Solid and blind rivets are both produced from metals that are strong, able to withstand wear and are capable of holding pieces of material together over a long period of time.
Aluminium is a silvery-white element that is relatively durable and lightweight.
Aluminium with added Magnesium
Aluminium rivets are available with added magnesium. The magnesium makes the aluminium harder, making it suitable for applications that require higher tensile strength.
Tensile strength is the amount of force/stress an object can take before breaking.
These types of rivet are used for applications such as aircraft wings, the inside of aircraft, vehicles and other products such as containers and air conditioning systems.
Using aluminium helps reduce the weight of these structures, as it is a lightweight metal, while the added magnesium provides extra strength.
High carbon steel
This is a type of steel that has a high carbon content. High carbon steel contains more than 0.5% carbon.
High carbon steel provides a rivet with a hard and durable body that is able to withstand wear.
High carbon steel rivets are the toughest and are used for applications such as aircraft, automotive and locomotive manufacturing.
Steel is an alloy created by adding carbon to iron; these elements give the steel its strength.
The distinction between carbon steel and steel is that the carbon content in steel is lower, making it weaker than carbon steel.
However, steel rivets are still relatively tough and able to withstand wear, so they are also a suitable option for applications such as aircraft, automotive and locomotive manufacturing.
They can also be used for containers, construction and furniture.
Stainless steel is an alloy made up of iron, nickel and chromium. The amount of chromium found in stainless steel provides it with a thin layer of oxide that covers the surface. This protective layer resists staining and corrosion.
Stainless steel rivets are strong, hard and can withstand wear.
Stainless steel rivets are used for aircraft, automotive, locomotive and power generation industries.
They are used for their strength and ability to resist corrosion.
Copper is a red-brown, ductile metal that is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat.
Being ductile means it can deform slightly under stress, and so is less likely to break apart.
As copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, copper rivets are suitable for use with electrical and water appliances.
This material is an alloy of copper, nickel and other elements, including iron and manganese, to provide it with strength.
Copper-nickel is highly resistant to corrosion and stress corrosion and performs well under high temperatures.
Copper-nickel rivets are particularly suitable in ship manufacturing or for use in appliances that are surrounded by a corrosive atmosphere.
Brass is a yellow alloy made of copper and zinc. It is a malleable (easily shaped) material with high strength and resistance to tarnishing.
Brass is also low-friction material, so it does not create sparks.
This quality makes brass rivets suitable for use in gas appliances.
What are the available coatings for these materials?
Steel rivets are often zinc plated to give them extra protection from corrosion.
Blind rivets are available with steel-coated mandrels to provide them with strength and an extra layer to protect the metal underneath from corrosion.
These types of mandrels are suitable for use around corrosive materials such as salt water.
A mandrel is a cylindrical rod that runs through the body of a blind (pop) rivet.
To find out more about mandrels see What are the parts of a blind rivet?
Can rivets become worn or damaged?
The materials used to make rivets are all chosen because of their properties, providing strength, ability to perform under heavy loads, their hardness and long working life. However, this does not mean rivets will not become worn or damaged over time.
The more they are exposed to corrosive materials and the more weight or stress they hold, the more likely they are to wear.