The Riveting Revolution | Part 2


Part 2...



In our first article on riveting, The Riveting
Revolution, we talked about how OEMs have placed an increased importance on the riveting process in the manufacturing of new cars because they now rivet not only into aluminum but a wide variety of metals including high-strength steel. We also examined the sophisticated riveting systems on the market and provided tips on how to select the right riveting gun that would work best for your shop.

If you missed reading that article, please check it out; it’s also located in the NEWS section on this website.

Now we’re going to take a look at the actual rivets themselves.


This article focuses on theself-piercing rivet (SPR) itself.

There is also an element of the actual installation of the rivet that to be explained.

We will be describing and clarifying this entire process
step-by-step in the next installment of our series on riveting –

The Riveting Revolution
Part 3: Installation Guide

Here are some highlights…

When installing an SPR, there are a few
things that a technician needs to be aware of.
What needs attention is the rivet head
flushness, which is basically how flush the
head of the rivet comes with the top sheet.
The t min is also critical to laying in a
properly installed SPR. The t min is the
thickness from the installed leg of the SPR to
the outer layer of the bottom layer of the material you are joining.

Interlock (dY & IntX) are also factors of the
overall performance of
an installed SPR.

It is fascinating how some OEM-approved rivet guns on the market do not perform consistent joint symmetry even when using the same SPR and settings on the riveting gun. For example, head flushness is a key factor that contributes to not just the overall strength of the bond but also the watertightness which could lead to corrosion when left too high. We have found that some hand tools will outperform SPR installation over many rivet guns that are approved by some vehicle manufacturers.

Be assured that you will not find Innovative Solutions & Technology selling anything that will not pass our rigorous internal testing. Whether we are selling you a top-of-the-line approved SPR tool, or a starter SPR tool, every gun we sell passes our own stringent testing standards before we bring a tool to market.


Put simply, a rivet is a mechanical fastener consisting of a smooth, cylindrical shaft with a head. There are many different types of rivets designed to meet different cost, accessibility, application, and strength requirements. There are two types of riveting: hot and cold. Cold riveting is used most often when small rivets are required, and is the method used on vehicle production. Hot rivets are typically larger, and used in large-scale construction like ships, boilers, and steam engines. These rivets are heated red-hot before installation.


You may not give rivets a second thought during your daily work grind. However, you may want to think twice about these under-appreciated assets. Rivets are worth taking a second look at as they are tiny in size but essential to our industry, offering supreme fastening capabilities.


Rivets come in all different shapes and sizes, insert types, and head styles. They are available in different materials, and finishes, as required for specific fastening jobs.  There are four basic categories: tubular rivets; solid rivets; split rivets; and blind, or “pop” rivets.

There are two basic types of threaded inserts; press-in and blind. In this article we’ll focus on the type of rivet most widely used by OEMs and in the aftermarket collision repair – self-piercing rivets, which fall into the tubular category because they are semi-tubular in shape.


A self-piercing rivet, also referred to as SPR, is a fastener in a mechanical joining process used to connect two or more layers of materials. SPRs are cold-forged to a semi-tubular shape and contain a partial hole to the opposite end of the head. Unlike solid rivets, or blind rivets, self-piercing rivets do not require a pre-drilled or punched hole. Joining sheet metals with SPRs is a process similar to spot welding. It is performed by inserting a rivet and cold-forming an interlock. A technician clamps the sheet materials, the SPR is driven into the materials to be joined between a punch and die in a press tool like the self-piercing rivet guns that Innovative Solutions & Technology distributes. The rivet pierces the top sheet and the die shape causes the rivet to flare within the lower sheet to form a mechanical interlock. Self-piercing rivets penetrate the top sheet of material but do not fully pierce the bottom sheet, creating a watertight joint. As mentioned in The Riveting Revolution, Part I, there are a variety of rivet guns available for installation. Again, we encourage you to read that article.



However, all self-piercing rivets are not of equal quality. Here’s what you need to know before you shop for your SPRs. The strength of the rivet is of prime importance as some rivets are manufactured stronger than other rivets. In addition, the size, thickness, and stack height of your rivets matter.  Many companies may tell you to only use “their brand choice” of self-piercing rivets when performing collision repairs on cars they’ve manufactured. They’d like you to believe, or they’ll allude to the fact that their rivets are of superior quality.

Many manufactures are trying to corner the market and pressure you into buying a specific brand of rivets at your expense. It would serve you well to shop around for your rivets; this is certainly not a trivial pursuit. 



It’s true that not all self-piercing rivets are created equal! Innovative Solutions & Technology performs destructive testing to samples to ensure our build quality into each and every batch of self-piercing rivets we distribute. 


There has never been much effort from an OEM to give detailed specifications of spot-weld testing, and there’s not much of an effort to include quality specs on the manufacture of SPRs either. The bottom line is that there is no way of telling what quality of SPRs you are buying. But if there is ever an industry standard put forth by an OEM for actual testing that all rivet manufactures will be subject to passing, we’re confident in saying that our SPRs will be found to be of the industry’s highest quality – and at a great value.

The self-piercing rivets we provide are coated so they do not oxidize. They’re engineered to be used with most SPR Rivet Guns that were originally designed for aluminum repairs and work just as well for steel-bonding applications. 

Self-piercing rivets are built to work on aluminum and steel repairs for vehicles such as the Ford F-150 repairs as well as many OEM repairs like BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz plus many other foreign and domestic vehicles. 



& PUT THEM TO THE TEST!                                         SCAN ME

Innovative Solutions & Technology is proud to be an authorized distributor of the highest quality self-piercing rivets possible. We pay attention to every last detail to help serve your technicians as they make their repairs. For example, our SPRs are housed in packaging designed to work best for any technician’s use. Packaging is in a clear tube that has quick removable caps, which allows the rivets to be easily taken out of the tube without spilling and re-capping for later use. Choose from an assortment of widths to suit your specific project.






We encourage you to use our self-piercing rivets and see the difference in quality for yourself. 

And… Innovative Solutions & Technology offers both air-powered and battery-operated rivet systems that can easily handle all your riveting applications – making riveting repairs easier and faster than ever. 

If you’d like to experience an in-shop demonstration of the GYSPRESS 10T Riveting System or the CHISUM CMO RV/02 Riveting System, simply click here and give us your basic information. We will be in touch shortly afterwards to set up a product demo of each gun’s operation and related applications – or help you in any way possible.

Beyond sales, we also offer service and product training. 

Click any of the links below to learn more:

GYS Riveting Tools & Equipment

Shop Us on AMAZON

Chisum Riveting Systems