How a Pneumatic Pop Rivet Gun Works

A pneumatic pop rivet gun is designed to fix the rivet together without too much effort from the person handling the gun. The pneumatic pop rivet gun is ideal for a job where a large number of rivets have to be stuck together in a very quick time, and they can also be used by those who have slight problems with connecting fiddly items such as rivets. The pneumatic pop rivet gun is an industry standard, and in large scale they are used in aircraft assembly, and smaller guns can be used in workshops and garages.

A Riveting Compressor

The pneumatic pop rivet gun uses a bottle of compressed air to power itself, although some use air hoses in larger jobs. The compressed air enables the rivet gun to grasp the pin of the rivet, and pull this pin up, in order to tighten and seal the rivet. The rivet gun will typically look like a very expensive pair of pliers, with a long handle. The top side of the gun is composed of a series of wheels, which the bottom is rounded and contains a row of teeth. The rivet is actually made of two separate pieces, which are connected at the bottom. The base of this rivet is thin enough to move through holes in the fabric which is about to be joined, and the pin, at the end of the base, is then pulled through the rivet. A pop rivet gun is then used to raise this pin, expanding the bottom of the rivet and preventing it from slipping out of the hole that it was pushed through. The expansion of the rivet pulls the top, or collar of the rivet down, securing it to the fabric being joined.

The Process

Before use, the rivet gun is carefully oiled in order to ensure that it is properly lubricated. The rivet is pushed through the hole, and the pin moved into position. The pneumatic pop rivet gun is then moved over the top of the pin, and takes hold of it. Once the button on the rivet gun is pressed, this triggers a throttle valve to allow air through the hose. The pressure of the air forces the pin rivet into the teeth of the machine, and they then pull the pin up into the rivet. As the pin it taken up, the base of the rivet expands, and this joins the two pieces of metal. The rivet gun pulls the pin until it breaks off, thereby sealing the rivet. The sound that the rivet makes when the pin breaks off gives these kinds of rivet their name.

Pop rivets are not strong, unlike rivets on other machinery, so they are typically used for fastening light metals like tin. Professionals sometimes refer to these rivets as blind rivets, as the user cannot see the other side of the material being riveted. The rivets are typically used on objects which are stationary, as rapid movement can make them drop out of position, although in some areas they are suitable for use in airplanes, as they can hold light metals together securely.

Looking for a pneumatic air tool? Compare brands, types and prices with our Air Tools Buyer's Guide.