What is a structural rivet?

High strength structural rivets are ideal when seeking a super strong vibration resistant solution. They are commonly used in the fabrication of utility vehicles, trucks, trains, truck trailers, security fencing and numerous other sheet metal applications. Structural rivets are commonly referred to as Huck rivets, lock rivets or Monobolts®

How do structural rivets work?

Structural rivets work differently to standard rivets. The rivet's body (wide section) is inserted through a drilled hole, whilst the protruding pin tail, along with its associated cap is subsequently pulled up with a riveting gun. This process results in the body deforming on the blind side and locking it into place. The rivet's body and pin cap have now interlocked with the material. It is this interlocking process that makes structural rivets different from standard rivets.

When a structural rivet is installed, the body deforms by one of the following processes. 

1. Broadening of the body

Body widens when the cap of the pin is pulled up, resulting in the body expanding against the material.

Huck Magna-Lok installation video demonstrating broadening of the body

2. Compresses & bulges.

Rivet's body is compressed by the pin cap, causing it to bulge and form a bulb against the material.

3. Folds & splits.

The slotted body folds and splits into a  propeller shape blind–side anchor, ideal for lightweight material.   

What's the difference between Monobolt and  Magna-Lok?

These brands of structural rivets have a couple of differences however the end result is the same, subject to using the correct tool. The takeaway difference is Magna-Lok does not require a special nose tip to be installed correctly, unlike the Monobolt which requires a special nose tip. Huck’s locking mechanism has been engineered into the rivet to eliminate tooling and operator error. 

What are the main structural rivets types?

There are predominately three type of structural rivets. Here we cover the main categories and list other similar rivets with the same features and capabilities.  

1. Huck Rivet Magna-Lok, Monobolt: Huck Magna-Lok® is a versatile structural rivet that is ideal for multiple material grip ranges. This rivet has Huck’s unique internal locking mechanism which provides a high resistance to vibration & moisture along with a neat flush finish upon installation. Fast and easy to install using conventional Huck brand or similar tools, when it's genuine Huck  you know it will help reduce inventory, cost & labour.

2. Allok Rivets, Huck Rivet MB, Hemlok, BOMAllok® structural rivets feature a double-locking system that secures the material on both sides of the rivet for maximum strength. The Allok rivet has a neat compact blind side bulb that helps spread the bearing load and prevent pull through with lightweight materials, this also helps avoid the material being deformed. 

3. Bulb-Tite, Huck-Tite, Tri-Bulb: A high performing rivet that differs from other types due to its propeller shape blind–side anchor and an EPDM washer combo, providing a weatherproof joint with a large blind side bearing area. The Bulb-Tite® spreads the clamping force through the anchor blades whilst providing excellent pull through resistance, making them an ideal choice for numerous lightweight panel applications


How do you install structural rivet?  

Structural rivets are installed via a industrial tool, there are two types of tools that can install structural rivets:

  1. Huck guns that install both structural rivets and Huck bolts (pin & collar)
  2. Rivet guns that install both structural and standard rivets. Note that not all rivet guns are capable of installing structural rivets. Here at Huck Aerobolt, we have both options. 

Huck Gun, air + cordless

These tools are suitable for the installation of both Huck bolts and Huck structural rivets with the simple changeover of a nose assembly (priced separately).

Rivet Guns, air + cordless

These guns are suitable for the installation of both structural and standard rivets, i.e. they do not install pin and collar Huck Bolts. They do not require a separate nose assembly and are generally an economical alternative to a Huck guns.  

Manual Rivet tools

For the occasional installation of structural rivets, manual tools are your most cost-effective option. They are inexpensive and easy to use, however the physical force required can be tiresome.

What are the key advantages of Structural Rivets?

Structural rivet’s one side assembly means improved productivity through faster installations, compared to both Huck bolts and the classic bolt & nut combo.

  • One side assembly for fast installations as access to the rear is not required.
  • Super strong, forming a mechanically activated permanent joining solution.  
  • Vibration and weather resistant. Offering high shear & tensile strength.
  • Easy to use air, cordless, air and manual tools that are rugged & robust.  
  • Design flexibility, wide range of types, material, etc. to suit most applications.   
  • Easy inspection and maintenance, no expensive equipment for quality control. 

Structural Rivet Diameters (mm) (in)

  • 4.8 mm (3/16')
  • 6.4 mm (1/4')
  • 7.9 mm (4/16')
  • 9.5 mm (3/8')
  • 12.7 mm (1/2') 

Structural Rivets Applications

  • Commercial vehicle body building
  • Buses, trucks, utilities, truck trailers, trains
  • General thin sheet metal fabrication
  • Electrical cabinets, HVAC, Agricultural equipment
  • And so much more

Structural Rivet Assembly Materials

  • Steel to steel
  • Steel to plastics and similar