Product Tutorials: Fastriv® Self-Piercing Rivets

What They Are

The Fastriv® self-piercing rivet system is engineered to pierce and fasten in one operation, simplifying assembly and reducing costs while providing a strong, reliable joint.

The Fastriv® self-piercing rivet system joins sheet metals, plastics and other components and can be used to join dissimilar materials or pre-coated sheets. These benefits make it an efficient fastening solution over other methods such as spot welding, bolting, adhesive bonding, clinching or blind riveting. For example, unlike welding, Fastriv® self-piercing rivets do not create a heat zone in the materials during installation, so changes and damage to the application materials are minimized. Additionally, because piercing and joining take place at one time, pre-drilled holes, hole preparation and hole alignment are eliminated resulting in higher productivity and more cost-effective assembly.

  • Pierce and fasten in one operation, eliminating need for insertion holes and alignment
  • Self-sealing; rivet radially expands into material, without breaking through substrate
  • Provides consistent, high joint strength, comparable to spot welds and other mechanical fastening methods
  • Unlike welding, Fastriv fasteners join materials without creating a heat-affected zone, thereby preventing shrinking and minimizing distortion and other material changes
  • Can be used on a wide variety of materials including steel, aluminum, nylon webbing, plastic, and rubber
  • Can join dissimilar materials and cleanly join pre-coated, pre-painted or pre-plated materials
  • Can be used to join materials with intermediate compounds, including adhesives
  • Rivets can be plated or painted to your specifications
  • Can join materials with oil or other surface contaminants
  • Process load monitoring can be incorporated into installation tooling system to track and notify operator of variances in joint

Fastriv® Self-Piercing Rivet Features
A. Body (a.k.a. Rivet, Shank)
B. Head (a.k.a. Flange)

How They Work

View an interactive demo

  1. The Fastriv® self-piercing rivet is fed into the riveting module.
  2. The riveting module clamps the application sheets together and presses the Fastriv® self-piercing rivet into the top sheet of the application.
  3. The rivet pierces the top sheet and radially expands into the bottom sheet without piercing through the bottom sheet.

Head & Poke Styles

Head Styles Poke Styles
Dome Head
  • FSD series (dome head, chamfered poke)
  • FSE series (dome head, square poke)

Countersunk Head
  • FSC series (countersunk head, chamfered poke)
  • FSE series (countersunk head, square poke)

Tinman Head
  • FST series (tinman head, chamfered poke)
  • FSU series (tinman head, square poke)



System Comparison

Feature Spot Welding Blind Rivets Adhesives Bolts Fastriv® Fasteners Clinching
Hole alignment needed no yes no yes no no
Joining dissimilar materials no yes yes yes yes yes
Joining coated materials no yes yes yes yes yes
Joining 3 or more sheets poor good possible good good poor
Joining sheets with different thickness poor good good good good good
Maximum joint thickness low high no limit high medium medium
Leak-proof joint partial possible yes possible yes yes
Corrosion resistance poor good high good good good
Fatigue strength low high medium high high medium
Aesthetic quality high medium high low high high
Access required for joining two
Reliability medium high medium high high high
Ease of inspection poor good poor fair good good
Joint removability poor fair poor good fair fair
Automated assembly possible possible possible possible possible possible
Compatible with other joining methods yes yes yes yes yes yes
Energy requirement high low low low low low
Environmental impact high low high low low low
Cost high low high low low low

Fastening Configurations

There are two conditions required for the successful use of self-piercing rivet systems:
  1. There must be access for tooling on both sides of the sheets
  2. The sheet thickness, sheet hardness and ductility need to fall within the practical range for self-piercing technology. Actual ranges are dependent on application requirements and material types. Generally, the range for sheet metal applications is a combined material thickness of 1.6mm - 8.0mm (.060" - .315").


Fastriv® self-pierce rivet systems are raising productivity and lowering costs in a wide range of automotive and commercial industries, from sheet metal assembly to building construction to plastic products.

Automotive Space Frames
This space frame is assembled with Fastriv® self-pierce rivets and a lightweight C-frame. This C-frame has a throat depth of 850 mm (33") and can be manipulated with a robot due to its low weight of 140 kg (310 lbs). This C-frame is used for all rivet positions.

This body component consists of an aluminum sheet, a casting, and an extrusion with different material thicknesses. Due to the higher fatigue strength of the pierce-riveted joint (compared to a spot weld), the number of joints was reduced dramatically..

Construction Components
These heavy-duty lintels can carry loads up to 45 kN (10,000 lbs). They are produced in two steel sections with a combined material thickness of up to 6.4mm (0.25"). Spot welds were initially used for assembly, but this method provided poor joint consistency and required rework to correct the damaged coated surface. The Fastriv® pierce rivet system produces the high strength joints required for this critical application and does not damage the coated sheets.

Steel lintels up to 2 meters long are assembled on a customized 2-head riveting machine. The placement of the rivets is staggered left and right at a distance of 30 cm (11.81"). At the ends of the lintels, rivets are placed parallel to each other. Twin bowl feeders allow the system to be fully automated, resulting in increased productivity..

Automotive Subassemblies
(A) The innovative, weight-saving introduction of a side impact bar made of an aluminum bar and steel bracket demanded an efficient alternative to welding. A shear strength of 16 kN (3,597 lbf) also had to be achieved. Together with a machine integrator, Avdel® designed a fully-automated production machine with process monitoring that produces 18 side impact bars per minute.

(B) Fastriv® pierce rivets allow the components of this car seat to be joined after painting. For aesthetics, the rivets are painted to match the color of the component, eliminating the need for color caps. The assembly machine manufactures two models in one cell, using two different rivets fed to a roboticallymounted C-frame. The lower portion of the c-frame that contains the die rotates 180°, allowing the use of two different dies to provide optimum joint strength.

Airbag Components
The plastic and steel materials of this airbag component require joints with high shear strength to meet rigorous performance requirements. Fastriv® pierce rivets were chosen to meet these needs.

The components are assembled automatically with a process monitoring system, controlling the quality of the joint and ensuring the correct number of placed rivets in their proper positions.

Consumer Products - Aluminum Ladders
A 12-head riveting system is integrated into an automatic production line for assembling aluminum ladders. Each ladder step is fastened simultaneously to the ladder frame.

The machine can be used for different ladder sizes. Other benefits include shorter cycle times, cost-effective production, elimination of insertion holes, and a stronger and more reliable end product.

Consumer Products - Steering Wheel Lock
This steering wheel lock requires consistent, high-strength fastening to meet tamper-resistance requirements. Fastriv® fasteners met these requirements, plus they could be used after the components were painted, increasing manufacturing flexibility and minimizing cycle times.

The Fastriv® pierce rivets are processed on a stationary riveting system with an automatic feeding module. The system was easily integrated into the existing production line.

Installation Tools

During installation, Fastriv® self-piercing rivets are fed automatically and pressed into the components. The installation tools or workstations are adapted to the respective production processes. Riveting modules and dies are configured to the respective application.

A wide variety of tooling - from hand-operated systems to automated assembly lines - is available to place Fastriv® fasteners. Each can be customised to meet the specific requirements of your assembly line and decrease your installed costs.

Please contact your Avdel® application engineer for assistance in selecting the optimal tool for your assembly.

Tool Description
ESN 50 Battery Tool
  • Electro-hydraulic operation
  • Can be equipped with various tooling for different processes, such as pierce riveting, clinching, pressing, or setting clinch nuts or studs
  • Joining force can be continuously adjusted from 20 - 50 kN (4,500 - 11,240 lbf)
  • With special tooling the ESN50 can also be used for removing pierce-riveted joints
  • Motor automatically turns off after joining force is reached
  • Wide range of uses, from sampling, prototyping and repair use to low volume production
  • Can also be used for placing clinch nuts and studs and also pierce nuts and studs

SN 2 Hydraulic Unit
  • Hydraulic intensifier with hand-operated or stationary C-frame
  • Adjustable pressure setting
  • Various C-frames, either hand-operated or stationary, can be connected by a quick-fitting coupling
  • Can be used in a large range of applications, from sampling to low-volume production
  • The C-frames can be equipped with different tooling, so the SN2 can be used for riveting and pressing as well as for clinching
  • Can also be used for placing clinch nuts and studs and pierce nuts and studs

Portariv® Robotic
  • Designed to place the entire range of Fastriv pierce rivets
  • Consists of three modular assemblies: power pack and control system, head assembly and feed assembly
  • Cycle times between 2.0 and 3.5 seconds, dependent on feed tube length and cylinder stroke
  • Two standard systems available: Mk3.4 high-volume system and Mk3.5 medium-volume system
  • Hand-operated or robot-mounted systems available
  • Multi-head and other custom modules available
  • Rivet module and lower die of the head assembly can be engineered into different configurations to accommodate difficult accessibility conditions or to assemble large or awkwardly-shaped components
  • Vibratory bowl feed system and proprietary pneumatic components ensure reliable feeding
  • Process monitoring can be incorporated into system (see following page)
  • Allows flexible integration into existing production lines
  • Increases productivity
  • Ensures a quality joint

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