Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by Marsh Fasteners
Ready for a riveting tale of different fastener types? Then you’re in the right place! Discover how strong rivets are, when they are the better choice than screws, and how to install them.
Designed to join various materials of different thicknesses, rivets are used in a wide range of applications – from aircraft fuselages to microwave ovens! Although they are available in a variety of styles, materials, and sizes, all rivets comprise:
- The rivet body and setting head
- A mandrel stem and its head.
The strength of a rivet is determined by its design (solid, blind, tubular, metal piercing) and the material it is made of. While aluminum might not top your list of strongest metals, its overall strength-to-weight ratio and ability to be alloyed make it a formidable option. Aluminum rivets provide unrivaled strength and durability - even in the most demanding environments.
When is it Better to Use Rivets Rather Than Screws?
Whether you call them blind rivets or pop rivets, there are times when this type of fastener is preferable to screws. Do one or more of the following apply to your project?
- You need a quick and easy way to join materials.
- Strong and reliable fastenings are required.
- There is an issue with tool clearance, rotation failures, and/or secondary parts.
- A low-profile head is needed.
- You’re worried about stripping or under-torquing.
- A tight seal is required to prevent seepage or leaks.
- Once installed, you need a fastener that is resistant to corrosion, vibration, and tampering.
- A professional finish – without marring the surfaces being joined – is essential.
If you answered, “Yes!” to any of the above, blind rivets are what you should choose.
How to Install a Blind Rivet
It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
- Select the rivet and drill the hole according to its size.
- Insert the mandrel into the riveting gun with the head firmly against the end of the tool.
- Push your rivet into the pre-drilled hole and squeeze the trigger to lock it in place. (The exposed mandrel will simply break off.)