We had a discussion a while back about the strength of Avex rivets and if rivets from other suppliers were as strong as the rivets supplied by Zenith. My opinion on this was and still is that with todays manufacturing technology a rivet is a rivet is a rivet and there is no difference. at that time I said I was going to do some testing and would report the results. I built a fixture and have only pulled a handfull of A4 rivets and have to make a couple of modifications to the fixture but I can say that if anyone has done any testing of shear strength of a single rivet you would quickly decide to never use any avex rivets to build an airplane, I was suprised at how little pressure it took to shear the rivets, when I went to 3 rivets in a row the strength obviously increased and the developed strength is in the completed structure. I have to change the pressure guage on the fixture and may have to change out the cheap jack, but by feel when pulling apart rivets I can feel no noticable difference between the rivets I have been using and Zenair rivets. I will be producing at least a couple of videos of the fixture and the testing when I get the fixture changed around but for now a couple of pictures are below.

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Dan, do you plan on using Avex, Cherry Max or solid rivets during your build?  

Call me curious Dave...

I will continue to use the avex rivets as per the Zenith plans, I was just surprised at how easily a single rivet would shear with an a4 shear strength of 130. I beleive they do as advertised, but until I saw it fail in my fixture I didn't have the proper perspective in my mind. I have to get a pressure guage with the proper rating, but I am anxous to begin testing the different rivets to find how the compare.

This guy seems to be one to copy in method. 


I had not seen that video. Interesting, an avex isn't even close to having that strength.

Mr. Hill, first off, let me say I appreciate your videos immensely! I have several AK63D kits sitting in a box that someday I will tackle, and your videos are a big part of my knowledge base to complete those! 

I wonder if it would be possible to include a variation in your testing. I am thinking of building a CH 640 with FLUSH Avex rivets on the skins instead of the typical Zenith domed rivets. That would involve dimpling the skin and flanges, and countersinking the thicker parts obviously... Anyway, would it be possible for you to do a comparison between using the Zenith "domed head" joining two flat parts, and the same test with two parts dimpled, and installing the rivets with the standard flat head? I would appreciate it! 


Yes: While I think it will all be somewhat dry I think it opens up a whole lot of potential for testing different rivets and configurations. It may be somewhat limited as I only intended it as a comparison of avex rivets with the Zenith supplied rivets as the benchmark to meet or exceed.

I would be interested in the results as well, and may get inspired to run my own test.

I received a large number of Avex rivets early in my build, but haven't used them. Some is the strength concern, but they all seem a little oversized for the #30 and #20 holes we drill for the Zenith rivets.


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