Propulsion, heat, G-force… there are many things vying to hinder your flying, or at least cut it short. Of all hardware, the one most related to aviation is the rivet. In fact, this type of metallic fastener is set for permanence when being applied to a plane. How riveting, right? Seriously, though, rivets will endure and are best used on wings and airframes but they can have other applications.

Rivets may look like nails or bolts and while they are all similar in function (i.e. operate as fasteners) there are differences in design and characteristics. The material composition of a rivet is usually that of steel or aluminum. Also, rivets are used according to several factors including cost-effectiveness, strength, weight, and accessibility.

Furthermore, determining a rivet's applicability often relies on type. While solid rivets are the oldest and often regarded as the most reliable, blind rivets too have their uses, i.e. areas of limited accessibility. Of course, there are other ways to select a rivet, including the type of head (universal or countersunk/flush), as well as the size (usually in 1/8 or 1/32 increments). Regardless, we have a wide variety to choose from. Like picking a cherry from a tree, there's plenty to go around…