BY JOE NORRIS - VIDEO HINT BY BRIAN CARPENTER
YOU WILL OFTEN SEE anchor nuts (also known as “nut plates” or “blind nuts”) used on aircraft in locations where it is difficult or even impossible to get behind the structure to
hold a nut while installing a fastener. In most applications these can be installed during
construction while the builder has access to the area where the anchor nut needs to be
located. But sometimes, the builder runs into a situation where there is not adequate
access to the location where the anchor nut is needed. What to do? Use a rivnut.
Rivnuts (sometimes referred to as “nutserts”) do not require access to the back side of
the structure for installation. They can be installed during construction or in the field,
and installation is a one-person job. The only tools you’ll need are a drill and the special
installation tool supplied by the rivnut manufacturer. The installation instructions will
call out what size drill bit you’ll use for the particular rivnut you’re installing.
Several different styles of rivnut installation tools are on the market, and you should
use the one recommended or supplied by the manufacturer of the rivnuts you’re using.
Regardless of what style installation tool you use, the results will be the same. There are
different styles of rivnuts for different applications. One style is for thin material and
another for thicker material. In aviation, we’re typically using the style designed for thin
material installations. Frame one shows the installation tool we’ll be using, along with
some thin-style rivnuts.
Your first step will be to drill a hole in the location where
the rivnut is to be installed. Use the proper size drill bit as
recommended by the rivnut manufacturer. Once the hole
is drilled, you’re ready to install the rivnut. You’ll start by
threading the rivnut onto the installation tool, as shown
in Frame two.