Are Stainless Steel Rivets Stronger than Aluminum?

Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Marsh Fasteners

Wondering whether you should buy aluminum or stainless steel rivets for your project? Both are widely used in the construction, automotive, and aerospace industries. It is no surprise that these two metals are popular for their versatility - they're strong yet lightweight, cost-effective, and easy to work with. As with other metals, these two have their own specific advantages – depending on the properties the task at hand requires. In this article, you will discover which are the stronger rivets.

Why Rivets?

First off, what are rivets? Rivets are small metal bolts without a head that are used to hold two or more materials together in both light and heavy-duty applications. The benefits of rivets include:


Easy to use where access is limited

Ability to support tensile and shear loads

Resistance to vibrational loosening

Impressive fastening capabilities.

Not only do rivets come in different types – from solid and blind rivets to tubular, split, and more specialized rivets – but rivets are also made from materials as varied as brass, copper, plastic, and of course, stainless steel and aluminum.

Note that rivets should have the same mechanical properties as the components being joined to avoid galvanic action.

Aluminum Rivets

Aluminum is often favored for its malleability and superb thermal and electrical conductivity. Because solid aluminum rivets are nonmagnetic and non-sparking, they are a safe fastening solution in potentially explosive environments.

The surface of aluminum naturally forms an oxide layer that protects it from corrosion and the elements. That said, aluminum does not hold up well in extreme weather conditions.

Aluminum rivets are lighter than stainless, which means they're easier to install.

When it comes to strength, aluminum has the best strength-to-weight ratio. However, it has the lowest shear and tensile strengths.

Aluminum rivets are the lighter of the two types; however, they're not as strong as stainless steel ones.

Stainless Steel Rivets

Stainless steel can take a hit even in unforgiving environments and corrosive atmospheres thanks to its near indestructibility and resistance to a variety of elements.

As well as their ability to resist corrosion, stainless steel rivets are considerably hard, strong, and withstand deterioration. They can withstand extreme temperatures and maintain their strength even after long periods of time.

While stainless steel rivets are stronger than aluminum ones, they're also more expensive. But if you need a strong and durable fastener that can last for decades without worry - even in harsh environments - then go with stainless steel rivets.

To find out more about the most suitable fastener for your needs, get in touch with the experts at Marsh Fasteners. Since 1992 we have been expanding our extensive range of fasteners – from nails and screws, to nuts, bolts, and more. We also supply stainless steel rivets!

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