This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on Blind Rivets.
What is a blind rivet? Simply put, it's a rivet that can be installed from just one side of the application, thus the term "blind."
The development of blind rivets can be traced back to the aircraft industry.
According to Assembly magazine,
"The blind rivet was originally developed as a replacement fastener for solid rivets where service repair was required. Blind rivets also trace their roots to the aircraft industry. Before blind rivets were widely accepted, installation of solid aluminum rivets in fuselages, wings and other airframe components typically required two assemblers: one person with a rivet hammer on one side of the structure and a second person with a bucking bar on the other side. Since rivets were often inaccessible from both sides of the work, this assembly process was extremely slow and very time consuming."
Continuing with the history lesson, blind rivets were initially dubbed "pop rivets" because of the popping sound made during installation when the stem (a.k.a. mandrel) breaks off. Later, the originating company branded its version of blind rivets as POP® rivets. To this day, blind rivets are generically known as "POP rivets," much the same way tissues are referred to by the prominent brand Kleenex. But in reality, while all POP® rivets are blind rivets, not all blind rivets are necessarily the POP® brand. Interestingly, while the roots of the original POP® fasteners live on, the company is now a part of STANLEY Engineered Fasteners, a division of Staley Black & Decker.