Knowing When to Use Rivets

Posted by Hugh Watson | March 19, 2018 1 Comment

Cost-effective, straightforward, and easy to install, rivets provide versatile, reliable solutions for a huge range of industries and applications. Though screws, nails, and bolts may still be more common fastening solutions, rivets can provide enhanced performance for particularly challenging situations.

What Are Rivets?

Rivets support shear loads perpendicular to the axis of the shaft, and are ideal for applications involving complicated or limited access. Standard rivets have a smooth, cylindrical shape with a head on one end and a tail on the other, though design variations are nearly limitless.

Available in an assortment of styles, sizes, and materials, most rivets are installed using some type of pneumatic hammer, allowing for fast, easy installation and reliable performance.

Once a rivet is installed, the tail is flattened, creating a “shop head” or “buck-tail.” This results in permanent fastening, which is ideal for especially demanding environments and applications. Sturdy and long-lasting, rivets can stand up to waterproofing, high vibrations, complex material joining, and much more.

Types and Styles of Rivets

There is a wide range of rivets available on today’s market, allowing them to be used in difficult bonding situations of all kinds, including applications with weak primary or secondary materials and scenarios involving air gaps or a lack of pre-clamping, blind, or oversized holes.

Rivets can also be used for restricted-access applications. Even wholly unsupported secondary materials can be bonded with specialty rivets.

Some of the most popular rivet styles include:

  • Blind, or pop rivets, which are available in a wide assortment of sub-variations. Providing the strength needed to carry heavy structural loads, these rivets are especially useful for blind holes and limited-access situations.
  • Drive rivets, a popular variation of blind rivet supported by a central driving pin to allow for a particularly secure, low-profile solution.
  • Solid rivets, or the original rivet. These solid, bombproof fasteners resist water, vibration, tampering, and other severe conditions.
  • Split rivets are particularly sensitive, making them an excellent match for soft materials such as delicate wood veneers, plastics, and leather.
  • Tubular and semi-tubular rivets, designed for light, quick handling and easy installation.
  • Threaded inserts and rivet nuts, applied like a classic rivet to integrate seamless, strong, and permanent threading in otherwise fragile sheet materials.

Common Applications and Industries

Rivets are designed to offer great versatility, allowing them to be used to fasten wood, metal, plastic, and much more. They are particularly well-suited for binding soft, thin materials and otherwise fragile connections. Some of the most common, everyday rivet applications include:

  • Building and construction — Gutters, fiberglass roofing, hanger straps, windows, doors, window blinds, wind guards, and custom wall installations
  • Transportation and infrastructure — Bridges, overpasses, and large-scale metal structures
  • Woodworking and decorative finishing — Signage, hinges, photo frames, furniture, drawer pulls, doorknobs, and sturdy woodcraft
  • Fine metalwork and jewelry — Decorative metalwork, jewelry, and intricate machinery
  • Aviation, aerospace, and automotive — Aluminum and aluminum alloy construction, aircraft assembly, vehicle body panel joining, and strong, neat repairs for vessels of all kinds

Riveting Solutions From AFI

Here at AFI, we’re proud to provide some of the highest-quality rivet solutions on the market. We’ve been working with riveting technology for over 30 years, and our expert team can help guide you in finding the perfect fit for your project’s specific needs.

Our line of fastening solutions is fully supported by rivet guns, installation tools, and other key accessories needed to get the job done.

To learn more about our rivet offerings and discuss your options with an expert, reach out to the team today.

Topics: fasteners