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

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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: 

https://aircraft-tool.com/shop/detail.aspx?id=10-24

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

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