What are the different types of blind rivet?
A blind rivet, sometimes known as a pop rivet, has a hollow cylindrical pin (body) attached to a head. A mandrel – a long, narrow pin with a head – goes through the hollow of the body, with the head acting as a stop at the opposite end of the body to the rivet head.
Blind rivets are available with different styles of bodies and heads. They are manufactured from a range of materials.
Standard Blind Rivets
Standard blind rivets are usually used to fasten metal to metal. They have domed heads and plain bodies. Pulling the mandrel part-way through the rivet’s body expands the body at its “blind” end, creating a second head to permanently fasten materials together.
Standard rivets are used in a range of industries including automotive, construction, metals, electrical appliances, containers, furniture, air conditioning and heating.
Sealed Blind Rivets
This type of blind rivet comes with a sealed end. The mandrel head does not protrude from the end of the rivet like the other types of blind rivets – it is contained within the sealed body. Sealed rivets do not allow liquids to get in or out and are designed to fasten metal to metal.
The head of the mandrel sits inside the body of the rivet while the head of the rivet is sealed. This prevents any liquid from getting in or out of the component. They are suitable for use in the automotive, construction and metal industries. They can also be used in electrical appliances, containers, furniture and air conditioning and heating systems.
Peeled Blind Rivets
Peeled rivets provide a locking head with a larger diameter, providing them with a greater bearing surface (underside of head). As the mandrel is drawn through, the body expands, leaving a head in the shape of a flower with four petals. This type of rivet is best suited to fastening metal to softer materials.
The sides (petals) of the rivet fold over, creating a head to fasten the materials together. Peeled rivets are ideal for use in the automotive industry, construction work (plasterboard, coatings and insulation) and can be used on trailers, plastic components, electrical appliances and upholstery (padded covering on furniture).
Grooved Blind Rivets
This type of rivet comes with grooves around the body which provide the rivet with excellent gripping power when installing softer materials such as plastic and wood. Grooved rivets are perfect for fastening metal to wood and metal to construction materials such as cement, bricks and wood.
The grooves located on the body of the rivet embed into and hold the material together almost like a screw. The hole it goes into doesn’t have to be right through the material.
The tail of a grooved rivet expands inside the material when the mandrel is pulled out, rather than a new head being formed on the other side of the material. So the rivet grips the material with friction, not a second head, while the head at the other end grips the object that is being joined to the material.
Grooved rivets are best suited for use in construction, the metal industry and furniture manufacturing, and in electrical equipment and injection-moulded components.
Multi-Grip Blind Rivets
Multi-grip rivets are similar to standard rivets but have indents located on the rivet body. The indents expand and provide multiple grips when the mandrel is pulled through the body. These rivets are for fastening metal to plastic and plastic to plastic.
The multiple grips on the body of the rivet are forced against the material being riveted as the mandrel is pulled through. Multi-grip rivets are suitable for use in the automotive, construction and metal industries, and in electrical appliances, furniture, electronics, ladder manufacturing and air conditioning and heating.
Soft Set Blind Rivets
Soft rivets are identical to standard rivets. However, the body and mandrel are manufactured from a softer metal, which tends to be an aluminium alloy. The mandrel breaks off with much less force than other types of rivet so it applies the right amount of pressure to fasten brittle materials without them becoming damaged.
These rivets are for use when fastening metal to plastic, metal to wood, metal to fibreglass, plastic to plastic and metal or plastic to soft materials with low resistance. The soft rivets can be used in furniture, packaging, plastic components, containers, plastic and construction work.
Blind Rivets Heads
As well as being available in a number of body designs, blind rivets can also have different types of head.
Dome Head Blind Rivets
The dome head provides enough bearing surface for it to be used to fasten a variety of materials, except extremely smooth and brittle materials such as plastic.
This is because this type of head applies more pressure closer to the hole that has been drilled which can damage softer materials. Bearing surface is the contact between two materials. In this case, it is the area under the head of the rivet which makes contact with the material being fastened.
Large Head Blind Rivets
The large head offers double the bearing area of a dome head rivet. This provides great resistance and is ideal for fastening brittle or soft materials to rigid support materials.
Countersunk Head Blind Rivets
A countersunk head fits into the material without the head protruding, keeping a flat surface.