What is a rivet?
A rivet is a permanent fastener that can be installed from one side of a joint. Before installation, a rivet consists of a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one end (rivet body). The end opposite the head is called the mandrel. During installation, the jaw mechanism of a rivet gun pulls the mandrel through the rivet body and breaks the mandrel at a set point, causing the rivet body to expand and grip the two pieces together.
Rivets are easy to install and provide excellent resistance to vibration and corrosion. That’s why they are used in a wide range of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, agriculture, HVAC and electronic devices. However, there are so many types of rivets available in the market choosing the most suitable one for your job requires an understanding of the basic elements of rivets:
What is the grip range on a rivet?
Grip range is the thickness of materials that a rivet can join effectively. It is one of the major elements you will need to consider when choosing a rivet. The thickness of the materials being joined must be within the grip range of the rivets. Otherwise, the rivets may not be installed properly. If the materials happen to be at the exact maximum thickness of the grip, having the next grip up is recommended.
How do we determine the rivet hole size?
When it comes to installation, the rivet body or head is inserted in a pre-drilled hole, and the diameter of this part is referred to as rivet diameter. To ensure the rivet performance, always prepare hole size to the manufacturer’s specification.
Which rivet material is best for you?
Rivets can be made of aluminium, steel, stainless steel, copper, nickel copper, zinc and more, sometimes a mix of different materials for the body and the mandrel. You will need to pick the correct material rivet for both sides of the workpiece to avoid galvanic corrosion. For example, you may use stainless steel rivets for an aluminium workpiece, but not the other way around. It’s always safe to use the same material fasteners as the workpiece.
How do you choose the correct rivet flange?
The rivet flange remains on the visible side after installation. There are various flange options available, shape and size-wise. Pick the most suitable flange for your application. For example, the large flange is perfect for soft or brittle materials such as plastic or fibreglass. It provides enough surface area to prevent pull-through, yet without damaging the workpiece; The countersunk head, however, leaves a beautiful flush finish but needs to be wide enough to fight against pull-through. Also, always check the angle of the countersunk head rivets (90°, 100° or 120°) and make sure the pre-drilled hole matches the angle.
Do I need to consider the rivet strength?
Yes, the shear and tensile strength of the rivet will also need to be considered, especially for some critical applications. The strength varies from different materials and sizes of the rivet, so selecting a good balanced rivet among these specifications is essential.
The good news is, out of all rivet suppliers, RivetLab rivets online presents all types of high-performance rivets. These include POP rivets, multi-grip rivets, structural rivets, sealed rivets and trifold rivets. We also provide technical advice on rivet selection and installation. You are more than welcome to give us a call on 02 9882 1112 to discuss your needs.