What Is A POP Rivet and How Does It Work?

Rivets were a revolutionary concept in construction industries that was introduced in ancient Egypt around 3000 BC. It was here that wooden rivets were used in the manufacture of various types of tools and a variety of other items in order to provide support to the material. In the later stages of the Roman Empire, when France was under the rule of the Roman Empire, wooden rivets were used as fasteners in that country.

During the early 19th century, the iron and steel industries developed a breakthrough that made wooden rivets more reliable than before. The ductility of steel and wrought iron made them suitable for fastening thick materials due to their cross sections.

What is Pop Rivet or Blind Rivet?

POP Rivets Basics

In mechanical fasteners, a rivet is a fixture consisting of a head and a cylindrical stem attached to the end of a continuous rod to hold the rod in place permanently. There is a part of the machine referred to as the tail in mechanical engineering, which has the appearance of a metal pin.

As a result of the deformation caused by the deforming of the rivet tail, during the installation of the rivet, the rivet tail is upset or bucked, which is termed deforming, causing the rivet tail to expand roughly than its original shaft diameter.

The pounding or pulling of the rivet creates a new head after the tail material is smashed flat by the impact, thus resulting in what is roughly a dumbbell-shaped rivet on the tail end of the rivet after it is pulled or pounded. The use of rivets is very common for all sorts of parts, from prominent structural members to small electronic assemblies to a wide variety of other materials between these extremes.

A steel rivet works on the same principle as copper nails and clinches bolts, where traditional wooden boat building concepts were used long before the term rivet was invented and, where they are remembered, are usually classified as nails or bolts.

Pop Rivets or Blind Rivets

There are a variety of blind rivets available, including those that have a blind face, or those that are commonly called the POP rivet. They are mainly used in applications in which a blind side of the joint cannot be accessed.

Unlike screws, rivets consist of two main components:-

  • the hat of the blind rivet, and
  • mandrel, which is pre-assembled and ready to be used.

It has been found that blind rivets offer a number of benefits, including the fact that their material independence means they can be used in conjunction with several different kinds of materials.

In order to install rivets, a riveter is used to take a mandrel and draw it along the body. As the mandrel is being drawn, the body will deform and clamp down onto the joint. A mandrel is discarded shortly after it reaches the clamping force intended by the engineer, during which time it snaps.

Rivets have a three-part structure:-

  • One is the body of the rivet,
  • The shell or hat of the rivet,
  • The other is the stem or mandrel of the rivet.

A blind rivet owes its name to its ability to be installed completely from one side, which makes them ideal for projects where only one side of the joint can be accessible. Standard blind rivets, structural blind rivets, closed-end blind rivets, and a wide variety of other blind rivet styles are available so that the engineers could have a choice while designing the structure.

What are the Characteristics of Pop rivets?

The characteristics of the blind rivets are as mentioned below:-

  • As a result of the popping sound you hear when the mandrel breaks, these rivets are called blind rivets or pop rivets.
  • It is important to note that pop rivets are a type of blind rivet that can be used as part of manufacturing or assembly applications where access to both sides of the workpiece is restricted.
  • As of this, pop rivets make a valuable contribution to manufacturing and assembly applications where accessibility is limited.
  • As their name implies, pop rivets have a relatively simple design. They consist of a shank that fits into a pre-drilled hole, and a mandrel that fits through the shank.
  • For a clean finish, a predetermined breakpoint is used to snap off the mandrel after the joint is completed.

Functions of the Pop rivets

In most cases, pop rivets are used when access to the backside of the component is limited or non-existent. A nut or bolt can be replaced by them if the application calls for welds, adhesives, screws, nuts, or bolts.

When using a blind rivet or pop rivet it is recommended to drill a hole through the parts that will be joined so that the pop rivets can be installed. Then carefully place the rivet into the hole that has been drilled, and bring the body into contact with the material that needs to be joined.

It is better to use a pop rivet gun here, which will cause the mandrel to expand and grip the parts once you pull the mandrel into the rivet body. There is a firm and permanent connection created when the rivet is snapped into place and the rivet is permanently held in place by the snapping of the mandrel. 

Parts of a Blind or POP Rivet

Below mentioned a few components of Pop or Blind rivet:-

●  Pin

As one of the main components of this kind of rivet, the pin is the main mechanism that allows the rivet to slide through the material pieces yet to be attached.

●   Head of the pop rivet

Whenever the rivet head is placed on the surface of one of the materials fixed to the rivet, it acts as a stopper. As the head is positioned on the outside of the material, it will prevent the rivet from sliding out of the material as it sits on the outside.

●  Mandrel

In order to secure the mandrel, a slot is created in the rivet gun and the mandrel is inserted into it. By pulling the mandrel part way through the body of the rivet, the rivet gun deforms the pin so that it forms a second head, and then snaps the mandrel off at the same time.

●  Mandrel head of the blind rivet

Upon expanding the rivet body, the mandrel head of the rivet projects out and leaves itself buried inside it, creating a second head that secures and fastens the two pieces which are being connected to each other.

The working mechanism of a Pop or Blind Rivet

Generally speaking, a blind rivet is a two-piece fastener made from a hollow rivet body and a solid mandrel. As for the rivet body, or sleeve, it looks like a small tube with a flared end at one end.

The shank portion of the rivet has a hollow interior with a pointed tip, while the flared part is called the head. The hollow interior is called the shank, and the flared part is called the head.

There are usually two types of rivet bodies, which are as mentioned below:

  • The round ones and
  • The square ones.

In most cases, the size of the rivet body is determined by its diameter. A hole, or core, is usually positioned at the center of the body and extends its length.

This is how the Pop rivet work

  • In Blind or Pop Riveting, the mandrel is the part of the rivet body that corresponds to its mating part, which is called the stem, and the stem emerges from the center of the blind or pop rivet.
  • It has the appearance of a nail or wire and it is used to pull a blind rivet through the joint of a blind rivet hole during the riveting process.
  • Using a manual or automated rivet tool, jaws or nosepieces grip the mandrel after the rivet body is inserted into the hole in the parts to be joined.
  • After the rivet body has been drawn into the mandrel head via the tool, the body begins to expand and forms a joint as a result of the tool’s action.
  • The tail end of the rivet body will be deformed as a result of pulling on the mandrel with a rivet tool, resulting in a blind-side head at the end of the rivet.
  • Mandrels break and fall away when they are subjected to a predetermined setting force or tensile load. Blind heads are the rivet body portions on the blind side of the rivet after it has been set.

There is a common association between blind rivets and the aircraft industry. In addition to being used in many products, they are also used in a wide range of uses, such as the manufacture of airbag assemblies, computers, prefabricated metal buildings, and mailboxes.

A large number of blind rivets are used in the assembly of buses, trucks, railcars, and recreational vehicles and a larger number of blind rivets are also being used for large box-build applications by electronics manufacturers.

There is a growing demand for blind rivets with different upset styles to be used with composite materials, such as plastic, fiberglass, and plywood. The use of composite materials has increased the demand for blind rivets with different upset styles. There are these rivets that expand on the back side of the material in a similar manner to the petals of a flower, thus spreading the clamping force out over a wider area.

Steps to install and remove the Pop or Blind rivets

Steps to install the pop or blind rivets:-

  • Step1: Carefully place the pieces of material in line with one another, making sure they don’t have any gaps between them.
  • Step 2: Drill a hole through the materials to be attached using the right-sized drill bit after clamping the material in place.
  • Step 3: You should insert the pin of the rivet into the drilled hole so that it is centered between the head and mandrel.
  • Step 4: Place the riveter’s nozzle on the rivet’s mandrel and tighten the grip.
  • Step 5: Put both handles of the riveter together and squeeze them together so that the grip can be firm and strong. As a result of the squeezing, the rivet will expand at the end when the head of the mandrel is pulled into the rivet.

The rivet will be permanently fixed to the pieces of material after the mandrel breaks off with the additional pulling action on the riveter.

The installation of the rivet is completed with a single, smooth pulling motion, and the force that must be applied to the rivet to complete the installation depends on the diameter and purpose of the rivet. It is usually necessary to use a manual tool when you are performing minor repairs or when you only have to install a few rivets.

There is no doubt that pneumatic or electric tools are more suitable for manufacturing applications due to their higher pulling power and greater pulling force.

Steps to Remove a blind or Pop rivet?

Steps to remove a blind or Pop rivet are as mentioned below:

There is a possibility that blind rivets can be removed someday and sometimes they are meant to be permanent joints. Drilling through blind rivets is a very easy process if you use a drill bit that has the same diameter as the hat or one that is one size larger. Check the drill bit to make sure it is rated for the material of the rivets.

As soon as you notice the rivet spinning during or before the rivet drilling process, stop and cover the rivet in either blue paint or duct tape until the rivet stops spinning. The rivet should remain in place while the drill eats away at it, as long as you apply just enough pressure to hold it in place. As soon as the old rivet has been removed, the same hole can be used for a new rivet to be installed.

Types of Blind or Pop Rivet available in the market

There are different types of blind rivets with different types of heads and bodies, as follows:-

Grooved type pop rivet

In order to install grooved rivets, you need to make a hole in what you want to attach them, this can be done by drilling through fibrous materials such as wood or even some low-density plastics. There are specific rings around the circumference of the body, which are supposed to bite into the wood or plastic and expand in a radial manner within the hole once properly set.

Please, remember that this rivet is meant to expand like a balloon within a hole, so please keep that in mind. As opposed to other blind rivets, this rivet is not intended to expand on the rear side, as the majority of them do.

If the final substrate is made up of fibrous materials, then only one fibrous material is required. As long as the material is attached to the wood and is positioned between the head and the wood, other materials can be fastened to wood products.

The fibrous material must have enough thickness in this case so that the rivets are able to be set properly, so be sure you have enough material thickness in this case.

Sealed type pop rivet

The blind rivet or pop rivet you are looking at is one of the types with a sealed end, so instead of protruding from the end of the rivet like those that are enclosed in sealed bodies, the mandrel head does not attach from the end of the rivet. In order to secure metal to metal, sealed rivets are used, since they cannot leak liquids or allow liquids to penetrate the rivet.

Mandrel heads sit within the rivet’s body while the head of the rivet is sealed at the attached point of the rivet. These components are suitable for use in a variety of industries, including automotive, construction, and metal, because they prevent liquids from entering the component or exiting it.

Standard type pop rivet

Pop rivets are primarily used for joining metal to metal, with domed heads and simple body designs. They are typically used for the fastening of metal to metal. It is possible to permanently join the materials together by pulling the mandrel partially through the rivet body, which will allow it to expand at its blind end and create a second head that can be used to permanently attach the materials.

The use of standard rivets is widespread across a variety of industries, including the automotive, construction, metals, electrical appliances, containers, furniture, air conditioning, and heating industries.

Peeled type pop rivet

Peeled rivets are another type of rivet that has a larger amount of bearing surface under the head of the rivet, which provides a greater bearing area for the head of the rivet. In pulling through the mandrel, the body of the cylinder expands, leaving behind a shape similar to a flower with four petals just behind the mandrel.

Generally, this type of rivet is suitable for fastening metals to softer materials that have a softer surface. By folding over the sides of the petals of the rivet, a head will form, which will serve as a means of attaching the materials together.

Soft set type pop rivet

The soft rivet looks exactly like a standard rivet, except for the fact that it is manufactured from a softer metal, which in most cases is an aluminum alloy, and the body is also made of a softer metal.

In contrast to other types of rivets, the mandrel of this rivet breaks off with much less force, so it applies the appropriate amount of pressure to hold together materials that are brittle without the materials becoming damaged in the process.

There are a number of applications for using these rivets. They can be used on plastics, metals, wood, fiberglass, plastics and metals, metals and plastics, or plastics and soft materials with low resistance. Normally, soft rivets are employed in a variety of applications, such as furniture, packaging, plastic parts, containers, plastics, and construction work.

Multi-grip type pop rivet

Designed with a multi-grip feature, multi-grip blind rivets are specially designed for those applications where a wide variety of materials with varying thicknesses would normally require rivets of varying sizes.

Additionally, they can be used to replace a number of sizes of standard rivets in order to reduce the size of the inventory and the cost of rivets. There are a variety of applications in which multi-grip rivets can be used because of their wide grip range, which makes them versatile.

The multi-grip blind rivets come in handy when joining materials or components with predrilled holes, or even when joining curved or folded surfaces, where aligning the holes of corresponding sizes may be difficult, such as when there are two holes of different sizes that need to be aligned.

Dome head type pop rivet

Due to the ample bearing surface provided by the dome head, it is suitable for fastening a variety of materials, with the exception of extremely smooth and brittle materials such as plastic, which cannot be used.

Because of the higher pressure levels that are applied by this type of head that is closer to the hole that has already been drilled, softer materials are more likely to be damaged by this type of head and the bearing surface is where two materials come in contact.

A rivet’s head makes contact with the material under which it is being fastened, in this case, the area under the head of the rivet makes contact with the material.

Nail type pop rivet

There are a number of types of nail rivets, which include countersunk blind rivets or pop rivets, blind fasteners, or break their fasteners. This type of fastener is designed for use in applications in which there is only one side of a work surface accessible, such as cabinet hardware.

In contrast to nail rivets, pop rivets sit flush to the material surface, ensuring a permanent hold on the material, and making them ideal for applications where there is a need to achieve a smooth surface finish or to prevent the rivet from catching on machinery components during installation.

Using a rivet tool a rivet tool is used to pull the mandrel of the nail rivet and expand the body of the nail rivet so that it can be inserted into a predrilled hole, then pull the nail rivet body out and join the two pieces together by inserting the nail rivet body into the predrilled hole.

Afterward, the set countersunk blind rivet is removed from the set mandrel and discarded, leaving the set mandrel behind.

Benefits of Pop or Blind Rivets

Below mentioned a few benefits of Pop rivets:-

  • Since rivets are installed only from one side, access to both sides of the work does not have to be obtained from both sides. There is no longer a requirement for the clearance of tooling, holding tools, and other fixtures and fixtures to be installed. 
  • Compared with a bolt with nut designs, using only a single drilled or punched hole and filling it with an expandable, high-shear rivet dramatically increases the strength of the design.
  • It reduces operator fatigue and minimizes capital expenditures to use manual or electric tools at the work site.
  • Unlike threaded fasteners, blind rivets do not work out if they are not torqued out perfectly, which wastes both material and time. In order to determine the appropriate setting pressure, the mandrel includes a predetermined breaking point, so that the grip gets much stronger and more resistant. 
  • With blind rivets, no matter what kind of material you are using, you can hold it securely. They are ideal for dissimilar materials, thus making them the ideal choice for plastics and other components that are prone to damage.
  • A perfect solution to the problems of tampering and vandalism in public transportation and other public places. Limited-access panels can be fastened easily with this tool; with the correct drill and equipment, blind rivets can be drilled out and replaced in moments.
  • It is ideal for materials that are dissimilar, such as plastics and other components that are easily damaged, blind or pop rivets will hold strongly in thin or thick, soft or hard materials making these rivets versatile.

Drawbacks of Pop Rivet

Below mentioned a few drawbacks of Pop rivets:-

  • These kinds of rivets are difficult to remove once if somehow placed.
  • It may result in a reduction in aerodynamics or some kind of difficulty.
  • Potential corrosion issue if the rivet materials differ from the metal parts yet to be joined.

Various Applications of Pop Rivets

Pop rivets in constructing the ships

Rivets are mainly used to construct the shells of ships and cargo containers when it comes to the construction of ships and maritime accessories. Rivets are used mainly in the construction of ship bodies and containers.

Due to the fact that erosion and water do not have much impact or effect on rivets, it’s obvious that those with greater resistance will be more in demand.

Pop rivets in households needs

A washing machine, dishwasher, oven, and a system for air conditioning could all be found in any household. The mass amounts of rivets are ideal for this sector as they can be used as both fixing systems as well as electrical connections at the same time.

The use of stainless steel rivets, on the other hand, is ideal for ventilation systems, as they resist corrosion and are very durable.

Pop rivets in pieces of machinery

Among the most frequently used systems for the use of corrosion and vibration-resistant rivets are elevators, tanks, large air conditioning systems, heat pumps, electrical cabinets, and photovoltaic panels.

Pop rivets in Medical

There are many applications of rivets in the medical field, such as hospital equipment, medical machinery, prams, child seats, chemical toilets, and mobile devices on wheels, which are constructed with rivets. The type of rivets that are most suitable for this application would be stainless steel, three wings, or extra-large head rivets.

Pop rivets in Shelving Industries

Blind rivets are extremely useful in the field of construction for the production of scaffolding structures and shelving, as well as other structures requiring a reliable fixing system.

A high mechanical strength rivet is extremely important in this case, particularly when cutting, in fact, “Sarilock” is the most commonly used system when it comes to such a situation, as it has a very strong mechanical strength.

Alternative options to riveting

Besides rivets, there are other alternatives to riveting, such as welding, brazing, nut and bolts, and adhesives that can be used instead. The materials can be fastened together in either a permanent or a temporary way through any one of these methods, mentioned below:-

Brazing method

An alloy or a filler metal is used to join pieces of metal together in order to create a stronger joint. When the filler is heated, it is melted and applied to the parts that need to be joined; when the filler cools and hardens, its effect is to fix the materials together.  

In addition to being very strong and able to withstand wear, it also produces permanent joints that are made from metal. It is also necessary to braze in order to ensure that there is a leak-proof and airtight seal. Copper, steel, aluminum, iron, and bronze can all be brazed together despite having different melting points using these brain systems, thus can be a perfect alternative option to riveting.

Welding method

As the name suggests, welding is the process of melting together materials using heat until they are melted together. There is often a filler material that is melted and then added to the melted material to strengthen the joint. In this process, high temperatures are needed to melt the filler material.

The welding and riveting of materials are both permanent methods of attaching any materials to each other. When you use welding, you actually combine or change the structure of the material, whereas, in order for rivets to be slotted through the material, a hole only needs to be drilled through the material where the hole is to be drilled.


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