FCAFastener Corporation


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A rivet is a mechanical fastener. Before it is installed it consists of a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one end. The end opposite the head is called the buck-tail. On installation the rivet is placed in a pre-drilled hole. Then the tail is "upset" (i.e. deformed) so that it expands to about 1.5 times the original shaft diameter and holds the rivet in place. To distinguish between the two ends of the rivet, the original head is called the factory head and the deformed end is called the shop head or buck-tail.

Because there is effectively a head on each end of an installed rivet it can support tension loads (loads parallel to the axis of the shaft); however, it is much more capable of supporting shear loads (loads perpendicular to the axis of the shaft). Bolts and screws are better suited for tension applications.

FCA carries many types of Rivets There are a number of types of rivets, designed to meet different cost, accessibility, and strength requirements.These include:

  • Solid rivets
  • Blind rivets
  • Multi-grip rivets,
  • Grooved rivets,
  • Peel type blind rivets
  • Self-pierce rivets
  • Plastic rivets
  • Tubular rivets

Blind Rivets

Blind rivets (also known as pop rivets) are tubular and are supplied with a mandrel through the center. The rivet assembly is inserted into a hole drilled through the parts to be joined and a specially designed tool used to draw the mandrel into the rivet. This expands the blind end of the rivet and then the mandrel snaps off. Blind rivets are often avoided for critical structural joints because they generally have less load carrying capability than solid rivets. Furthermore, because of the mandrel they are more prone to failure from corrosion and vibration. A blind rivet consists of the rivet body and the setting device or the mandrel (sometimes called the nail or stem).

Blind rivets are mainly used when access to the joint is only available from one side. The rivet is placed in a pre-drilled hole and is set by pulling the mandrel head into the rivet body, expanding the rivet body and causing it to flare against the reverse side. As the head of the mandrel reaches the face of the blind side material, the pulling force is resisted, and at a predetermined force, the mandrel will snap at the break point of the mandrel. A tight joint formed by the rivet body remains, the head of the mandrel remains encapsulated at the blind side, although variations of this are available, and the mandrel stem is ejected.

There is a vast array of specialty blind rivets that are suited for high strength or plastic applications. Typical types include:

TriFold, a rivet that splits into three equal legs like a molybolt. Typically used in soft plastics where a wide footprint is needed at the rear surface. Used in automotive interiors and vinyl fences.

Structural Rivet an "external" mechanically locked structural blind rivet that is used where a watertight, vibration resistant connection is of importance. Typically used in manufacture or repair of truck bodies. A special nose piece is required to apply this rivet.

Structural Rivet, an "internal" mechanically locked structural blind rivet that is used where a watertight, vibration resistant connection is of importance. Typically used in manufacture or repair of truck bodies.

Drive Rivet

A drive rivet is a form of blind rivet that has a short mandrel protruding from the head that is driven in with a hammer to flare out the end inserted in the hole. This is commonly used to rivet wood panels into place since the hole does not need to be drilled all the way through the panel, producing an aesthetically pleasing appearance. They can also be used with plastic, metal, and other materials and require no special setting tool other than a hammer and possibly a backing block (steel or some other dense material) placed behind the location of the rivet while hammering it into place.