There are many types of hollow rivets, and each has its place in specific applications. To ensure you are getting the right ones, you need to know the most common types and when you should use them. This buying guide highlights the most common types and their multiple applications.
Plain Bore Hollow Rivets
Hollow rivets come in various shapes and sizes, either plain bore or sheathed (sleeved) hollow. Plain bore rivets are used when the center hole is not needed for clearance through a hole or plate. A common use of this type of hollow rivet is on automobile body panels where the top edge of the panel needs to be lifted. Sheathed hollow rivets have a sleeve over the stem on one side that has a larger diameter than the other. It’s used for applications where access from both sides is needed, and it prevents threads from catching on to things as they are being installed.
Threaded Bore Hollow Rivets
Threaded bore hollow rivets have a threaded hole on one side. They are used in applications where a screw or bolt is not practical. The threaded hollow rivet tightly grips the matching nut, allowing it to pull tight against the other piece of material.
Flush Mount Hollow Rivets
Flush mount rivets feature a flat head that countersink into the workpiece. There are two main types of flush mount rivets which are slotted head and spring loaded hollow rivets. Slotted head rivets have slots in the side that allow them to be easily inserted without punching. These are often used when installing rails or other metal components. Spring-loaded hollow rivets are similar to standard flush-mount rivets, but they feature a unique spring mechanism that allows easier installation. They’re great for projects where assembly time is an issue.
Shoulder Type Hollow Rivets
There are three shoulder-type hollow rivets: solid, foam, and hybrid. Solid rivets have a solid head that is made from steel or aluminum. These rivets are ideal for applications where vibration may occur because the solid head keeps the fastener in place. The main disadvantage of this type is that they are hard to disassemble as they are welded closed on the bottom side. However, these rivets are easy to install by hand. Foam hollow rivets feature a polyurethane top hat with an aluminum sleeve over it to provide more stability. These hollow rivets are great for places with high temperatures and vibrations because the polyurethane expands when heated and contracts when cooled down, protecting against buckling under pressure. A hybrid type has a solid body at the top and a polyurethane lower cap with an aluminum sleeve.
A blind rivet is a hollow rivet with a head on one end while the other is open. You can buy them in different sizes, but typically they are available in 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch diameters. The head is usually countersunk, so it sits flush with the surrounding material. It is often used for light-duty applications where metals are joined without being visible outside. They are more time-consuming than solid rivets but advantageous over threaded fasteners because you don’t need an extra tool like a screwdriver or wrench. Blind rivets are an excellent option when working with thin pieces of metal or delicate materials where burrs could cause problems.
Closed-End Hollow Rivets
Close-end hollow rivets are best for situations where the hole you’re trying to fill is smaller than the rivet size. They come in various shapes, including round, oval, square and hexagonal. The head on close-end hollow rivets are slightly thicker than the shank. This means it fills the space while staying within the diameter range that can be drilled out easily.