I am a little curious on the use of SS bolts and nuts vs alum rivits. I thought I had read somewhere that replacing rivits with bolts and nuts would cause the fiberglass to crack under stress whereas the rivits apparently are more flexible and hence don't cause the fiberglass cracking.
I am sure there are some folks out there that have a lot more knowledge than I on the subject and would appriciate their input.
Hello Jim. I have been following the debate also. The argument for using a soft rivet centers around having the rivet be a "weak-link" to fail before damaging the structure. Pop rivets or as we refer to them here at Boeing "blind rivets" are meant for light
duty applications. The thin ga. soft aluminum tube which makes up the body of the rivet is just not that strong of material and prone to stretching under load. I noticed I already had a couple loose rivets on my newer Scamp
. When I replaced those or added fasteners for anything new I was hanging from the walls, I used stainless panhead screws, washers and lock nuts. This setup have about 3 times the strength as the blind rivets used by Scamp
. It is true that the fiberglass structure will probably fail before the screws however the benefits of better holding power, maintaining a watertight seal, and zero maintainance outweigh that possibility. I think the main problem is people are trying to support too heavy of an object from a thin fiberglass wall, using too few fasteners. For instance, you may have too much weight
in a overhead cabinet and overloading the fasteners/structure causing them to fail. I noticed there are only 6 rivets holding the cabinet over the sink in my Scamp. This is way too few fasteners to hold this securely especially with how people might tend to overload it with heavy dishes, pots and pans etc. There should probably be 20+ fasteners to spread the load out such that each individual rivet is not holding that much weight
. Bottom line, don't overload the fasteners, which ever one chooses to use. I plan to keep using the stainless srews and nuts for the reasons mentioned.