When you want to fasten two pieces of material together without applying heat or screws, a popular method comes to mind: riveting. Riveting is a reversible semi-permanent mechanical fastening. Here you learn about popular applications of rivets, the riveting processes for both solid and blind rivets, and rivet removal.
Rivets have various applications, including machinery, bridges, ships, motor vehicles, trains, and aircraft rivets. Two popular types of rivets used in aviation include solid and blind rivets. When using a solid rivet, you need access to both the front and rear of the material you are fastening, while when using a blind rivet, you do not need access to the rear of the material. The blind rivet, therefore, is handy where rear side access is limited.
Solid and Blind Riveting Processes
In riveting, you clamp two pieces of material together and drill a hole through both layers. A solid rivet is made of one piece. You push the rivet through the pre-drilled hole and apply a rivet gun to the rivet head from the front side of the material while pressing a bucking bar from the rear side. A deformed head is created on the rear side of the hole.
A blind rivet is made of a pre-assembled two-piece construction: a hollow rivet body and a stem with a bulge on its tail, known as a mandrel. You insert the head of the mandrel into an adapter at the tip of a riveting gun and press the rivet into the pre-drilled hole. Then, you pull the rivet gun’s trigger to retract the mandrel. The mandrel bulge turns into a deformed head on the rear side of the hole. The head of the mandrel snaps off and may be discarded.
Rivet Removal Process
If you need to remove a rivet, you may drill through the center of the head of the rivet to the deformed head on the rear side. Then, you use a hammer to tap on the head of the rivet. The rivet head will separate from its stem, which falls through the rear side.