# How to Calculate Shear Rivets

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
You can compute the maximum shear force your rivets can tolerate.

Rivets, made of strong materials such as steel and aluminum, hold pieces together when assembling objects. Because the parts held by a rivet can pull apart from each other with considerable force, it is important to know how much load a rivet can take before the stress forces break the metal. In particular, the shear strength of a rivet measures the amount of force that can be applied transversally (i.e., perpendicular to the main axis of the rivet) before the rivet gets torn in half. You can compute the shear strength of the rivets you use in your projects.

Video of the Day

## Step 1

Determine the area of the cross section of the rivet, either from manufacturer's specifications or by cutting a rivet apart transversally. If the rivet is solid, compute the area using this formula: A = Pi x (D / 2)^2 . Replace D by the diameter of the rivet, measured using the calipers.

If the rivet is hollow, compute the area using this formula: A = Pi x ((D / 2)^2 - ((D - t)/2)^2). Replace D by the (outer) diameter of the rivet, and t by the thickness of the rivet's wall, measured using the calipers.