet nut is a captive fastener designed to replace convential hexagon or square nuts. They are becoming increasingly popular as they are very easy to install and remain captive in the panel so they can't be lost.
  • They are available in either open or closed end versions and in materials including steel, stainless steel & aluminium.
  • Main thread sizes used in the UK are metric coarse thread sizes but others such as UNC are available.
  • Rivet nuts can also be called Rivnuts, Nutserts or Sheet Nuts.


So now I know what a rivet nut is, how can I go about using them?


The simplest way to put a female thread in a panel is to use a rivet nut which can be very easily installed using a hand tool. All you would then need to do is use a machine screw or bolt to make the attachment. Rivet nuts avoid the need to use welding equipment or special installation machinery.


What rivet nut is best suited to my application?


The five main aspects you need to consider are:


1. Thread size:


You may simply be using a rivet nut to replace an existing thread so you would be using like for like thread sizes. If the installation is new then it's worth investigating the surrounding area to ensure a suitably sized rivet nut can be installed without detriment to the blind side bulge and anchoring capability.


Of course a heavy duty application will naturally require a larger size rivet nut to accommodate a larger thread size.


2. Material:


You need to consider corrosion resistance and the immediate environment the rivet nut will be subjected to. The three main materials we provide are steel CR3 plated, stainless steel and aluminium.


3. Body Style:


Rivet nuts are available with either round, part hex or full hexagon bodies. For the majority who won't be dealing with hexagonal holes the round body rivet nut is available in two styles, these are round (plain) and splined.


The splined bodies inherently give good purchase on the surrounding material – it all depends on how robust you prefer your installation to be.


4. Head Style:


Head styles (or flange) vary in diameter and thickness, your requirements for fitment and component proximity will dictate the degree of "stand off" that will become a prerequisite of your choice of rivet nut head. For example, if you are fitting panels then you may require a flush fitting/thin sheet head.


5. Material Thickness (Grip Range):


The majority of applications will only require the standard grip range of most rivet nuts. On special occasions we can provide long grip variants if necessary.


How do I install a rivet nut?


Installation is most commonly undertaken with a dedicated tool. These range from simple hand pliers to varying manual and powered mechanical solutions.


MEMFast stock two types of installation tool:


The RNHT07


And the AO1 Hand Plier


Each tool differs in the way it collapses the rivet nut. The nature of each tool has a direct reflection on the effort required during operation.


Of course there's always budget and long term use considerations to take into account when purchasing any tool. 

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