What are the objections, if any, to using aluminum rivenuts in place of nut plates for inspection covers, fairings and the like?

Views: 236

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Nutplates are structurally stronger.  Rivnuts can fail and spin in the hole but if you use the type with an anti-rotation key you should be good.  I have used both.  Rivnuts are good in tight places whereas a nutplate requires more real estate.  You definitely need the proper tools to set a rivnut properly and quickly, like this one from ACS: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pnpages/12-02888.php?gclid=C...

A tip to help in setting rivnuts and making sure they never come loose is to put a drop of epoxy under the flanged tip, when you pull it the epoxy will spread and seal it.

They're expensive but you can find them on ebay fairly cheap.

Agreed. I like the tip regarding a dab of epoxy. I bought the ACS tool for setting rivenuts in a sand rail I am building. The knurled rivenuts are a must to prevent future issues with spin out and they have worked a treat. The only issue I perceive for using rivenuts in thin aluminum is purchasing knurled aluminum rivenuts rated for thin metal. I found them on  Aircraft Tool Supply.  They have a small lip on the exposed side. To recess that lip I will turn a die set out of brass for use in the rivet squeezer. 

Thanks for your input Don. 

I never used the knurled rivnuts, the keyed ones I used had the "key" on the flange and this is the area I put that drop of epoxy.  Knurled may be just as good, just never used them.  Couldn't find the keyed at ACS which I'm pretty sure is where I bought them...but here's a link which shows what they look like:https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productselection.asp?Product=650

What I meant in the last sentence in my first response above is that the setting tools are expensive but you can find them cheap on ebay...

No doubt the ACS tool is pricy, but worth the cost for what it can do. The platform lends itself well to creating custom dies if your handy at tool making. 

Here's the link to the aluminum rivenuts on Aircraft Tool Supply. Not knurled or keyed, but rated for thin metal: 


Actually now that I look at that website, I think that's where I got mine...not ACS.  Have bought many tools and drill bits from these guys

Hi Don and Group,

Thanks for the drop of epoxy hint before setting the rivnut. I have the right setting tool and am making my top skin in front of the panel removable for repack access to the BRS parachute. I am just about to install aluminum rivnuts and aluminum machine screws tp the top of the panel on either side of the compass. I didn't want the extra deflection from using steel fasteners or nut plates. The rest of the removable top skin uses SS Tinnerman screws and carbon steel Tinnerman anchors.

Best Regards, Larry Zepp, Zodiac 650B N22LZ


New from Zenith:

Zenith Planes For Sale 

Classified listing for buying or selling your Zenith building or flying related stuff...

Custom Instrument Panels
for your Zenith

Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.

Custom Upholstery Kits for your Zenith Aircraft:

Zenith Vinyl Upholstery Kits

Zenith Apparel from EAA:

Zenair Floats

Flying On Your Own Wings:
A Complete Guide to Understanding Light Airplane Design, by Chris Heintz

Builder & Pilot Supplies:

How to videos from HomebuiltHELP.com

Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit HomebuiltHelp.com for the latest DVD titles.

Aircraft Insurance:


West Coast USA:

Pro Builder Assistance:


Transition training:

Golden Eagle Aviation

Pianosa Flying Farm

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty for all your building and pilot supplies!

© 2022   Created by Zenith.Aero.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service