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Most Detailed Guide to Rivet Types: Application and selection


What Is A Rivet?

A rivet is a mechanical fastener designed to create permanent, strong, and reliable connections between two or more pieces of material, such as metal, plastic, or wood. Rivets have a cylindrical body (a shank) and a head at one end. They work by forming a second head on the opposite end of the shank after being inserted through holes in both materials to be joined.

What Is A Rivet?


Rivets are mechanical fasteners that offer several benefits, making them popular for various applications across multiple industries. The key advantages of rivets include:

1. Strong and Durable Connections

Rivets create robust, long-lasting joints that withstand mechanical stress, vibrations, and various environmental conditions. The permanence of riveted connections makes them ideal for critical applications where a secure, durable fastening is essential.

2. Load Distribution

Rivet’s joints distribute loads evenly across the connection, minimizing stress concentrations. This uniform distribution of force reduces material fatigue and increases the assembly’s overall strength and structural stability.

3. Simple and Economical Installation

Riveting requires minimal, straightforward equipment and can be performed quickly and cost-effectively compared to other fastening methods like welding or bolting. The installation process does not require skilled labor or special training, which reduces labor costs and production time.

4. Versatility

Rivets can join various materials, including metal, wood, plastic, and composite. This versatility makes them suitable for use in various applications and industries.

5. Tamper-Proof

Riveted connections are only possible to dismantle without damaging the components or the rivet itself. This tamper-proof nature of rivets makes them suitable for applications where security is a priority or intentional disassembly is discouraged.

6. Wide Range of Sizes and Styles

Rivets come in numerous sizes and styles, such as solid, tubular, blind, and structural rivets. This variety allows for selecting the most suitable rivet for each specific application, considering materials, required strength, and accessibility.

7. No Heat or Power Requirement

Unlike welding or other fastening methods, riveting does not require heat or electricity. This advantage makes riveting a safer and more environmentally friendly option, and it is also suitable for use in locations without access to power sources.

8. Aesthetically Pleasing Finish

Rivets can produce a clean, professional, and aesthetically pleasing appearance on the completed assembly. This neat finish makes them popular for applications where appearance matters, such as consumer electronics, fashion, or decorative hardware.

Disadvantages of Rivets

  • Permanent Connection

  • Limited Accessibility for Blind Rivets

  • Extra Weight

  • Potential for Leakages

  • Possibility of Corrosion

In summary, while rivets have numerous advantages, there are some potential disadvantages related to accessibility, weight, leakage, corrosion, and permanence that must be considered in specific applications or industries. It’s essential to weigh these disadvantages against the benefits, depending on each scenario and project requirement.

Materials Used for Rivets

Rivets can be made from various materials, each selected based on the specific requirements of their intended applications. The choice of material depends on factors such as strength, weight, corrosion resistance, and cost. Some typical materials used for rivets include:

Materials Used for Rivets

1. Steel

Steel rivets are known for their high strength and durability, making them suitable for heavy-duty and structural applications such as bridge construction, automotive, and machinery components. Steel rivets can be divided into carbon and stainless steel rivets, with stainless steel offering more excellent corrosion resistance.

2. Aluminum

Aluminum rivets are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for applications where weight reduction is essential, such as in the aerospace and automotive industries. Aluminum rivets are easier to install and more malleable than steel rivets, making them well-suited for blind riveting.

3. Copper

Copper rivets offer excellent corrosion resistance and good electrical conductivity. They are often used in applications where electrical continuity is essential and in environments exposed to moisture or marine conditions. Copper rivets are also popular in the fashion industry for their appearance and resistance to tarnishing.

4. Brass

Brass rivets combine copper and zinc, offering excellent corrosion resistance and tensile strength. They are widely used in applications exposed to moisture, saltwater, or chemicals. Brass rivets are also valued for their appearance and are often used in decorative applications, such as fashion accessories and furniture.

5. Monel

Monel is a nickel-copper alloy known for its excellent corrosion resistance, especially in acidic and chlorine environments. Monel rivets are highly durable and are used in high-stress applications and harsh environments, such as marine engineering, chemical processing plants, and oil and gas industries.

6. Titanium

Titanium rivets offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratios and excellent corrosion resistance. These rivets are typically used in aerospace applications and other high-performance industries where low weight, high strength, and resistance to extreme conditions are critical.

In summary, rivets can be made from various materials to suit applications and requirements. The choice of material depends on factors such as desired strength, corrosion resistance, weight, and cost, enabling rivets to cater to a wide range of industries and uses.

How Does Rivets Work?

Rivets are mechanical fasteners that create solid and permanent connections between two or more pieces of material, such as metal, wood, plastic, or composites. They work by holding the materials together through a cylindrical shaft, which is deformed to create heads on both ends of the rivet, thereby securing the materials.

The Basic Riveting Process

While the specifics may vary depending on the type of rivet used, the basic riveting process generally follows these steps:

Step 1:Drilling Holes

Before inserting a rivet, it is necessary to drill holes of appropriate size and alignment in the materials to be joined. These holes should match the diameter of the rivet shaft for a secure fit.

Step 2:Insertion

Once the holes are drilled, the rivet shaft is inserted through the holes of both materials, with the pre-existing head on the outside. This head will provide a secure anchor point as the other end of the rivet is deformed.

Step 3:Deformation

Next, the protruding end of the rivet is deformed using a tool, typically a hammer or pneumatic rivet gun. For solid and semi-tubular rivets, this deformation involves flattening the rivet shaft, creating a second head on the opposite side of the materials. For blind rivets, a mandrel is pulled back through the rivet, causing the shaft to expand and create a second holding head on the inside.

Step 4:Completion

Once the second head is formed, the rivet is securely locked in place, tightly holding the materials together. In the case of blind rivets, after the shaft expands, the mandrel is either broken off or detached from the rivet.

The completed rivet joint forms a strong, permanent connection that can resist tension, shear forces, and vibrations. As the rivet is deformed and locked in place, it cannot be easily removed without causing damage to the components or the rivet itself.

In conclusion, rivets utilize the cylindrical shaft’s deformation, inserted and locked between the materials, creating a solid bond. They are a reliable and versatile fastening option, ensuring a secure connection in various applications across different industries.

Different Types of Rivets Available for Manufacturing

Different Types of Rivets Available for Manufacturing

Rivets are versatile mechanical fasteners used across various industries for creating solid and permanent connections between materials. Several types of rivets are available to cater to different applications and requirements. Some of the common types of rivets include:

1. Solid Rivets

Solid rivets consist of a solid shank and a pre-formed head. They are the most traditional rivet type and offer strong and durable connections. They are ideal for heavy-duty and structural applications in aerospace, bridge construction, and machinery components.

2. Semi-Tubular Rivets

Semi-tubular rivets have a partly hollow shank, which requires less force to deform than solid rivets. They offer moderate-strength connections and are suitable for applications such as leather goods, luggage, and automotive components.

3. Blind Rivets

Blind rivets, also known as pop rivets, are ideal for situations where access to the backside of the material is limited or unavailable. They consist of a hollow shank and a pre-formed head, with a special mandrel inserted through the shank. Blind rivets are commonly used in sheet metal work, car bodywork, and applications requiring one-sided access.

4. Drive Rivets

Drive rivets have a cylindrical body with a pre-formed head and an integrated expander pin. When the expander pin is driven into the rivet body, the shank expands, gripping the materials together. Drive rivets are often used for non-structural applications, such as securing nameplates, signs, or panels.

5. Flush Rivets

Flush rivets, or countersunk rivets, have a head designed to sit flush with the material surface once installed. They provide a smooth, aesthetically pleasing finish making them popular in applications where appearance matters, such as in aircraft exteriors and consumer electronics.

6. Friction-lock Rivets

Friction-lock rivets utilize friction to create a tight and secure joint between the materials. They are often used in applications with high vibration or movement, as the friction created helps prevent the rivet’s movement.

7. Structural Rivets

Structural rivets are explicitly designed for high-strength applications in construction, bridges, and buildings. These rivets provide high shear and tensile strength, ensuring the integrity and durability of the structure.

8. Self-piercing Rivets

Self-piercing rivets can pierce the material without the need for pre-drilled holes. They are commonly used in the automotive industry for joining sheet metal, saving time and effort by eliminating the need for drilling.

Other Essential Types of Rivets

In addition to the previously mentioned rivet types, a few more essential rivets can cater to specific applications and requirements in the manufacturing process. These include:

Types of Rivet Characteristics Applications
Threaded Rivet With a threaded internal mandrel with an external area flat on two sides, allowing the tool to hold and rotate it. Automotive, aerospace, and industrial applications.
Snap-Head Rivet provides s a solid joint with a head length of about 0.7 inches and a shank diameter of 1.6 inches—ideally y used in construction and manufacturing industries with high demand for maximum strength.
Friction-Lock Rivets They are multipiece rivets comprising a stem and sleeve: aircraft t manufacturing, the automotive industry, and rail and transport engineering.
Mushroom Head Rivets: With h mushroom-like heads and a lower profile than regular rivets, they offer the locking of the parts. Facilitate the joining of materials with varying thicknesses.
Pan Head Rivets include e a unique shape comprising a cylindrical head that slopes downwards from the top—heavy y structural construction due to their extraordinary grip and strength.

In summary, various rivets cater to different applications and requirements in manufacturing processes. Selecting the appropriate rivet type is crucial to ensuring the success and effectiveness of the connection in each specific scenario.

How to Select the Right Rivet?

Choosing the correct rivet is crucial to ensure the connection’s stability and integrity and maintain the jointed materials’ functionality and durability. To select the correct rivet, consider the following factors:

1. Material Compatibility

The rivet material should be compatible with the materials to be joined, considering factors such as corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and strength. Combining dissimilar metals can lead to galvanic corrosion, so ensuring that the rivet material is suited to the application and environment is essential.

2. Application Requirements

Please look at your application’s specific requirements, such as weight limitations, required strength, operating conditions, and environmental factors (temperature, moisture, chemicals, etc.). These factors will determine your project’s most suitable rivet type and material.

3. Rivet Type

Select the appropriate type of rivet based on your application needs and the accessibility of the joint. For instance, use blind rivets for one-sided access, solid rivets for high-strength applications, or countersunk rivets for a flush finish.

4. Rivet Size

Choose the correct rivet size based on the thickness and strength requirements of the materials being joined. The rivet diameter should be slightly larger than the hole size, while the grip length should span the total thickness of the combined materials, plus a small allowance to ensure a secure connection.

5. Rivet Length

The rivet length should be appropriate to accommodate the total thickness of the joined materials. A too-short rivet may not provide adequate clamp force, while a long one may deform incorrectly during installation, affecting the connection’s integrity.

6. Tooling and Equipment

Consider the available tools and equipment required for installing the selected rivet type. Ensure that you have access to the necessary tools (e.g., hammer, pneumatic rivet gun, or specialized blind rivet tool) and understand the installation process to achieve a secure connection.

7. Cost and Availability

Please look at the cost and availability of your preferred rivet type and material. Some specialty materials or high-strength rivets may be more expensive or more complicated to source, so balancing project requirements with budget and procurement considerations is crucial.

In summary, selecting the proper rivet involves considering material compatibility, application requirements, rivet size, type, length, tooling availability, and cost. I’m carefully looking over these factors and will help you choose the most appropriate rivet for your project, ensuring a strong and durable connection that meets your needs.

Riveting vs Welding: Which One Should You Choose?

Riveting and welding are two common methods for joining materials, particularly metals, in various industries. The choice between these two methods depends on several factors, such as material types, application requirements, and budget constraints. Below is an overview of the Materials, Cost,Applications,Strength,Speed,Safety of riveting and welding that can help guide your decision.

Factors Riveting Welding
Materials Riveting is the best choice for joining dissimilar materials. It is not suitable for joining materials with different properties.
Cost Riveting has higher costs due to its operational, labor, and material costs. Welding is an inexpensive option.
Applications This method has typical applications in consumer product manufacturing, the aircraft industry, shipbuilding, and bridge building. Manufacturers in the defense, aerospace, and electrical industries prefer welding.
Strength Riveting is not a suitable method for making products that require rigid frames. Welded materials have permanent and robust joints, making the process ideal for creating rigid frames.
Speed Riveting involves various processes such as hole drilling, connecting, and flattening of rivets which may take longer. Welding is an automated technique with optimal production efficiency in joining different metal parts.
Safety Riveting is a safer method. Although welding is an automated process, using heat may pose a certain level of danger.

In conclusion, the choice between riveting and welding depends on the specific requirements of your project, such as material compatibility, joint strength, flexibility for repairs, weight considerations, and available skill sets. Analyzing these factors will help you determine the most suitable method for your application, ensuring a secure and durable connection that meets your specific needs.

What are Rivets Used For?

Rivets are mechanical fasteners widely used for creating strong, permanent connections between two or more pieces of material. They are versatile and serve various purposes across numerous industries. Some common applications for rivets include:

1. Structural Assembly

Rivets are often employed in the assembly of structures such as bridges, buildings, and towers due to their ability to form strong, durable connections that can handle high-strength joints and stress resistance.

Structural Assembly

2. Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry relies heavily on rivets as they provide lightweight yet strong connections for aircraft and spacecraft components. Rivets are used to assemble wings, fuselage structures, and other critical parts of aircraft where reliability and structural integrity are essential.

Aerospace Industry

3. Automotive Industry

Rivets play a key role in the automotive industry, joining various parts and components, including body panels, chassis structures, and vehicle frames. They provide reliable and long-lasting connections while helping to reduce weight and enhance fuel efficiency.

Automotive Industry

4. Shipbuilding

Rivets were once widely used in shipbuilding to join metal plates and form the hull of ships, providing a watertight seal and resistance to corrosion. Though welding now dominates modern shipbuilding, rivets are still prevalent in repair and maintenance applications in marine environments.


5. Machinery and Equipment

For the assembly of various machinery and equipment, rivets are used to join components, particularly those subjected to heavy vibrations or requiring a secure connection capable of handling mechanical stress.

Machinery and Equipment

6. Electronic Devices

In electronic devices and other smaller applications, miniaturized rivets are utilized to fasten internal components, create casings, and maintain electrical connections.

Electronic Devices

7. Fashion and Apparel

Rivets are also employed in fashion and apparel, where they fasten and adorn various garment and accessory items like jeans, jackets, shoes, and belts.

jackets rivet

In summary, rivets serve various purposes and are widely used across different industries due to their reliability and durability as mechanical fastening solutions. Their ability to create strong connections in diverse materials and withstand mechanical stress makes them indispensable in structural assembly, aerospace, automotive, and many other sectors.


Which rivet type is the most common?

The most common rivet type is the solid rivet. Solid rivets consist of a solid shank and a pre-formed head, providing strong and durable connections. They are well-suited for heavy-duty and structural applications and have been used for centuries in various industries. Examples of solid rivet usage include aerospace (for aircraft assembly), bridge construction, buildings, and machinery components. Their strength, reliability, and time-tested performance make them the most prevalent rivet type among various industries.

What is the regular diameter size of a rivet?

There is no single “regular” diameter size for a rivet, as the diameter varies depending on the specific application, materials being joined, required strength, and industry standards. Rivet diameters can range from small sizes like 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) for delicate or precision applications, up to 1 inch (25.4 mm) or more for heavy-duty and structural applications. It is essential to choose the appropriate rivet diameter based on the particular requirements and loads that the joint needs to withstand, as well as on the thickness and properties of the materials being fastened.

Which rivet material is best for metal?

What is the most used material for making rivets?

Aluminum is the most commonly used material for making rivets, mainly because of its excellent combination of desirable properties such as lightweight, corrosion resistance, good formability, and cost-effectiveness. This makes aluminum rivets ideal for various applications, including aerospace, automotive, construction, and consumer goods, where weight reduction, ease of installation, and resistance to environmental factors are crucial. Additionally, aluminum rivets can be anodized for enhanced aesthetics, corrosion resistance, or surface hardness when required.


Removing a rivet requires carefully drilling or grinding the rivet head and then punching out the remaining shank.

Tools and Materials

  • Drill or Dremel with a drill bit or grinding attachment
  • Center punch
  • Hammer
  • Punch tool or pin punch (similar diameter to the rivet shank)

Steps for Rivet Removal

  1. Select the right drill bit or grinding attachment: Choose a drill bit or grinding attachment slightly larger than the rivet head’s diameter. For a drill bit, it is essential to have a sharp and high-quality one for accurate drilling. For a Dremel, choose a grinding attachment similar in diameter to the rivet head.
  2. Create a center divot on the rivet head: Place the center punch firmly on the center of the rivet head and gently tap it with a hammer. This will create a small divot that will prevent the drill bit or grinding attachment from slipping during the removal process.
  3. Drill or grind the rivet head: Carefully drill or grind through the rivet head until it is thin enough to separate from the shank or completely remove the head. If using a Dremel, grind away the rivet head in a circular motion until it is level with the material’s surface.
  4. Punch out the rivet shank: Place the punch tool or pin punch on the exposed rivet shank and strike it with a hammer, driving the remaining shank out of the holes in the materials. Ensure the punch tool’s diameter is similar to the rivet shank to avoid damaging the surrounding material.
  5. Remove the remaining shank: When the shank is pushed out of the holes, use pliers if necessary to remove the shank completely from the materials.


Installing a rivet involves inserting the rivet into pre-drilled holes and then deforming the rivet’s tail to create a secure connection.

Tools and Materials

  • Blind rivets
  • Rivet gun (manual, pneumatic, or battery-powered)
  • Drill with a drill bit compatible with the rivet size
  • Materials to be joined

Steps for Rivet Installation

  1. Prepare the materials: Ensure the materials to be joined are aligned and clean, providing a secure connection without compromising the joint’s integrity.
  2. Drill holes: Drill holes in the materials to be joined, keeping the hole size compatible with the rivet diameter for a secure fit. The holes must be aligned properly to allow the rivet to pass through both materials.
  3. Insert the rivet: Place the rivet through the drilled holes, making sure the rivet head is flush with the surface of the material on the outer side.
  4. Place the rivet in the rivet gun: Insert the rivet’s mandrel (the long protruding part) into the rivet gun’s nosepiece. Ensure the rivet gun is compatible with the size and type of rivet being used.
  5. Install the rivet: Hold the rivet gun against the material, ensuring it remains perpendicular to the surface. Squeeze the rivet gun’s handle or trigger (depending on the type of rivet gun) to pull the mandrel back. This action causes the rivet’s tail to expand, securing the materials together. Continue squeezing the handle until the mandrel snaps or breaks off, leaving a neatly installed rivet.
  6. Inspect the connection: Check the installed rivet to ensure it is secure, with properly expanded tail and a flush head against the material’s surface.


There isn’t a definitive “best” rivet gun, as the ideal choice depends on factors such as your specific needs, budget, and the frequency of use. However, several rivet guns are highly-rated and recommended for their ease of use, dependability, and quality. When selecting a rivet gun, consider the following types:

  1. Manual Rivet Gun: Manual rivet guns require hand pressure for installation, making them suitable for small-scale projects, DIY use, and occasional repairs. Examples of popular manual rivet guns are the Stanley MR55C5 Right Angle Riveter and the Arrow RHT300 Swivel Head Rivet Tool.
  2. Pneumatic Rivet Gun: Pneumatic rivet guns are powered by compressed air and are ideal for professional use or larger projects requiring multiple and repetitive riveting tasks. They are fast and efficient, reducing fatigue during extended use. Examples of popular pneumatic rivet guns are the Astro Pneumatic Tool PR14 Air Riveter and the Chicago Pneumatic CP9884 Heavy-Duty Air Riveter.
  3. Battery-Powered Rivet Gun: Battery-powered rivet guns are portable and do not require a connection to an air compressor, making them ideal for situations where power sources may be limited. They are suitable for both professionals and DIY users who are looking for a cordless, easy-to-use option. Examples of popular battery-powered rivet guns are the Milwaukee 2550-20 M12 Rivet Tool and the DeWalt DCN694B 20V MAX Cordless Rivet Tool.


The “strongest” rivet can vary depending on factors such as the specific application, the materials being joined, and the load-bearing requirements. Generally, solid rivets made from high-strength materials like steel, stainless steel, or titanium are considered among the strongest rivets due to their strength and durability.

  1. Steel or Stainless Steel Rivets: Steel rivets provide high tensile and shear strength, making them suitable for heavy-duty and structural applications. Stainless steel rivets offer the added benefit of excellent corrosion resistance, making them even more durable in harsh environmental conditions.
  2. Titanium Rivets: Titanium rivets are known for their impressive strength-to-weight ratio and exceptional corrosion resistance. They are often used in demanding applications like aerospace, military, and other high-performance industries where weight reduction, high strength, and resistance to extreme conditions are necessary.


Rivet failure can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which include:

  1. Incorrect Rivet Size: If the rivet diameter is too small or the grip length is inadequate, the joint may not be strong enough to sustain the mechanical stresses it is subjected to, leading to failure.
  2. Incompatible Rivet Material: If the rivet material is not compatible with the materials being joined, it may lead to corrosion, galvanic reactions, or inadequate strength, causing failure over time.
  3. Poor Installation: Improper rivet installation can result in a weak joint, a loose connection, or an improperly deformed rivet, contributing to rivet failure.
  4. Overloading: Subjecting a rivet joint to loads beyond its design limits, either in tension, shear, or a combination of both, can cause the rivet to fail.
  5. Excessive Vibration or Fatigue: Long-term exposure to vibration or repeated stress/load cycles can weaken the rivet joint and lead to eventual failure.
  6. Material Defects: Defects within the rivet material, such as improper composition, cracks, or inclusions, can compromise the integrity of the rivet connection, leading to failure.
  7. Thermal Expansion: If the materials being joined have different coefficients of thermal expansion, they can experience additional stress in response to temperature changes, possibly causing rivet failure.


The rivet can be traced back to Ancient civilizations, such as Egyptian, Greek, and Roman times, where they were used to build various structures, war machines, and even early ships. It is difficult to attribute the invention of the rivet to a specific individual since it predates the historical record. However, the earliest recorded use of rivets dates back to around 3000 BCE, when they were employed in the construction of Egyptian wooden structures, such as pyramids and tombs.

As time progressed, the materials used to craft rivets evolved, transitioning from wood to bronze and eventually to iron and steel. The invention of the blind rivet or “pop rivet” can be credited to Carl Cherry and Lou Huck, who patented the design in the United States in 1934. The blind rivet was a significant advancement in rivet technology, allowing for single-side access and facilitating faster installation. This innovation saw widespread adoption particularly in aviation and automotive industries.


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When considering custom rivets, keep the following factors in mind:

  1. Material: Select the appropriate rivet material to achieve the desired strength, corrosion resistance, thermal expansion compatibility, and other relevant properties. Common materials for custom rivets include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and various alloys.
  2. Size: Determine the suitable dimensions for your custom rivet, such as diameter, length, and head size, based on the application’s load-bearing, materials thickness, and strength requirements.
  3. Type: Choose the rivet type (solid, blind, semi-tubular, etc.) that best meets the specific needs of your application, considering factors like accessibility, required joint strength, and flexibility for repairs or modifications.
  4. Head Style: Customize the rivet head shape, such as round, countersunk, or truss, to achieve the desired appearance, function, and strength.
  5. Surface Treatment: Implement surface treatments like anodizing, plating, or coatings to achieve enhanced corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, hardness, color, or appearance.
  6. Manufacturer Collaboration: Collaborate with a reliable rivet manufacturer to ensure they understand your custom requirements. Provide them with detailed specifications and drawings to help them accurately produce your customized rivet.

By considering these factors, you can create custom rivets tailored to meet your specific application needs. Remember to consult an engineer or materials expert if needed to optimize the design and ensure that your custom rivets will be fit for purpose.


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