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A rivet is a cylindrical steel rod with a flat head used for fastening mechanical parts. The head, known as a manufactured head, is bolted into a hole at least 1/16th of an inch (0.15 cm) greater in diameter than that of the rivet. The end of the rivet opposite the head is known as a buck-tail; this is the end inserted into a pre-made hole.

Rivets are convenient because they quickly join together mechanical components requiring only the boring of a hole prior to the installation of the rivets. They are easy to inspect and their alloyed steel materials make them durable and strong. Punching is the most common method of boring a rivet hole, preferred to the drilling method, as it produces less residual stress for the hole.

Although rivets have acted as a quick fastening method throughout centuries, fusion welding is quickly taking its place. Thought to be less effective in the past, welding made of steel alloy has proven to be strong and does not require bored holes for the bolting or connecting of materials.

Rivets are still in use today and exist different varieties depending on their application.

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