Rivet Nuts Why Bother?
Rivet Nuts have been around since 1936 when the need for installing a blind internally threaded rivet was needed for the purpose of attaching a rubber aircraft wing de-icer extrusion on the wings of airplanes. Since then, the use and popularity has been slow to grow with the exception of the military and aerospace markets. The rivet nut soon became more popular in industry because of it's lightweight and it's many design and trouble shooting advantages. The Rivet Nut, ever since it's early days, has taken on many shapes and forms and materials. The rivet nut used in display cases or used with plastics and glass or fiberglass is commonly called by some manufacturers a Polynut. The standard rivet nut has a smooth body as is most commonly made of either aluminum or steel. These are used in many industries from automotive, aerospace, marine i.e. Sailboat Mast and Booms to Fiberglass Hulls, as well as home uses. Then there is the thread-sert which can be installed into and material which has a wall thickness greater than 3/32. Rivet Nuts can now be purchased with studs attached for truck bodies or with a neoprene outer coating used on anything from a golf cart to an application in a hostile environment.
Instead of using a sheet metal screw try replacing the application with a rivet nut and machine screw. The electronics industry has replaced alarm boxes with rivet nuts and machine screws eliminating the use of self tapping sheet metal screws that over time loosen up and require a larger screw to continue to hold. The auto racing industry uses rivet nuts to provide lightweight threads into the engine hoods so that they can be bolted down and removed over and over again. Rivet Nuts..... How did we ever get along without them?