Blind "POP" Rivets
Blind rivets, also commonly referred to as POP Rivets after the brand that popularized them, are mainly used in applications with no access to the workpiece's rear (blindside). 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 using a riveting tool to draw in the mandrel, which causes the body to deform and clamp down on the workpiece. 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.
To use a blind rivet, a hole is drilled, then the rivet is seated inside 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, 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 of rivets is that there is no way to over or under-torque a rivet. If the appropriate diameter and grip range are chosen, the rivet will install perfectly every time.
Common Blind Rivet Applications
POP Rivets can be used just about anywhere if they are properly installed. Most of them are used in RVs, Trailers, Aircraft, Machinery, Jeans, Small Electronics, Structural Beams, Battleships, and Submersibles.
Rivets are measured in installed grip range and length. The Rivet size guide above can assist you in finding the right size rivets for your application. For more information on rivet sizing and blind rivets in general, visit our Fasteners 101 page on the subject: Blind Rivets.
Blind rivets come in open end, closed end, large flange, countersunk, and multi-grip varieties. Each has its strengths and weaknesses for differing applications.
Open-End Blind Rivets
Dome head rivets, otherwise known as open-end rivets, are mainly used in applications with no access to the workpiece's rear (blindside). Open-end rivets are the most common type of blind rivets.
Painted dome blind rivets are available in many different color varieties including:
- Slate Gray
- Fabral Charcoal
- Antique Bronze
- Crimson Red
- Hartford Green
Each of the color options are a paint finish on the POP Rivets.
Closed End Blind Rivets
Closed-End Rivets differ from a standard blind pop rivet due to their closed end, which creates a watertight seal. Closed-end rivets are used to attach materials quickly and efficiently. These rivets also boast a higher tensile strength than regular pop rivets.
Closed-End Pop Rivets are often referred to as sealed blind rivets or sealing rivets because they create a watertight seal when appropriately installed. This makes them a popular item in the boating and automotive industries. Closed-end pop rivets also provide complete mandrel retention, giving the sealed rivet a higher tensile strength crucial in electronic and electrical applications.
Countersunk Flat Blind Rivets
Flat Rivets, otherwise known as countersunk rivets, are a type of blind rivet that connects two pieces of material quickly and efficiently while leaving a flush surface behind. The hat of the rivet is almost inverted, with a 120-degree countersink in the integrated washer. A countersunk rivet is used in countersunk holes and, once set, is flush to the surface. They are used in tracks where the head will not protrude into sliding tracks or rollers.
Large Flange POP Rivets
Large flange pop rivets have a larger washer on the hat than standard POP Rivets. They are used to connect two pieces of material in a quick, efficient way. Large flange POP Rivets are tubular, comprised of a hat and mandrel; the mandrel's length is snapped off when installed. The larger washer allows the pressure of the rivet to be spread out over a greater surface area. Commonly used on softer materials where installation can damage the material or pull-through is likely to occur.
Multi Grip Rivets
Rivets with a Wide Grip Range
Multi-Grip Rivets can substitute conventional rivets in applications where the thickness of the riveted material varies. One Multi-Grip Rivet has a grip range of different rivet sizes. This grip range allows for flexibility in design and a lower rivet inventory. One size of multi-grip rivet can be suitable for a variety of jobs, including mismatched holes. Each rivet can be used as an equivalent for at least three different rivet sizes.
Not sure what material you need? Check out our Material Guide to find the right material for your needs!
Installing POP Rivets Transcript
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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners - Fasteners 101. I'm bob and today we're going to teach you how to properly install a blind rivet. So let's get started.
So I'm going to install several rivets. The first one I'm going to install is this copper rivet with the standard rivet hand tool. I'm going to put in the mandrel. The mandrel goes in to the tool first. Like this. All the way in. Now, I'm going to place it.
I'm using a piece of structural steel. This is just for demonstration. I pre-drilled the holes already. Not to bore you with drilling holes. So I figured I'd just knock this out for you.
Then you just put it in and you squeeze it (SNAP!). Until you get the snap. And that baby is installed. 1-2-3.
So that's the copper rivet installed. I'm going to grab another one this is a closed end rivet. You can see that the closed end has that flat-bottomed square finished off, waterproof end. So I'm gonna install one of these right now with the standard rivet gun.
Pushed it in. BAM!
You can see it's not loose. Perfect installation.
One thing I would caution you on is to drill the correct size hole for the rivet. The rivet should have no slack when you drill a hole. It should be tight right against the rivet. Actually, you should force the rivet in place. A little bit. It should just be like, friction fit.
I'm going to install now a white rivet. I'll turn this around when I'm done, later so you can see the finish and the back.
That's what you get after you pop the rivet. You get a broken mandrel. It cuts the mandrel right off.
I'll install a black rivet, I'm sorry, a brown rivet.
You can see it's pretty easy. No Force. Ya know? You don't have to struggle with it.
This one is stainless steel. A lot of people call me and they say: "Hey Bob, why is it, is it harder to install stainless steel?" I'm going to show you right now it's not harder. It's the same thing.
Snapped off. It's installed fine. There was a little bit more resistance but, you know, its not any different than putting in anything.
This is the multi-grip. So this is a fabulous fastener they came out with. This particular fastener, they made it so if you're, you know, have multi-applications you can use this and it breaks at each one of these points: 4-2, 4-4, and 4-6.
Ok, so you can break in any of these areas. I'm gonna install that now; let's see how that works. I've never used one of these myself but here's the first time.
So there's double the pull so it keeps pulling it in. You can see in the back here. There it goes.
So it's a double action, you have to push the lever twice.
Basically, that's it other than the structural so these structural (rivets). These structurals are installed using a different tool. The structurals are installed with a tool like this. Which is one of these monster-they're almost like a bolt cutter-type of riveter because you're going to need some leverage. These are like quarter inch. I didn't drill holes for this but I just figured i'd show this to you. What it looks like. This is a pretty heavy-duty structural. You would use these in structural applications.
So that's a wrap on us showing you how to install. I'm gonna twist this around for you so you can see the finished product. Ok here is the, that's the front. They are all finished, all in there very well. And then I'm gonna show you the back; that's the side that you wouldn't see.
That's why they call them blind rivets. Because of the backside. You put them into a hole that you're trying to fasten two pieces, you can't get to the back of it with a nut and try to hold it while you put a screw in. This is the perfect application. There you go.
So now I'm going to demonstrate to you the installation of the pneumatic rivet gun. This is a really cool tool. It's quick. It's fast. If you're in a production line, that you want to produce quick action riveting. This is the tool for that.
So I'm just going to install the mandrel into the rivet tool. This is, I didn't show you this, well I showed you this one but I didn't install it before. But this is a large flange (rivet)and I'm just going to install it. Watch this.
Fast action. Quick. The material doesn't matter; it can be stainless, it can be aluminum, it can be steel. It doesn't really matter, whatever you put it in. This tool, will get the job done. Fast.
Shear and Tensile Strength
Minimum Shear Strength (lbs)
Maximum Shear Strength (lbs)
|Grade 11||Grade 19||Grade 30||Grade 51||Grade 11||Grade 19||Grade 30||Grade 51|
The grade of material will directly affect the materials strength.