Blind rivets, also commonly referred to as POP Rivets, are mainly used in applications where there is no access to the rear (blind side) of the joint. Rivets have a two-piece construction; one is called the rivet body, shell, or hat and another is called the stem or mandrel. Both the hat and mandrel are pre-assembled and ready to use. Rivets are installed by using a riveting tool to draw the mandrel which causes the body to deform and clamp down on the joint. Upon reaching the designed clamping force, the mandrel snaps and is discarded. A benefit of blind rivets is that they are not material specific meaning they can combine two different material types together the same way.
To use a blind rivet, a hole is drilled then the rivet is seated inside of the hole. Then a tool pulls the mandrel against the hat of the rivet. The back of the mandrel either has a bulge on the end or is connected to the hat in some way which makes the edges of the hat expand down towards the material. Once this expansion reaches the material and builds pressure, a designed fault in the mandrel reaches its peak force capacity and snaps. Leaving a properly installed rivet.
One of the biggest benefits if rivets is that there is no way to over or under-torque a rivet. If the appropriate diameter and grip range and chosen the rivet will install perfectly every time.
Rivets come in a variety of types each of which have benefits.
Open End Open End Rivets are the most popular rivet variety available. They rely on the balled end of the mandrel going into the hat forcing it to expand. Closed Ends Closed End Rivets are used for applications where the installed rivet will be exposed to liquids or vapors. The sealed end prevents liquids from going through the rivet into the installation or speeding up the corrosion process. Multi-Grip Multi grip rivets have a significantly wider grip range than standard POP rivets. They are commonly used to substitute conventional rivets where the material thickness varies. Tri-Fold (Exploding) Tri Fold or exploding rivets have a wider grip range due to the way the hat bulges. They also resist pull-though by having three folds distribute the pressure over a wider surface area. Interlock (Structural) The mandrel locking mechanism on these rivets create a stronger assembly than other types. This type is recommended for structural applications. Painted Head Painted rivet hats to match your applications to leave a blended less noticeable rivet in its place.
The head refers to the washer-like portion of the hat on a rivet. Just like with the type, each variety of head comes with its own benefits that should be considered.
Dome The dome head sits rounded and exposed when finished. Large Flange Large Flange rivets have a wider hat to better distribute surface pressure and prevent pull-through. Shave Head The mandrel snaps further up on these rivers requiring a cutting and filing tool to shave them down to a clean finished look. They are exceptionally popular as trailer rivet replacements. Countersunk A Countersunk head sits almost flush with the surface when installed. Low Profile (Flat Head) These heads are almost the same as a countersunk but sit up slightly higher.
Rivet tools (Riveters) are the special tools used to install rivets. There are several types available and options can vary depending on the size of the rivets.
Hand Riveter A very common rivet tool that is simple to use and requires only a squeeze or two to set the POP Rivets. Lever Riveter A tool with two handles designed to drive stronger rivets such as structural. Some include a bottle to catch the snapped mandrels for ease of cleanup. Battery Powered Riveter Like a cordless drill, a battery riveter uses a trigger and automatically pulls and spits the mandrel. Some have a catch that will draw the mandrel in for ease of cleanup. Pneumatic Riveter An air powered rivet tool that quickly and effectively installs rivets. The only downside is needing compressed air to use.
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