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Tech Data Index | Series Introduction

Understanding Blind Rivets

A blind rivet is a rivet that can be completely installed from one side, unlike machine screws and nuts, which requires access to both sides of the material. Blind rivets are also known as "pop" rivets because POP® is one brand of blind rivets.

A blind rivet consists of two pieces that are pre-assembled: the rivet body (usually just referred to as the rivet) and inside it is the setting mandrel (commonly just called the mandrel).

Installation of blind rivets is easy: (1) insert the rivet into a hole that passes through the items to be joined; (2) insert the mandrel into the special installation tool; (3) "set" the rivet by pulling on the mandrel, which creates a bulge that permanently and securely fastens the items. At a predetermined point, the exposed mandrel will break off inside the rivet.

Blind rivets are available in different head styles like dome, large flange, and countersunk, and in different combinations of materials, which affects strength and corrosion resistance:

  • Aluminum Rivet & Aluminum Mandrel
  • Aluminum Rivet & Steel Mandrel
  • Steel Rivet & Steel Mandrel
  • Stainless Steel Rivet & Steel Mandrel
  • Stainless Steel Rivet & Stainless Steel Mandrel

Blind rivets are popular because they install quickly and easily; they produce strong reliable fastenings (if the mandrel breaks off, the rivet is installed correctly); they are vibration and tamper resistant; and the rivets and installation tool do not mar the surfaces of the material being joined.

Most blind rivets are open end, which means that the rivet body is completely hollow. When vapor and liquid tight fastening is required, use a closed end rivet (its blind end is solid and remains closed even after setting). For extra strength, use a square or round backup washer designed for blind rivets to give extra support when fastening soft materials and in applications that require a larger diameter surface to prevent pull-out (see our listing under "Backup Blind Rivet Washer").

When installing blind rivets, there are two things to consider: hole size and grip range. Refer to the chart below for hole size.

Nom.
Rivet Dia.

Hole Size

Drill No.
3/32 0.097 - 0.100 #41
1/8 0.129 - 0.133 #30
5/32 0.160 - 0.164 #20
3/16 0.192 - 0.196 #11
1/4 0.257 - 0.261 F

Grip range is very important. If the total material thickness, including any backup washer, is less than the minimum specified grip range, the fastened connection will be loose. If the total thickness is more than the maximum, the rivet may not set correctly and strength will be compromised. Use the chart below to determine the correct blind rivet for the job (all sizes are in inches).

Nom. Rivet
Dia.

Rivet No.
Rivet Length
±0.015 in.
Grip Range
(in.)
3/32 32 0.225 0.032 - 0.125
3/32 34 0.350 0.126 - 0.250
3/32 36 0.475 0.251 - 0.375
1/8 41 0.188 0.032 - 0.062
1/8 42 0.250 0.063 - 0.125
1/8 43 0.313 0.126 - 0.187
1/8 44 0.375 0.188 - 0.250
1/8 45 0.438 0.251 - 0.312
1/8 46 0.500 0.313 - 0.375
1/8 48 0.625 0.376 - 0.500
1/8 410 0.750 0.501 - 0.625
5/32 52 0.275 0.063 - 0.125
5/32 53 0.338 0.126 - 0.187
5/32 54 0.400 0.188 - 0.250
5/32 56 0.525 0.251 - 0.375
5/32 58 0.650 0.376 - 0.500
3/16 62 0.300 0.063 - 0.125
3/16 64 0.425 0.126 - 0.250
3/16 66 0.550 0.251 - 0.375
3/16 68 0.675 0.376 - 0.500
3/16 610 0.800 0.501 - 0.625
3/16 612 0.925 0.626 - 0.750
3/16 614 1.050 0.751 - 0.875
3/16 616 1.175 0.876 - 1.000
1/4 84 0.455/0.495 0.063 - 0.250
1/4 86 0.580/0.620 0.251 - 0.375
1/4 88 0.705/0.745 0.376 - 0.500
1/4 810 0.830/0.870 0.501 - 0.625
1/4 812 0.955/0.995 0.626 - 0.750
1/4 814 1.080/1.120 0.751 - 0.875
1/4 816 1.205/1.245 0.876 - 1.000

When sizing blind rivets, the larger the size the stronger the fastened joint in both shear and tensile. Also, aluminum rivets with aluminum mandrels are the least strong; aluminum rivets with steel mandrels are stronger; steel rivets with steel mandrels are stronger still; and stainless steel rivets with either steel or stainless steel mandrels are the strongest. Closed End Rivets, compared to open end rivets of the same size and material, provide greater shear and tensile strength. Always consult manufacturer's data for the exact specifics.

Even more information is available in two reference charts...

Blind Rivet Dimensional & Application Data

Button Head Blind Rivet Dimensional & Application Data

When you think about blind rivets, think about Fastener Mart. All of the popular sizes and styles are ready for immediate shipment.

Tech Data Index | Series Introduction

 

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