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Old 04-11-2013
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Pop rivets: AL vs SS

Any opinions are the use of aluminum vs. stainless steel pop rivets? I have a few items that I would like to fasten to my mast and boom. I've tapped out holes in the past and used SS screws but my heavy hand has occasionally stripped the hole. I've used AL pop rivets and find that they are more convenient. I came across a catalog entry for stainless steel rivets and was wondering if their greater strength is outweighed by the possibility of corrosion between them and the mast material.
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

if you coat the SS rivets with sealent you shouldn't have any problems... Any way that is what the books tell...

But then who trusts what they are reading??
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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

Pay a bit more and use Monel Alloy rivets. Thay are formed from a special copper – Nickel Alloy and are particularly suited for Stainless steel and aluminum in corrosive environments.
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

The real problem with aluminum rivets is, that the shear pin in the middle of them is made of mild steel, so they tend to rot from the inside out. It pays to take a magnet with you when buying rivets as even the cheaper stainless steel ones have a mild steel inner, defeating the object of the whole operation.

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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

There is no shear pin in cheap pop rivets, go for structural rivets like Cherry Q series (available in Monel)
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

I replaced the aluminum rivets in my boom with quality stainless units. I coated each very liberally with tefgel..So far so good( only been a year though). My reason for putting stainless was a guy on the dock sheered all but one of the aluminum rivets from his gooseneck( Alberg 30 same boat as mine) So I inspected mine and while they were all in good shape they were 40+ yrs old. So I drilled them out and replaced with ss rivets using plenty of telgel as recommend here on sailnet.

Good luck
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by nestorph View Post
Any opinions are the use of aluminum vs. stainless steel pop rivets? I have a few items that I would like to fasten to my mast and boom. I've tapped out holes in the past and used SS screws but my heavy hand has occasionally stripped the hole. I've used AL pop rivets and find that they are more convenient. I came across a catalog entry for stainless steel rivets and was wondering if their greater strength is outweighed by the possibility of corrosion between them and the mast material.
Monel would be a good idea, but I would be concerned with halyards chafing on the protruding pieces for the ones on the mast.
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

Go to McMasterCarr, and order the 1/4" s/s, high strength rivets in 18-8 stainless. 2450 lbs sheer EACH. You'll need one of these to install them :

1/4 1/4" Rivet Gun : Amazon.com : Automotive



Install with plenty of Lanocote or Tefgel and you'll have a solution that will outlast the boat, you, and probably modern industrial society.
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Old 04-14-2013
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

Yup I have seen aluminum pop rivets fail in a structural situation, on more than one boat. The crew I race with wont use them for anything more loaded than a light fixture...
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Old 04-14-2013
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Re: Pop rivets: AL vs SS

In addition to comments by others, it's a matter of engineering.

3/16-inch SS rivets are very common on many beach cats and easily outlast the boat, if properly applied. They do well when holding something thin (plate or flange) that will be purely in shear (mast hounds) and sometimes small blocks (1/4-inch line). They never seize (rather they are always drilled-out and it is easy). But they are quite susceptible to working loose if the force has a lifting component and can shear if they are not:
* installed tight
* holes drilled correctly
* load not evenly distributed
* enough; too few
* SS or monel. aluminum is simply too weak.

A matter of horses for courses. Tapped machine screws are better if the section is thick enough, nuts are better when possible, but rivets have a place in thin sections (dingies) where threads won't hold.
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