Rivets come in both inch series and metric series:
The main official standards relate more to technical parameters such as ultimate tensile strength and surface finishing than physical length and diameter. They are:
|AIA / NASM
||Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Imperial Standard, NASM is an acronym for National Aerospace Standards, MIL-STD.
|AN / MS
||United States Military Standard used by the USA army, navy, or air force is Imperial.
|ASME / ANSI
||The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 18-digit PIN code Imperial system is approved by ANSI and adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense.
||British Standards Institution. provides four-figure BS numbers for Imperial standards and also provides similar BS numbers for official translations into English for the Internal market of the European Union (see below: DIN or SI)
||The Society of Automotive Engineers is a worldwide organization that provides (mostly Imperial) specifications for design and testing for components used in the automotive industry.
||Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) is a metric system largely based on DIN with some minor modifications to meet the needs of the Japanese market, nortably used in Japanese electronic equipment.
||Deutsches Institut für Normung is the German national metric standard used in most European countries because it closely resembles the newer International Standards Organizations (ISO) specifications. DIN fasteners use a DIN style identifier plus the material and the finish or plating (if any).
||International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide metric standard. Clarified ISO standards for (metric) fasteners are rapidly gaining international recognition in preference to the similar DIN, on which SI was originally based.
Rivet diameters are commonly measured in 1⁄32-inch increments and their lengths in 1⁄16-inch increments, expressed as "dash numbers" at the end of the rivet identification number. A "dash 3 dash 4" (XXXXXX-3-4) designation indicates a 3⁄32-inch diameter and 4⁄16-inch (or 1⁄4-inch) length. Some rivets lengths are also available in half sizes, and have a dash number such as –3.5 (7⁄32 inch) to indicate they are half-size. The letters and digits in a rivet's identification number that precede its dash numbers indicate the specification under which the rivet was manufactured and the head style. On many rivets, a size in 32nds may be stamped on the rivet head. Other makings on the rivet head, such as small raised or depressed dimples or small raised bars indicate the rivet's alloy.
To become a proper fastener, a rivet should be placed in hole ideally 4–6 thousandths of an inch larger in diameter. This allows the rivet to be easily and fully inserted, then setting allows the rivet to expand, tightly filling the gap and maximizing strength.
Rivet diameters and lengths are measured in millimeters. Conveniently, the rivet diameter relates to the drill required to make a hole to accept the rivet, rather than the actual diameter of the rivet, which is slightly smaller. This facilitates the use of a simple drill-gauge to check both rivet and drill are compatible. For general use, diameters between 2 mm – 20 mm and lengths from 5 mm – 50 mm are common. The design-type, material and any finish is usually expressed in plain language (often English).