Orlock Rivet Guide. The ultimate guide on Orlock® structural rivets.
Wide range of Orlock® structural rivet including the double locking Allok® rivets, the multi-grip Ornilock® rivet, and the tri-folding slot Orbulb® rivet with its propeller shape anchor. Orlock® blind rivets are ideal when seeking a permanent joining solution where on-going vibration is an issue. The Orlock® rivet range from Ornit® is the smart strong secure option with an internal locking system that mechanically interlocks the pin into the sleeve during the installation process, whilst embracing the material at the same time - how clever is that?
Before we embark on our review of Orlock® rivets, lets cover the basics. What is a rivet? A rivet is a fastener that is composed of two components, a metal tube (body) & pin (mandrel). The pin is normally longer than the tube and designed to be pulled up through the tube whilst enlarging it in the process. As the body expands it secures the material between the pin head & the setting head. At a predetermined point, the pin used to pull up the body will break and drop off.
Orlock® rivets overview.
Allok® Structural Rivet.Allok® rivets secure the material on both sides of the application for greater strength than most multi-grip structural rivets but with a limited material grip range. A mid-range strength structural rivet that is popular due to its compact blind-side bulb. When installed they produce a wide bulge footprint that is designed to spread the load making it ideal in thin sheet fabrication where the material can be deformed.
Ornilock® is a structural rivet with an extended material grip range, along with an internal locking mechanism ensuring greater resistance to vibration and moisture. A high performing versatile structural rivet that will reduce inventory, cost, and labour by improving workplace performance.
OrBulb® Aluminium Structural Rivet.
OrBulb® is an aluminium rivet that pulls up into a propeller shape configuration making it ideal for lightweight applications, along with a washer under the head to assist in weatherproofing the joint. This is the latest addition to Ornit's range of rivets.
How do Orlock® structural rivets work?
Orlock structural rivets work differently to standard rivets, as there is an internal mechanism that locks a portion of the pin (mandrel) inside the rivet's body. This creates an additional layer of material that assists in increasing the rivets' strength.
When a structural rivet is installed, the body changes in one of the following ways as it locks into place.
1. Broadening of the Body (Ornilock® Rivet)
Body widens when the cap of the pin is pulled up, resulting in the body expanding against the material.
Rivet's body is compressed by the pin cap, causing it to bulge and form a bulb against the material.
3. Body Splits & Folds (Orbulb® Rivets)
The slotted body folds and splits into a propeller shape blind–side anchor, ideal for lightweight material.
How do you install an Orlock structural rivet?
Installation of a structural rivet is similar to the standard rivet, however the key difference being the tool, as a structural rivet requires a Huck gun or a structural rivet gun, because a standard rivet gun is not equipped to install structural rivets.
To install a structural rivet, pre drilling of holes is required. Load rivet’s pin tail section into rivet gun. Insert rivets body into hole and activate gun. Upon activation the head of the rivet is pushed against the nose of the tool, whilst the tool pulls up the central pin. As a result, the body compresses, and expands on the blind side until it maxes out to approximately one and a half times the size of the original diameter. Resulting in a larger surface in which the two materials are effectively fastened together.
Which is the best structural rivet gun for Orlock rivets?
Selecting the correct rivet gun depends on the nature of the project + your specific requirements, below we cover the main rivet gun categories, along with their pros. & cons. At Aerobolt, we stock a wide range of popular brand rivet guns plus a few alternative options that we have benchmarked for quality and value. Our site has extensive information covering most tools for you to review. To discuss further, simply contact us.
Structural rivets guns are broken down to two main types
- Huck guns that install both structural rivets and Huck bolts (pin & collar).
- Rivet guns that install structural and or standard rivets. Note that not all rivet guns are capable of installing structural rivets. Here at Aerobolt, we have both options.
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).
Air Huck Guns: For frequent installation, an air-powered Huck gun is the easiest choice for the job. Air powered Huck guns offer fast installations with consistent results. Some of the pros include: Easy to use, economical (cost saving compared to cordless), and no physical exertion required. They will also install to a set pressure / stroke. Cons: Requires an air source such as a compressor, possibly limiting mobility and making remote use impractical.
Cordless Battery Huck guns: Cordless Huck guns run on battery power and provide incredible versatility, allowing you to install Huck fasteners from practically anywhere. Like air tools, battery-powered tools are basically point-and-shoot. Pros: Mobility, speed. Cons: Batteries have limited charge before needing to be plugged in again, cost.
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.
Air Rivet Guns: For frequent rivet installation, an air-powered riveter is the easiest choice for the job. Air rivet guns offer fast installations with consistent results. Some of the pros include: Easy to use, economical (cost saving compared to cordless), and no physical exertion required. They will also install to a set pressure / stroke. Cons: Requires an air source such as a compressor, possibly limiting mobility and making remote use impractical.
Cordless Battery Rivet Guns: Cordless structural rivet guns run on battery power and provide incredible versatility, allowing you to install rivets from practically anywhere. Like air tools, battery-powered tools are basically point-and-shoot. Pros: Mobility, speed. Cons: Batteries have limited charge before needing to be plugged in again, cost.
For the occasional installation of Orlock structural rivets, manual tools are your most cost-effective option, subject to purchasing a quality tool. They work by adding the rivet to the end of the tool, squeezing the handles, and retracting the tool from the now applied rivet. Some of the pros include: Inexpensive, easy to use, great for the handy person. Cons: They require physical force.
What are the advantages of Orlock structural rivets?
Orlock rivets are renowned for their strength and are the superior option compared to most other fasteners, key advantages include:
- 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.
How do I select the right Orlock structural rivet?
When considering Orlock rivet selection you will need to look at; materials, diameter (size), grip range, head style, and strength. Here we look into the important criteria to consider prior to making a final decision.
Orlock Rivet Materials.
Ensure the rivet material is compatible with the material being joined to avoid galvanic corrosion. As a rule, avoid using aluminium and stainless steel together, we recommend keeping the metal material like for like for maximum life. Stainless with stainless, aluminium with aluminium, etc.
* Above table is a guide only
x Incompatible, must not be in contact
Compatible in rural & mild environments (some corrossion may occur in marine/industrial environments. Painting both metals will reduce reaction)
Orlock Rivet Diameter & Hole Size.
The size of the rivet diameter & the drill hole size is critical for success. If the rivets diameter is too small for its hole, then the gap may cause installation failure. Referring to the hole diameters before drilling is an easy way to avoid issues later.
Orlock's Material Grip Range.
The material grip range refers to the material thickness or the depth the rivet can be effectively installed. For example, if two 1.5 mm plates/items need to be riveted, a blind rivet with a material grip range between 2- 5 mm is required. Best practice dictates that the middle grip range of a rivet should be used and not the minimum/maximum sizes. This assists in achieving correct shear and tensile strength whilst ensuring the longevity of the rivet. Please note that the grip range is not the length of the rivet as many people mistakenly believe the length is the amount of material the rivet will pull up.
Orlock rivet head type.
The rivet head type assists in holding the material together and enhancing its appearances. Dome heads sit proudly above the material, whilst large flange or truss head is a shallower broader head profile & suited for thin or soft material items like thin steel sheeting. The countersunk option provides a flush neat finish subject to countersinking the hole, allowing the head to sit level with the surrounding material.
Frequently Asked Orlock Rivet Questions.
How do I install Orlock rivets?
To install a rivet, pre drilling of hole is required. Load rivet’s pin mandrel into rivet gun. Insert rivets body into hole and activate gun. Upon activation the head of the rivet is pushed against the outer surface of the tool, whilst the tool pulls up the central pin (mandrel). As a result, the bottom portion of the rivet compresses, and expands on the blind side. This expansion maxes out when it reaches approximately one and a half times the size of the original diameter. Resulting in a larger surface in which the two materials are effectively fastened together.
How does an Orlock rivet work?
Below we illustrate how an Orlock rivet works. Essentially a rivet is a metal tube with a pin (mandrel) through it, upon installation the pin's head is shaped to expand the tube & lock up the material.
What is the difference between the pop rivet and blind rivet?
Many customers ask this question and the short answer is there is no difference. They are two rivetlabels for the same item, a blind rivet means you do not need access to the other side of the material, or you can't see the other side of the material. Also known as Pop® rivets because it is the brand name of the original rivet company.
Why are rivets used on airplanes?
Rivets are the preferred choice of fasteners in the construction of airplanes because they can withstand extreme stress without breaking, whilst barely succumbing to damage. They are used in aerospace manufacturing because it simplifies both production and the maintenance of the aircraft.
Can I get coloured Orlock structural rivets?
Yes, Aerobolt offer painted structural rivets. They cost a little extra compared to the mill (raw) finish and are available in a wide range of colours. Refer to the Colorbond ® colour chart for selection and contact us.
Can you assist me with Orlock rivet selection?
Sure, the Aerobolt team can assist customers with their selection, feel free to call us on 02 9755 3747 or contact us.
Do you deliver Orlock rivets throughout Australia?
Yes, we can deliver Australia wide through our network team of courier companies. In Sydney we offer our customers same day delivery if you order before 10.00 am or the next day. Deliveries to major cities such as Melbourne, Brisbane including regional South Eastern Australia are either next day delivery or 2 days turnaround.
Why have my Orlock structural rivets failed?
There are several reasons your rivet has failed, for instance you could have a dodgy rivet or it might be an installation issue. Either way we offer a wide range of technical services, including rivet testing services. We have teamed up with a NATA approved lab, that undertakes laboratory rivet testing services. Should you have a rivet failure, let us know so we can review your application and or have your rivets sent to the NATA approved lab for laboratory rivet testing.
Orlock Rivet Summary
Orlock structural rivets offer superior fastening capabilities for heavy-duty and light fabrication applications. A rivet in one form or another has been used by people for numerous centuries and it is hard to imagine a world without rivets. Rivets are everywhere from the metal roofing and guttering that protect our homes, to the air conditioners that make us more comfortable, to the cars we drive, the planes we fly, and the ships we sail.
Wherever there is a joining application there is bound to be a rivet to suit. Rivets are the #1 fastener in endless applications. At the conclusion of this blog, it is evident that rivets play an important part of the fastener world and irrespective of the rivet type needed for your project, be assured that your project will end up as a successful one with the use of the correct rivet - call us on 02 9755 3747 or contact us for guidance.
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