High quality rivet installation is of critical importance to the aerospace industry, and the existence of gaps between the rivet head and the countersink is undesirable. Detection of gaps traditionally involves sectioning through rivet joints. Two concerns exist for this method of evaluation: it provides data only from the sectioned plane, and it has potential to alter the gaps.X-ray computed tomography (CT) was used to validate the effectiveness of the tradition sectioning method. It was revealed that the sectioning process generally increased the size of gaps. CT images also revealed that the gaps are not necessarily uniform around the rivet.