I've had good experience making marine hardware out of 6061 and doubt that priming (unless the material is *very* thoroughly prepped first with cleaning and conversion coat) makes much difference to longevity. The material just doesn't corrode much, even in salt air. What concerns me though (house and airport less than a mile from the ocean) is corrosion of the steel stem inside each of these 14,000 Avex rivets. I know Chris Heintz based his studies of this rivet system on there being no stem present so I'm not concerned about the loss of the steel, but of the loss to the aluminum after some time outside.

The stems of the Avex rivets are made of zinc "coated" low carbon steel. I've heard of older aircraft using these rivets with rust clearly visible inside the rivet (since the broken stem of the rivet is just plain steel, with no plating.) Some have suggested filling the rivet with zinc chromate (paint or epoxy) to seal it against moisture and provide some protection for the steel. Anyone experience with such methods?

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Sounds like a good idea. I'm riveting by myself so I don't have that problem.  I find that you can be very consistent just by listening for the change in pitch as you rivet.  I use a 2x rivet gun which I would recomend anything bigger would do more harm than good. Exactly like you said where practical didn't bother with flaps and ailerons for example because long term it's not overly expensive to replace them.  but fuse, wings, and internal stuctures I think it's worthwhile.

 

Given the average age of the builders in this group, I would worry more about the "corrosion" of the builder versus the corrosion of the airframe! LOL!

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