Rivets serve as a cost-effective means to securely fasten two components, especially in sheet and structural applications. Known for their versatility, rivets are advantageous as they often require access to only one side for installation. Available in various materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and copper, this article elucidates the typical installation process, the array of materials used, and explores some commonly employed types of rivets.

What is a Rivet and how Does it Work?

Rivets stand as integral, permanent mechanical fasteners designed to join multiple components securely. Consisting of a head, shank, and tail, rivets are strategically inserted into slightly oversized holes before undergoing a process involving compressive force to achieve permanent deformation. Various tools, ranging from pneumatic or manually operated hammers to hydraulic presses and handheld rivet guns, are employed based on the rivet type.Selection of the appropriate rivet size necessitates careful consideration of grip length and hole size. Diverse grip lengths are available for each hole size, accommodating varying sheet thicknesses. Predominantly crafted from aluminum or steel, rivets may also be composed of materials such as copper. Industries relying on rivets span automotive, aerospace, marine/naval, construction, aviation, and manufacturing sectors.

What are the Different Types of Rivets?

Blind Rivets

Popularly known as pop rivets, blind rivets secure two parts when rear access is impossible. Comprising a shank and stem, these rivets are inserted into a drilled hole, and a rivet gun pulls the stem, causing the shank to deform and secure the parts. Stem snapping produces an audible pop sound. Varieties include open-end, closed-end, large flange, grooved, and countersunk flanges, used in sheet metal constructions.

Solid Rivets

Among the oldest, solid rivets find use in critical areas like vehicle bodies. Consisting of a shank and head, they’re installed by placing them in a hole and using a hammer or rivet gun for deformation.


Tubular Rivets

Similar to solid rivets, tubular rivets have a hole on the straight side, making them easier to install with thinner walls. Used in applications like HVAC ducting, suitable for low-risk scenarios.


Drive Rivets

A type of blind rivet, drive rivets consist of a short shank and head protrusion. Installed in a hole, hammering the protrusion deforms the shank, securely clamping the joint. No special tool is needed, commonly used in sheet metal fabrication.


Split Rivets

Light-duty rivets with a split shaft into two legs. Installed in a hole, the legs are separated and flattened with a hammer against the rear component. Used on plastics, textiles, and thin metal sheets.


Self-Piercing Rivets

Not requiring pre-drilled holes, these rivets don’t pass completely through the second plate. Installed by placing two plates in a press, the rivet is pressed into the top sheet without passing through, creating an embossed section on the rear plate.

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