Rivet Dimensions Simplified
Let us use a 4-4 All Aluminum Dome Blind Rivet in our explanation on understanding rivet dimensions. The first dimension notes the diameter and the second notes the length, or the grip range. The diameter measures in 32nds of an inch. Because the first dimension in our example is 4 that means the diameter is 4/32 or 1/8. The second dimension or grip range in our example is also 4. Grip range measures in 16ths of an inch. Therefore, in our example we have 4/16 or 1/4 for the grip range. In summary, a 4-4 rivet has a diameter of 1/8 and a grip range of 1/4.
Types of Rivets
- Blind - their name comes from the fact that you can only see one side of the application when you are installing them. Blind rivets are installed using a rivet gun. The rivet gun pulls the mandrel so the the part of it on the blind side of the application expands the outer body of the rivet so it fills up the hole. The rest of the mandrel then breaks free. Blind rivets are also called pop rivets after a popular brand.
- Checkmate - a subcategory of blind rivets that has two parts. They have a near flush connection on both sides of the work and a larger grip range. Checkmate rivets work similar to blind rivet.
- Closed-End - provide a seal to prevent liquid or gas permeation. This type of rivet also works well in electronics as the mandrel is completely secure against ever breaking free.
- Multi-Grip - sport grooves on the rivet part and offer a longer than usual grip range so that they work well with materials having different thicknesses. These rivets are vibration and moisture proof. One rivet can often take the place of two or three rivets, thus reducing inventory and guess work. They are also great for accommodating oversized holes.
- Open End - are like tubular rivets except that the mandrel head remains inside of the rivet. They are a subcategory of blind rivets.
- Peel - are a subcategory of blind rivet that have a claw look on the blind side. Upon installation the mandrel separates into four legs that curl down upon the material for extra support in pliable or brittle materials.
- Semi-Tubular - require a fraction of the force needed to install a solid rivet because they have a hole in one end of the rivet. Semi-tubular rivets are especially useful when you need mobility in a jointed are.
- Solid - are the original style of rivet. They are not a blind rivet. Video of solid rivet installation.
- Steel Q-Lock - are a structural blind rivet offering resistance to vibration and weather.
- Structural - are a type of blind rivet with a locking feature. The top of the rivet where the portion of the mandrel that gets pulled into the rivet is extremely large. Once the structural rivet is installed this special feature provides increased strength, vibration and weather resistance.
- Tri-Folding - similar to peel rivets but with three legs that separate into claws instead of four.