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What is a Rivet Snap?

By Licia Morrow
Updated: May 17, 2024

A rivet snap is a fastener used on a variety of goods, from camping equipment to furniture to individual identification tags worn on the body. It consists of two round, flat, plastic or metal discs of varying sizes and colors. One disc has a protrusion in the middle, and is usually called the male part. The female has either a hole or indentation in the middle, into which the male part snaps. These fasteners are used not only for solid materials, such as panels and computer parts, but also for soft materials such as heavy fabric.

A simple rivet snap may be made of molded nylon or plastic material and used to snap together the edges of a sign, the ends of an ID bracelet, or to hold together the ends of a tarp. Stronger snaps, such as those made of metal, can be used to build furniture or do leather work. Rivet snaps can be decorative or simple, depending upon an individual's wishes. Commercial rivet setting packages are available for sale to the individual who wishes to replace rivet snaps on equipment or household items, or to create arts and crafts.

The ways in which these fasteners are put together varies. A plastic rivet snap may be installed by simply pushing the male and female parts together. A metal rivet snap may require a setting tool. A setting tool is a long cylindrical piece of metal used for tapping the two parts of the rivet snap together until they click.

There are many things to take into account when using rivet snaps. Users should consider the type of project, the weight and thickness of the materials being assembled, and the size of the area that the snaps will secure. Additionally, it is important to know how much force will be needed to install the rivet.

Snap manufacturers usually include information on how much weight or force the rivet requires to install and remove. Using tension, a manufacturer of rivet snaps will test and record the maximum force needed and include it in the product information. The average pull-out force is the number of pounds of force it takes to remove the rivet snap, while the push-in force is the number of pounds of force it takes to install it.

To install a rivet snap, a person should take into consideration the thickness of the materials being used. A rivet that is too long may bend or break easily when force is placed up on the object. On the other hand, a rivet that is too short may not properly snap together and might easily come apart. If the rivet snap parts are plastic or nylon, they can often be popped into place by hand. If, however, the push-in force is higher, as in the case of heavy plastic rivets or metal ones, it is necessary to tap gently with a setting tool until the rivet snaps into place.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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