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Blind rivets are used for fastening materials together without access to or seeing the back of the material being riveted. They are constructed with a mandrel through the center that breaks off after insertion into a hole with a rivet tool. The rivet tool pulls the mandrel into the rivet, which expands the blind end of the rivet, and then snaps off. Blind rivets can be used as an alternative to spot welding. They are commonly used in automotive, aircraft and electronics equipment as well as other commercial and industrial applications. Rivet Assortments are also available.

Diagram of a Blind Rivet

Blind Rivets Diagram

Essential Tip:

Blind rivets are commonly measured by both the body diameter and grip range. The grip range is the total thickness of materials being fastened with the rivet. The range should always be shorter than the rivet body.

Rivet Strengths:

It is important to determine shear and tensile strengths required for your application and then select the rivet to best meet that requirement. Shear strength is the force/load on the joints of the plate moving in opposite directions perpendicular to the rivet. Tensile strength is the force or load required to pull the plates apart parallel/along the length of the rivet. Style, material, diameter and fastener spacing all can be a factor in the ability of a rivet to hold the material properly.

Types of Blind Rivets:

Closed End Blind Rivets Image

Closed end sealing rivets have a cup-shaped end that seals tightly to prevent liquid and air from entering. They should be used where a watertight seal is required. They offer the benefit of great shear and tensile strengths as well as increased mandrel protection.

Color Coated Blind Rivets Image

Color coded rivets are color coded based on material for easy identification.

Drive Rivets Image

Drive rivets have a small mandrel that is driven with a hammer.

Flush Blind Rivets Image

Flush on both sides rivets have a head on both sides of the rivet. They are used in countersunk holes in low-clearance applications.

Lockbolt Blind Rivets Image

Lockbolt rivets have a locking groove design that provides strong, permanent connection in high-vibration applications.

Multi Grip Blind Rivets Image

Multi-grip rivets have a wide grip range to ensure the hole is filled. They are ideal for oversized, misaligned or oddly shaped holes.

Structural Blind Rivets Image

Structural rivets with a locking stem have a locking collar on the stem that creates a watertight, vibration-resistant bond.

Screw Mount Blind Rivets Image

Screw mount rivets are reusable one-piece fasteners that have a pre-driven pin that quickly installs into a workpiece. They are vibration-resistant and ideal for low-to-medium applications.

Open End Blind Rivets Image

Open end rivets are used when disassembly is difficult or not required. They produce a neat, low profile.

Peel Blind image

Peel rivets have four petals that bend outward and secure to the back of the workpiece.

Plus Blind Rivets Image

Plus blind rivets are used in brittle or thin materials when only one side is accessible.

Push Mount Blind Rivets Image

Push-mount rivets snap into holes using only a finger. They have legs that expand to secure materials and then release when the head is pulled.

Structural Blind Rivets Image

Structural rivets are used in structural, limited-clearance applications. They have high strength properties and good resistance to corrosion and tampering.

Trifolding Blind Rivets Image

Tri folding rivets have three legs that split behind the workpiece to secure the rivet in place.

Brazier head types have wide, cylindrical heads with shallow profiles. Brazier fasteners are installed blind and commonly used in aircraft.

Button head fasteners have cylindrical heads with curved tops and flat bearing surfaces. They slightly protrude out of the workpiece and are used for aesthetic purposes.

Countersunk head rivets lie flush against the workpiece material and have large bearing surfaces.

Dome head types have domed, cylindrical heads with low profiles. They are commonly used for their large bearing surface and versatility.

Large-flange head types have the largest bearing surface of blind rivets. They are used in oversized holes and to fasten soft or brittle materials to prevent pull-through.

Large-flange dome head types have domed, cylindrical heads with large flanges. They are used in oversized holes and to fasten soft or brittle materials to prevent pull-through.

Protruding heads slightly extend out of the workpiece material.

Rivet heads are typically protruding, cylindrical heads with large bearing surfaces.

Blind Rivets Image

Round head types are dome shaped with flat bearing surfaces. They have a higher head height than pan head rivets.

Truss head types have low-profile heads that are slightly rounded. They have flat bearing surfaces that prevent pull-through and are ideal for low-clearance applications.

Universal rivets typically have rounded, domed heads that are protruding rather than countersunk.

Blind Rivets Image

Select a rivet that is made of a similar or compatible metal to the material being joined. Other areas to consider when selecting a rivet is the environment in which the finished product will be placed, the level of moisture, high temperatures or a corrosive atmosphere.

Aluminum has a high strength-to-weight ratio and is wear resistant, nonmagnetic and conductive. It is easier to form and machine than steel and is naturally noncorrosive. It is available in several grades and standards, including meeting grade 11 and grade 19 specifications.

Nylon is a lightweight, nonconductive material that is resistant to impact, wear and abrasion. It is ideal for electrical applications or where corrosion is a concern.

Stainless steel is a strong, corrosion-resistant alloy with excellent resistance to heat. It is used in high-stress, outdoor and corrosive applications. It is available with grade 50 and 51 specifications.

Steel is strong and durable but less corrosion resistant than stainless steel. To improve its resistance to corrosion, it may receive additional finishes and coatings.

More Rivets from MSC:

Panel Rivets Image

Panel rivets are push-in fasteners that resist shaking, vibration, loosening and abrasion. They are inserted into punched or predrilled holes in thin materials.

Solid Rivets Image

Solid rivets are strong, permanent fasteners used in structural applications such as bridgework and aircraft assembly. They are installed into punched or predrilled holes to fasten multiple workpieces together.

Semi Tubular Rivets Image

Semi-Tubular rivets have a partially hollow shank that buckles up and holds the workpiece. Split rivets have two legs that split apart and grip the workpiece after they are inserted into a hole. Semi-tubular and split rivets are used to permanently join lightweight or thin materials together, such as leather, wood, fiberboard and aluminum.