Rivet Removal Technical Guidance


The use of Hot Metal Rivets as a means of connection in Industrial Steelworks dates back to the early-mid 1800s when they were used in the construction of everything from steam engines, ships and commercial buildings to public civil engineering projects like bridges and railways.


Whilst they have proven themselves over the last 200 years as strong, reliable connections, the passing of time and the effects of the weather have inevitably taken a toll and the repair and maintenance of riveted structures is now a huge industry in its own right.



To tackle the specialist task of removing hot rivets before repairs can be undertaken, pneumatic hammers known as rivet busters have traditionally been used. 

Rivet Busters

Whilst Rivet Busters can be a very effective solution in the hands of skilled operatives, there are multiple hazards and downsides associated with their use.

In the section linked below we take a more in-depth look at Rivet busters, their advantages and disadvantages and their impact on Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVs) for those using them.

Rivet Buster Review

Safer Drilling Methods

With an increasing awareness of SH&E implications on the job site, safety conscious contractors are increasingly seeking alternative methods to replace or reduce the need for Rivet Busters.

HMT have developed a unique range of safer Rivet Removal products specifically designed to overcome these challenges.

VersaDrive® Rivet Drilling Products


Drilling Structural Rivets

Numerous advantages are gained by drilling rather than 'busting' rivets including increased speed of working, improved safety, easier access and no requirement for heavy and dangerous compressed air systems.

Click below to see a step-by-step process guide to drilling rivets.

Process for Drilling Structural Rivets

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