Sheet joining using self -piercing riveting is of increasing interest to manufacturers in the automotive, domestic products and light fabrication industry sectors. Self-piercing riveting can join a wide range of materials; uncoated, coated, pre-painted, similar and dissimilar metal combinations, without adding heat. The process can be combined with stnuctural adhesives to result in hybrid joining systems which can offer novel design solutions. Hybrid joining is particularly relevant in the joining of lightweight materials and in obtaining superior joint performance in terms of increased strength in peel, leak tightness, etc. Self-piercing riveting is also a quiet process that does not produce fume and draws less power than conventional arc or resistance welding processes. Despite the established and potential advantages of self-piercing riveting, however, a number of barriers to widespread exploitation of the technology currently exist. These include; low awareness of the technology, limited availability of performance data, design and application information, and a need to develop equipment and quality procedures for high volume production. This aim of this programme is to promote and increase the use of self-piercing riveting and hybrid joining technology in European manufacturing industries, particularly where higher volumes are produced. In order to achieve this goal, technical and capability data will be determined and disseminated, specific equipment improvements will be developed, and quality and operating procedures will be defined. It is estimated that participating SME equipment user companies will reduce their joining-related processing costs by approximately twenty percent by switching to selfpiercing riveting. The economic benefits for SME equipment manufacturers participating in the programme are also great; an estimated 40 MECU for the fwe years after completion of the programme. In order to achieve the aims and objectives described above, development work in the programme includes comprehensive joint property and performance testing as well as improvements to self-piercing riveting equipment and associated tooling to handle thin gauge material and high volume manufacturing applications. Specifically, improvements will focus on equipment weight, the ergonomics of equipment and workpiece handling, rivet feed systems, and riveting machine size. The programme will also evaluate and quantify the benefits of implementing self-piercing riveting technology, for example in terms of energy consumption and safety and cieanliness of the operating environment, for various application areas. The final stage of the programme is the specification and commissioning of a demonstrator which will be used to evaluate improved design concepts and quality procedures for different manufacturing scenarios. The demonstrator, together with design and application guidelines drawing together information and experience gained throughout the programme will enable the SME partners to exploit the technology after project completion by developing prototypes for new products and systems or testing new applications.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
CB2 4QA Cambridge
1951 JZ Velsen Noord
191 23 Sollentuna
CB1 6AL Cambridge