Different Types of Rivets and Their Applications

Types of Rivets
Jack Lie CNC machining expert

Specialize in CNC Milling, CNC Turning, 3D Printing, Urethane Casting, and Sheet Metal Fabrication Services.

Rivets are among the most traditional types of fasteners that are found in mechanical applications. Rivets are distinguished from other fastening components due to their tenacity and durability. A large variety of rivets are available, each created for a particular design to meet the needs of a specific application. What are the many types of rivets, and what applications are there for them? Following are introductions to the various types of rivets, followed by specifics about their fabrication, installation, and usage.

Types of Rivets

What Is a Rivet?

A rivet is a special mechanical fastener that may be used to permanently join or assemble pieces using specialized techniques for its installation. It is made up of a cylindrical shaft that is smooth all the way through and is attached to a head at one end; the head is bigger in diameter than the shaft.

How Does Rivets Work?

What is the mechanism behind a rivet? Insert the rivet into a hole that has been drilled in the material that is being secured, then use some external impact to distort the smaller end so that it is flat, and last, secure it firmly. After the rivet has been set, there is no chance it will come loose unless someone actively tries to remove it. A rivet is a kind of element that may be machined using CNC. It can be made from various materials, such as aluminum, copper, and others.

Different Types of Rivets for Manufacturing

There are various types of rivets that may be purchased. However, they may be broken down into the following subcategories in a more general sense.

Solid Rivets: The Most Common Rivets

These particular fasteners represent the most typical type of rivets. They are the most basic and reliable types of connecting materials, in addition to being the oldest kinds. These straightforward tools have a solid shaft that, after punched in, is fitted with a head on one specific side. Hammering or using a rivet gun is used to distort the headless portion located on the opposite end. Only the shafts and heads of solid rivets are present, which are the parts distorted by a rivet gun or hammer.

These rivets are available with either round universal heads or countersunk heads at an angle of 100 degrees. When dependability and safety are of the utmost importance, solid rivets are often used. For instance, one of the most common uses is found in the structural components of airplanes.

Solid Rivets

Blind Rivets: Also Called Pop Rivets

Blind rivets are sometimes known as hollow rivets or pop rivets, depending on the context. These metallic rivets seem to be tubular fasteners that have a mandrel through the middle of their body. In drilled holes that are produced in components that are meant to be joined, blind rivets are installed by manufacturers.

The blind end will expand, resulting in the mandrel breaking off. Blind rivets, on the other hand, may be installed in joints from only one side of the component, in contrast to solid rivets. They are effectively “blind” to the opposite side in this sense.

In circumstances where it is impossible to view the back end of the joint, blind rivets are an appropriate choice. It is relatively simple and quick to install, just like any other rivet. It is the most widely used joint in shipbuilding, as well as the aerospace and electronics industries.

According to the used installation method, blind rivets can be divided into:

  • Pull-Mandrel Rivets
  • Threaded Rivets
  • Drive-Pin Rivets
Blind Rivets

Tubular Rivets: With a Hollow End

They are somewhat hollow rivets and come in a wide variety of forms. On one end of the typical tubular rivet is a machined head, and on the other is a hollow end. Both ends of the rivet are used. The hollow end is inserted through each component to join them.

The hollow end of a field head is often produced by the process of cold-forming by manufacturers. Because of the significant cold forming that must be done on these rivets, they must be made of low-strength metals and possess a high degree of ductility. As a direct consequence, tubular rivets are often used in commercial settings.

Some of common types of tubular rivets available for use are:

  • Compression Tubular Rivets
  • Full Tubular Rivets
  • Semi-Tubular Rivets
Tubular Rivets

Split Rivets: Home Repair Rivets

Split rivets are similar to self-piercing rivets in appearance and function, and both names refer to the same kind of fastener. These are the greatest solutions available when it comes to combining more malleable materials like leather, plastics, and wood.

Home repairs are a good use for split rivets, which may have split or sawed bodies and come in various sizes. In addition, they feature pointed ends or tips, enabling them to create holes in the materials on their own. It is not recommended to utilize them in situations that are either really crucial or extremely intense.

Split Rivets

Flush Rivets: Also Known as Countersink Rivets

Flush rivets, also known as countersunk rivets, are used on exterior surfaces to maintain a pleasing look and decrease aerodynamic drag.  This is because, simultaneously, countersunk holes and heads are used in its construction.

On the outside of an airplane, flush rivets provide a practical purpose by reducing both the amount of drag and the amount of turbulence. Further post-installation activities may be required to increase the flow of air.

Flush Rivets

Self-Piercing Rivets: Great Column Strength

When using rivets that fall into this category, there is no requirement to drill or punch holes in the material beforehand. This is because these rivets have a bevel drill or chamfered poke on the end, allowing them to penetrate the components used.

To create a junction impervious to air or water, self-piercing rivets only penetrate the top layer of the material. This leaves the bottom layer partially penetrated. A button with a low profile may be created by using an upsetting die, which forces the tail of the rivet to flare out and interlock with the bottom sheet.

Self-Piercing Rivets

Friction Lock Rivets: Comparable to Expanding Bolts

They may be made in a cupola or in a manner similar to a countersunk. These friction-lock rivets function in a manner that is analogous to that of expanding bolts.

The distinction lies in the fact that their shafts break under the surfaces if there is the sufficient strain in the system. An original version of blind rivets, known as friction lock rivets, is often used in the aerospace industry to maintain and repair light aircraft.

Friction Lock Rivets

Materials Used for Rivets

Rivets may now be used in an infinite number of applications thanks to the wide range of materials available. Because of this, it is important to choose a material for producing rivets that have qualities comparable to those of the components you will join together.


Rivets are mostly made of steel with low carbon properties due to their ability to fasten or match applications well. Furthermore, compared to rigid high carbon steel rivets, it is highly flexible and adjustable. Rivets made of high carbon steel require more material while their plasticity decreases.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel rivets have considerable hardness and strength and tolerance to deterioration. With their good corrosion resistance, these rivets are often applied to the power generation, locomotive, and aircraft industries.


Aluminum is a general material used for making rivets and fasteners. It is recognized for its flexibility and lightweight properties. Aluminum material has excellent deterioration ability and is available for various purposes in vast applications. Additionally, aluminum is quite malleable, allowing it to easily create complex part geometries.


Brass is a type of metal with flexibility and low friction. It has a rather fascinating stain resistance and equally high strength. Brass cannot generate sparks due to its properties. These properties make brass rivets one of the best suitable materials for gas appliances.


Copper is a versatile material whether in appearance or application. It has incredible thermal and electrical conductivity. Copper material is a good electrical conductor, making copper rivets the most popular for water and appliances.

Part of Applications of Rivets

Applications of Rivets

The initial purpose of rivets is to ensure the firm and reliable fastening of two or more metal or wood materials. When you do this, you’ll have a stronger connection than a screw of the same diameter.

The common applications using rivets are as follows:


When you take a good look at what’s in your home, both inside and outside. Chances are you’ll come across a rivet or two that you haven’t seen yet. In fact, they are likely to exist in the environment around you. These rivets are suitable for fiberglass roofing. So if your house has this kind of roofing, rivets can be used to hold the glass together.


Generally, aircraft machining projects should be made of durable, strong, and reliable materials. However, if the operator doesn’t fasten these solid and heavy materials together well, everything might fall apart. Thus, riveting is equally essential to aircraft construction as welding, bolting, and brazing.


Rivets are known for their efficiency in construction. It is a complex connector that allows you to easily connect different parts of machines and structures. This kind of rivet is good for the connection of wooden shelves, cabinets, and storage cabinets. Any wood material can be joined using rivets as joints.


Both professional and amateur jewelry makers use riveting as a cold joining technique in their business. Jewelry makers can easily adopt riveting to realize cold joins by using basic metal forming skills, a few instructional videos, and some common tools. Riveting makes it possible for manufacturers to join metal pieces of jewelry without the need for welding.


Rivets are fantastic mechanical fasteners that are capable of fastening together a wide variety of intricate components. Nevertheless, the performance of rivets in a specific application is mostly dependent on your selection of the most appropriate rivet material as well as the manufacturer for your product.

Runsom Precision delivers metal rivets for extensive applications using CNC machining technologies. Also, we are proficient in precision CNC machining for prototyping and batch production. Our expert engineers, technicians, along with machinists exhaust their endeavor to build an exceptional result on time. If you’re looking for a manufacturer to customize your rivets by CNC turning or other CNC machining services for your next project, please reach out to us or submit an RFQ online for free today.

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