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How Do I Choose the Best Steel Rivet?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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Choosing the best steel rivet for a particular project can be difficult, because there are many different rivets available. One place to start the selection process is size, because the size of the rivet is important to ensuring it can correctly fit into the structure. There are two types of steel rivets, blind and solid, and both are good for different reasons. A rivet can come with different heads that either secure the rivet better or keep the rivet from being visible. Depending on how the steel is alloyed, there may be different mechanical properties attributed to the rivet.

When choosing the size of the steel rivet, you should look into both the diameter and the length. Most projects require you to drill holes through the metal before riveting, so you should make sure the rivet is the same diameter as the hole. In terms of length, the rivet should be just long enough to go through the two or more layers of metal involved in your project. If the rivet is too long, then it will not be secure; if it is too short, then it will not properly lock in place.

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Blind and solid rivets are available on the market, and both have different properties. The former normally is best if you are riveting by yourself, because only one person is needed to use this type of steel rivet, but this rivet also has a higher chance of falling out of place. Solid rivets are more secure, but two people are needed when using them.

There are many different rivet heads from which to choose when getting a steel rivet. If the head is larger, it normally will provide more support. Higher heads offer good support, but they are more susceptible to wind resistance on planes and similar objects. Countersunk heads are flush and normally are best if wind resistance is a problem or if you do not want people to see the rivets.

Steel is the joining of iron and carbon, but there are many ways of alloying steel by changing the amount of iron and carbon or adding metals such as nickel or zinc. When choosing a certain steel for a steel rivet, you should think about how much heat the rivet will encounter and how durable and tough the steel needs to be. Some steels may be incompatible with others; if your project is using a sensitive type of steel, then it may be a good idea to choose a rivet that uses the same alloy.

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