A rivet is a mechanical fastener that is permanent. A rivet is composed of a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one end prior to installation. The tail is the end opposite the head. When the rivet is installed, it is inserted into a punched or drilled hole and the tail is upset or bucked (i.e., distorted) so that it expands to approximately 1.5 times the diameter of the original shaft, securing the rivet in place.
In other words, the hammering or pulling forms a new "head" on the tail end by flattening the "tail" material, resulting in a rivet with a shape similar to that of a dumbbell. To differentiate the two ends of the rivet, the factory head is referred to as the factory head, while the deformed end is referred to as the shop head or buck-tail.
Because each end of an inserted rivet is basically a head, it can withstand tension pressures. However, it is significantly better capable of withstanding shear stresses (loads perpendicular to the axis of the shaft).
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