A non-destructive dimensional test shows promise in assessing the presence and degree of rivet expansion that occurs in aircraft structures assembled with slug rivets. The method relies upon measuring the height of the surface mound that surrounds the periphery of the installed rivet.
Manufacturers typically rely on destructive examination of test coupons representative of manufactured products. Such tests are conducted prior to the start of production, as well as intermittently during production.
The dimensional test, applied to the actual product, could replace the intermittent (in-process) coupon tests. The test method could provide valuable process control data while lowering manufacturing costs.