Introduction to Rivets and Their Many Uses(types of aluminium Tracy)

  • Time:
  • Click:5
  • source:WEINBERG CNC Machining
Rivets are one of the most versatile and widely used fasteners in manufacturing and construction. A rivet is a mechanical fastener that connects two or more objects by inserting a metal pin through aligned holes in the parts to be joined and then deforming the protruding ends of the pin with a tool to form heads. The deformation of the rivet shank creates a permanent mechanical connection.
Rivets have been used since ancient times in applications ranging from shipbuilding to bridges to aircraft construction. While welding and bolting are other common fastening methods, rivets continue to be popular due to their reliability, economy, and ease of installation. Compared to welding, riveting minimizes heat distortion of assembled parts. And unlike bolts, rivets form a permanent connection that won’t loosen over time.
Rivets come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and materials to accommodate many different applications:
- Blind rivets can be installed where access is only available to one side of the assembly. The mandrel is pulled through the rivet body to flare the tail. Blind rivets are popular in HVAC ducting, gutter systems, automobiles, appliances, electronics, etc.
- Solid rivets must be bucked or headed on the backside so access to both sides of the assembly is required. Solid rivets provide maximum shear strength and are commonly used in heavy construction.
- Drive rivets use a hammer rather than punch tools to mechanically flare the tail. Often used for scaffolding, conveyors, cranes, and offshore platforms.
- Structural rivets from aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, and Monel resist vibration looseness in high-stress applications like bridges, shipbuilding, railcars, and trucks.
- Tubular rivets resemble a tube rather than a solid pin and are an excellent choice for joining soft or fragile materials. The tubular design reduces the amount of force applied to the joined materials during installation.
- Semi-tubular rivets offer a compromise between the high shear strength of solid rivets and the lower compression of tubular rivets. Common in aircraft and aluminum construction.
- Split rivets have a pre-cut slot so the shank can compress during installation to accommodate variations in material thickness. Used extensively in HVAC ductwork where sheet metal thickness varies slightly.
- Multi-grip rivets have an irregular shank that collapses at multiple points to accommodate wider variations in material thickness. This versatility makes them ideal for home DIY projects where exact material dimensions are unknown.
- Self-piercing rivets do not require pre-drilled holes. As the name suggests, they pierce and flare their own hole simultaneously as the rivet is set. Often used to join dissimilar or multi-layered materials where hole alignment would be difficult.
- Countersunk rivets have a low profile dome head that sits flush with the surface of the joined material. Used extensively in aircraft construction for smooth aerodynamic surfaces.
Now that we've covered the basics of rivet styles and materials, let's look at some of the many uses and applications for rivets across various industries:
Uses in Construction
- Connecting steel I-beams, girders, and columns in bridges, towers, cranes, platforms, etc. High strength structural rivets withstand heavy loads and vibration.
- Joining aluminum frame components in curtain walls, windows, storefronts, and skylights. Dome head rivets maintain water tightness.
- Assembling roofing panels, siding, gutters, and downspouts. Blind aluminum and stainless steel rivets withstand weathering.
- Building scaffolding, catwalks, ladders, and safety railings. The permanent joints prevent loosening over time compared to bolts.

Uses in Manufacturing
- Fast assembly of truck trailer and RV bodies. Robotic riveters quickly join extruded aluminum panels with bucked rivets.
- Joining roll-formed aluminum in enclosures, racks, and workstations. Rapid pop riveting facilitates mass production.
- Securing layers of denim when making blue jeans. Copper rivets prevent the corners of pockets from tearing.
- Permanent fastening of aluminum apple cases in food processing plants. Pre-loaded split rivets allow quick installation.
- Assembling electronic enclosures like computer cases. Self-clinching rivets install into pre-punched holes but don't require access to the backside.

Uses in Aviation
- Building airframes and skins for jets, planes, helicopters and gliders. Lightweight aluminum aircraft rivets meet aerospace standards.
- Riveting aluminum panels and supports inside aircraft interiors. Flush mounting provides snag-free surfaces.
- Installing instrument panels, cargo linings, and engine nacelles. Structural rivets withstand vibration during flight.
- Joining wings, tail sections, doors, flaps, stabilizers, and other moveable parts. Shear rivets allow pivoting movement but resist separation.

Uses in Shipbuilding
- Assembling aluminum superstructures, bulkheads, decking, hull planking, and masts on ships and boats of all sizes. Corrosion resistant rivets withstand ocean air.
- Building military destroyers, frigates, carriers and submarines from steel. High-strength structural rivets meet naval standards.
- Joining copper sheets on luxury yachts. Solid copper rivets maintain water-tightness on hulls and decks.
- Restoring historic wooden tall ships. Copper clinch rivets withstand weathering and replace corroded fasteners.
From tiny pop rivets that install with simple hand tools to massive structural rivets larger than your fist, rivets continue to be a versatile, economical, and reliable fastening method after centuries of use across countless industries. Their permanent clinching action, availability in diverse materials and styles, and ease of installation even in tight spaces make rivets the choice for assembling everything from aircraft and ships to infrastructure and appliances. So next time you’re constructing or repairing something made of metal, don’t forget to consider the many uses of rivets. CNC Milling