By Tyler Jones
Sherex Application Engineer
When material is too thin to tap threads, clinch nuts and rivet nuts are used to help fasten the application. Both rivet nuts and clinch nuts allow for additional components to be attached using these threaded fasteners, and both attach mechanically to the base material. But what’s the difference? Which one is better?
Using a Clinch Nut over a Rivet Nut
Clinch nuts are great. They are smaller, self-clinching, internally threaded nuts that are pressed into the base material. Some of the advantages of using a clinch nut over a rivet nut are:
- Can be installed in very thick base material.
- There can be almost flush installation on the base material with clinch nut installation. Some small flange rivet nuts or countersunk rivet nuts can make near flush installation, but not as flush as clinch nuts.
- There isn’t a specific installation tool for clinch nuts. They can be installed with something like an arbor press, though automation systems are very popular for clinch nut installation.
- Can fit different material geometries than rivet nuts.
Using Rivet Nuts over Clinch Nuts
Rivet nuts are also great. Often referred to blind rivet nuts, they are threaded inserts that install on one side of the application to provide a strong attachment point. Unlike clinch nuts, these are installed by pulling the base of the rivet nut and crimping it to one side of the material, instead of being pressed on. Installation requires specific rivet nut tooling to crimp the rivet nut on to the material. Advantages of rivet nuts of clinch nuts are, generally:
- Rivet nuts have a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and can even feature floating threads.
- Very easy to install with proper tooling.
- Stronger thread. Rivet nuts, generally, and especially with hexagonal body, are more resistance to spin-out than clinch nuts.
- Cost of standard rivet nuts is similar to the cost of a standard clinch nut.
Comparing and Contrasting Installation of Clinch Nuts and Rivet Nuts
When installing Clinch Nuts, access to both sides of the base material is needed. For Rivet Nuts, installation is only needed with having access to one side of the base material or work piece.
As far as tooling is concerned, Rivet nuts and clinch nuts have the ability to be installed using a Spin-Pull Rivet Nut Tools, but for the most part, clinch nuts need to be pressed into the material.
For high volume installations, fastener automation systems are the preferred method to install both clinch nuts and rivet nuts, but some rivet nut hand tools can be used for high volume installation of rivet nuts, including for use on an assembly line. For a manual approach to installing clinch nuts, something as simple as an arbor press can provide installation.
With price between clinch nuts and some standard rivet nuts as fairly similar, factors into determining when to use a clinch nut can be:
- Is there access to install using the backside of the work piece?
- How much thread strength and spin out is required for the application?
- Will installations be performed by an operator or through automation?
The answer to these questions will help determine if a clinch nut or rivet nut will make the best fastener for your application. For suggestions on the best fastener to use for your project, please contact Sherex Fastening Solutions.