When it becomes necessary to fasten one material to another permanently, a rivet press may be used to install connectors known as rivets. These rivets are usually made from metal or plastic, and once they are installed, they are difficult or impossible to remove. The specific function of a rivet press can vary depending on the type of rivet being used, but generally, this machine is either motorized or manually operated, and it is used to punch the rivet into place using a forceful blow.
The rivet is either used with a backing plate, or it is physically altered to form a firm connection. This latter process is sometimes known as eyelet flaring; the rivet press will be used to press the rivet into place, and then bend the head of the rivet outward and downward so it seals off the entry hole. This method is often used in conjunction with two-piece rivets so that the eyelets can be flared on both sides of the materials being secured. One-piece rivets can also be used in this manner, though the rivet will need to be specially designed to flare on both sides. The rivet press itself may require a special attachment, known as a die, in order to create the flare.
A rivet press may be hand operated or motorized; presses designed to be used with larger rivets are often motorized, though some are powered by compressed air as well. Smaller rivet machines are usually manually operated, since it usually does not take much force to press the rivet into place properly. Smaller rivets can sometimes be placed using a smaller, handheld press. This is especially common if the riveter is only used occasionally rather than for daily or consistent use. Manufacturing settings will often contain a riveter that is a larger floor unit; this unit will feature an arm that the operator can depress to push the die downward toward the material to be riveted.
The die will essentially smash against a metal base, with the materials and the rivet positioned in between the die and base. This will flatten the rivet as necessary to secure it in place. Other machines work differently and are designed to be used with specific types of rivets. Pop rivets, for example, feature a hollow tube that is inserted into a pre-drilled hole. A special rivet press tool is then used to draw a mandrel into the tube; the other end of the rivet will then break off, completing the riveting process.