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Research Papers

A New One-Sided Joining Process for Aluminum Alloys: Friction Stir Blind Riveting

[+] Author and Article Information
Dalong Gao

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road, Warren, MI 48090dalong.gao@gm.com

Ugur Ersoy1

 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125

Robin Stevenson2

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road, Warren, MI 48090

Pei-Chung Wang

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road, Warren, MI 48090pei-chung.wang@gm.com

1cycle=1/60s.

1

Current address: Schlumberger, 7030 Ardmore Street, Houston, TX 77054, e-mail: uersoy@slb.com

2

Current address: Reising Ethington P.C., 755 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084, e-mail: stevenson@reising.com

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 131(6), 061002 (Nov 05, 2009) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000311 History: Received November 07, 2008; Revised September 14, 2009; Published November 05, 2009; Online November 05, 2009

Friction stir blind riveting is a new joining process for one-sided joining (compared with the two-sided access required for, for example, self-piercing riveting) of aluminum alloys, which eliminates the need to predrill a hole for rivet insertion. A blind rivet rotating at high speed is brought into contact with the workpieces, thereby generating frictional heat between the rivet and the workpiece, which softens the workpiece material and enables the rivet to be driven into the workpieces under reduced force. Once fully inserted, the blind rivet is upset using the internal mandrel (as in a conventional blind riveting process) to fasten the workpieces together. Our study showed that friction stir blind riveting process can be carried out over a wide range of operating parameters. The resulting joints show consistent strength under tensile load with minimal influence of changes in operating parameters. The robustness of the process against variations in operating conditions shows that the process can be carried out without high-end equipment and without requiring precise initial setup. It also suggests that the process is feasible for rapid joint fabrication in volume production. Further study revealed superior static and fatigue strength from the friction stir blind riveting process, when compared with conventional spot welding, which suggests potential for reduction in the number of joints required in a structure.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Joining methods for aluminum alloys: (a) resistance spot welding, (b) solid riveting (from www.orbitform.com), (c) blind riveting, (d) self-piercing riveting (from www.twi.co.uk), (e) friction stir welding, and (f) friction stir blind riveting

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Figure 2

Emhart self-plugging rivet SD66SPRLF.225, showing its component parts (a mandrel and a shank) and a rivet used in experiments with flat ground head

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Figure 3

Tensile test setup

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Figure 4

FSBR joints: (a) front view, before and after rivet upset; (b) back view, before and after rivet upset; and (c) detail, back view, after rivet upset.

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Figure 5

Three configurations of deviation from the rivet orthogonal penetration direction: parallel, opposed, and angled

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Figure 6

Resistance spot welded joint nugget size measurement

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Figure 7

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 150 mm/min feed rate and 12,000 rpm spindle speed. Note two curves in red. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 8

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 12,000 rpm spindle speed but different feed rates: 12 mm/min (red), 45 mm/min (magenta), 80 mm/min (cyan), 115 mm/min (blue) and 150 mm/min (black), 3 replicates per condition. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 9

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 150 mm/min feed rate, 12,000 rpm spindle speed with initial and final hold (red), with final hold only (cyan), and without any holds (blue); three replicates per condition. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 10

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 12 mm/min feed rate but different spindle speeds: 12,000 rpm (red), 9000 rpm (cyan), and 6000 rpm (blue); three replicates per condition. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 11

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 150 mm/min feed rate but different spindle speeds: 12,000 rpm (red) and 6000 rpm (blue), three replicates per condition. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 12

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 12 mm/min feed rate and 12,000 rpm spindle speed with orthogonal penetration (red), 5 deg deviation from orthogonal penetration and with angled configuration (cyan), parallel configuration (blue), and opposed configuration (black); three replicates per condition. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 13

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints at 12 mm/min feed rate and 12,000 rpm spindle speed using normal rivet with large diameter cap (Φ15.4 mm, shown in red) and smaller diameter cap (Φ10 mm, shown in blue), three replicates per condition. (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 14

Nugget sizes of spot welded joints and their maximum tensile load (red solid line is the least square fit of the data points) (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 15

Load-elongation plot for FSBR joints (red) and spot welded joints (black). (See online version for color curves.)

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Figure 16

Section view of a FSBR joint

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Figure 17

Broken FSBR joint after tensile test: (a) side view of the lower coupon, (b) top view of the lower coupon, and (c) bottom view of the upper coupon

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Figure 18

Side view of a FSBR joint using a special rivet with long retained mandrel

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Figure 19

Broken FSBR joint (using a different rivet with long retained mandrel) after tensile test: (a) side view of the lower coupon, (b) top view of the lower coupon, and (c) bottom view of the upper coupon

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Figure 20

Fatigue life comparison of joints from friction stir blind riveting (rivet diameter: 4.76 mm), resistance spot welding (weld nugget diameter: 7.5 mm), blind riveting (rivet diameter: 4.76 mm), and friction stir blind riveting process with retained mandrels (rivet diameter 4.76 mm)

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