4 Types of Fasteners Used for Thin-Walled Joints

Blindbolt NZ | 6th April 2021

HD Bolt fitting instructions

Thin Wall Bolts

There are four main types of fasteners for use when dealing with thin-walled joints. These include tapping screws, thin wall bolts, conventional rivets and blind rivets. Each fastener type has its own pros and cons and specific uses for which it is ideally suited.

Thin Wall Bolts

Thin wall bolts – also referred to as TW bolts – were designed with the aim of providing an effective blind fixing when attaching cladding style material or lightweight steel sheet. The specialised design means that, post-installation, the only sign that the bolt is in place is a neat, barely visible head with no stud.

The other benefits of a TW bolt include the fact that installation is quick and simple and there is no need for an unsightly large hole, while the bolt itself offers an extremely strong capacity and is finished with expertly applied and highly protective zinc electroplate. Put all of this together and you have a fastening which offers complete peace of mind in the shape of a secure and stable solution.

Tapping Screws

Tapping screws are the ideal practical solution for larger scale projects, thanks to the fact that they work equally well with a huge range of different materials and across a broad spectrum of different thicknesses. In fact, tapping screws can work on the likes of aluminium, zinc, brass, bronze, structural steel and even wood, as long as the thickness of the material is in the range of 0.02 to 0.50.

The versatility of tapping screws is reflected in the fact that they are often more expensive than other options such as rivets. Tapping screws can be installed using power tools or manually, but in both cases the installation process itself tends to take a great deal of time, and can be even more difficult when a hard material like stainless steel is involved, and high driving torques are needed.

Blind Rivets

Blind rivets come as either pull mandrel or drive pin rivets. Drive pin rivets feature a pin which extends from the top head, and are installed by hammering them to expand the shank and create a secure fit. Although this installation process can be carried out without using specialist equipment, it is only really suited to materials which are strong enough to take a number of hammer blows without showing signs of damage.

Pull mandrel rivets, on the other hand, come with totally hollow cores, completely solid cores or vapour tight cores which have closed ends. The wide grip range offered by pull mandrel blind rivets means that they can be effective across a wide range of material thicknesses.

Both types of blind bolt can be fitted without having access to the back of the thin walled joint, and are simple enough to install in less than a minute. Although they are not as strong as a typical nut and bolt, a blind rivet is an excellent choice for thin walled joints and is far better at coping with vibration than other fastener options.

Conventional Rivets

Bolted Shut

Are thin wall bolts the solution you’re looking for? Get in touch and speak to a member of the BlindBolt team today by using the contact form below to find out more about our thin wall bolts and how they can benefit your project. Alternatively, you can contact a member of our team on 0800 42 52 62 or by email at enquiries@blindbolt.co.nz. We look forward to hearing from you.

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