Contact Rivets – A Checon Perspective

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Rivets used as electrical contacts are often used in low to mid-power switching applications. Checon recognizes that certain devices are best suited for a contact rivet design and we support rivet production by supplying wire to our rivet manufacturing affiliate in India as well as maintain manual and automated rivet insertion capabilities to produce assemblies in both the U.S. & India. We also recognize that there are often opportunities to move to low cost, high-reliability alternatives such as in-press wire welding or tape welding. Checon has assisted numerous customers in their design and cost out processes to help them better understand these options and appropriate application. To learn more about how electrical contact rivets are manufactured and utilized along with a more detailed explanation of the alternative cost-out opportunities, please continue reading.

Rivet Production & Assembly

Since contact rivets are formed by cold forming and brittle material can cause cracking during this process, Checon recognizes and meets the standards that the manufacturing of a solid or bi-metal contact rivet requires with consistently ductile contact material. The cold forming process can produce several different contact shapes, the most common being round with a spherical radius. Solid silver contact rivets can be produced in a variety of materials including fine silver, AgNi, AgCdO, & AgSnO. Composite bi-metal rivets are often used to save on precious metal content and expense depending upon the material system and application needs. Copper is commonly used as the base shank material. Rivet insertion to produce contact assemblies at Checon can be accomplished manually or by an automated process. Staking is carefully monitored and repeatable to ensure proper seating of the rivet with the required twist-out torque requirements.

Alternatives to RivetsChecon’s In-Press Wire & Tape Welding operation offers a low-cost option when compared with many riveted designs. High speed, one operation, in-press welding is a core competency at

Checon’s In-Press Wire & Tape Welding operation offers a low-cost option when compared with many riveted designs. High speed, one operation, in-press welding is a core competency at Checon allowing us to develop the most consistent, high quality welded contact assemblies in the industry.  By connecting our weld head design to a large bed, high-speed vertical press via an innovative actuator design, we can dramatically increase production speeds to up to 400 assemblies per minute. Both electronic & mechanical shear testing is conducted on each contact before each welded contact moves into a Checon designed Class A progressive stamping die for coining of contact shape and stamping into a final contact assembly.

For more information on how Checon can help you maximize your contact and contact assembly performance while minimizing your costs, call Paul Thomsen directly at (508) 809-5159-office, (508) 801-2417-mobile, or, email him at thomsen@checon.com.  Checon also offers an on-line live chat via our website at www.checon.com.

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