Riveters and riveting machines insert fasteners through aligned holes in parts to be joined, then press or hammer them from the insertion side to provide the second retaining head.  Riveters and riveting machines are available in a wide variety of configurations, from manually operated hand riveters and handheld riveting guns to multihead automated riveting tools that are electrically, pneumatically (pop riveters and air riveters), or hydraulically actuated.

Types of Riveters and Riveting Machines

There are three main types of riveting and riveting machines: compression riveting, impact riveting, and nonimpact riveting (also called orbital riveting).  In compact riveting, the head of the rivet is formed as a result of pulling or squeezing the rivet shank.  In impact riveting, an impacting to the top of the shank forms the head of the rivet, often achieved through the use of riveting hammers.  In nonimpact riveting, a rolling or spinning action to the end of top of the shank forms the head of the rivet.

 

The three main types of rivets are solid rivets, full tubular rivets, and semi-tubular rivets.  These main types are then broken down into several configurations.

 

Solid rivets have completely solid shafts with no internal cavities.  Bending, hammering, or twisting the protruding end to create a strong connection secures solid rivets.  They are more difficult to attach than other rivet types and required powered machinery to insert. 

 

Tubular rivets have a coaxial cylindrical hole in the headless end that exceeds 112% of the rivet shank diameter.  They are designed for securing by splaying the end.  Tubular rivets are used most commonly in self-piercing applications, where a pre-drilled hole is not required.  Tubular rivets are used in a wide variety of manufacturing areas, including industrial, aerospace and automotive.

 

Semi-tubular rivets have a coaxial cylindrical or tapered hole in the end opposite the head, the depth of which does not exceed 112% of the mean shank diameter.  Semi-tubular rivets are similar to solid rivets, but require much less insertion force, allowing longer rivets to be used without the rivet shank buckling.  Semi-tubular rivets are used in impact riveting applications.  Upon impact the rivet end flares outward, following the shape of the tool, until it rolls up against the surface of the workpiece.

 

Other common rivets used by riveters and riveting machines include split rivets, blind rivets, compression rivets, and drive rivets.

 

Split rivets have two shanks that are spread apart once the rivet has been inserted.  Split rivets are also referred to as bifurcated rivets.

 

Blind rivets are used where the rivet is not accessible from both sides.  They have an integral mandrel that permits the formation of an upset on the blind end of the rivet.  As the mandrel is pulled into or against the body being riveted it breaks at or near the intersection of the mandrel shank and its upset end.  Blind rivets are frequently used by riveters and riveting machines as an alternative to solid rivets.  

 

Compression rivets are comprised of two members, a tubular female half and a solid male rivet.  The two pieces are placed in a pre-drilled hole, with the solid male rivet on one side and the female tubular half on the other.  The diameter of the solid rivet is matched to the hole diameter in the tubular rivet such that a compression or press fit is formed when the two halves are squeezed together.

 

Drive rivets have a pin that protrudes through the head of the rivet.  They are usually installed by riveters and riveting machines with a hammer or pneumatic tool to drive the pin into the shank of the rivet. Drive rivets installed by riveters and riveting machines can be used for retaining thin or thick walled panels together.

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