Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Self-Piercing Riveting and Hybrid Joining Techniques (SPRYTE)

Joining of sheet materials, typically 1-2mm thick, is of increasing interest to manufacturers in the automotive, domestic products and light fabrication industry sectors. Historically, resistance welding and arc welding have been the predominant assembly techniques but are energy intensive and produce fume and spatter.

Self-piercing riveting is a relatively clean process that requires less power than arc or resistance processes, and can be used to join a wide range of materials. Barriers to exploitation, however, include low awareness, limited performance data, restricted design and application information and a need to develop improved equipment and quality procedures.

The overall aim of the project was to promote and increase the use of self-piercing riveting technology in European sheet metal industries.

The principal results and benefits arising from the project were as follows:

- Joint Performance Data

Steel to steel, aluminium alloy to aluminium alloy and steel to aluminium alloy joints made using self-piercing riveting, resistance welding and hybrid adhesive techniques were studied in an extensive experimental programme. Joint properties (static strength, fatigue strength, impact strength and corrosion resistance) were determined. This information is essential for the development of design guidelines.

- Process Capability

The principal factors influencing the self-piercing riveting process were established as riveting machine characteristics, material properties, punch and die tooling and rivet characteristics. Tolerance bands for each of these factors were determined to ensure optimum joint quality.

- Equipment Improvements

A lightweight C-frame for carrying the riveting equipment, a monitor for on-line control of the riveting process, and improved tooling and rivet feed concepts were developed. These gave rise to a significant increase in the efficiency of the riveting operation.

- Demonstrator

The equipment improvements were successfully integrated into a concept demonstrator, which was installed at a customer's site. Production trials were carried out to illustrate the improved features of the demonstrator.

- Technology Transfer

A best practice guide was prepared, in both written and electronic toolkit forms, so that information on how to implement self-piercing riveting was readily accessible.


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