How Do Rivets Work?

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Rivets are metal tubes that work by connecting two pieces of fabric or metal together through a hole and holding them together after the ends of the rivet are flattened. Rivets fasten diverse items from denim jeans to steel girders.

Some rivets have a head on one end; the other end is pushed through the materials to be fastened and then deformed by flattening or rolling. Other rivets, typically those used in lightweight or smaller applications such as jewelry making, are simply thin tubes. After insertion through the material, both ends are flattened to hold the rivet in place. Special plastic rivets are used in plastic manufacturing. Plastic rivets are sometimes melted or otherwise deformed by heat to hold them in place.