Research Papers

Thermally Assisted Self-Piercing Riveting of AA6061-T6 to Ultrahigh Strength Steel

[+] Author and Article Information
Lin Deng

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacture for Thin-Walled Structures,
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: 5100209295@sjtu.edu.cn

Ming Lou

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacture for Thin-Walled Structures,
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: louming@sjtu.edu.cn

Yongbing Li

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacture for Thin-Walled Structures,
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: yongbinglee@sjtu.edu.cn

Blair E. Carlson

Manufacturing Systems Research Lab,
General Motors Research and Development Center,
Warren, MI 30500
e-mail: blair.carlson@gm.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received January 2, 2019; final manuscript received June 24, 2019; published online August 1, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Yannis Korkolis.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(10), (Aug 01, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: MANU-19-1008; doi: 10.1115/1.4044255 History: Received January 02, 2019; Accepted June 24, 2019

Self-piercing riveting has been widely used in vehicle body manufacturing to join aluminum alloys or aluminum to steel. However, it is difficult to rivet ultrahigh strength steel (UHSS) because of its resistance to piercing of the rivet. In this paper, a thermally assisted self-piercing riveting (TA-SPR) process was proposed to improve riveting of the UHSS, through locally preheating the UHSS sheet using an induction coil prior to the traditional self-piercing riveting (SPR) process. An experimental system consisting of inductive heating apparatus, conventional self-piercing riveting equipment, and coupon transfer mechanism was established and the steps, e.g., preheating, coupons transfer, and riveting, were automatically conducted at preset schedules. Based on experiments with this system, the effects of heating current, heating time, and coil heating distance on riveting of AA6061-T6 and DP980 were examined systematically by metallurgical analyses and mechanical tests. It was found that an appropriate combination of heating current and heating time, e.g., 0.5 s at 600 A, could produce crack-free joints having 77.8% higher undercut and 24% higher lap-shear strength, compared with results obtained using a conventional SPR process.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the TA-SPR process: (a) heating steel by induction coil, (b) transferring the sheets from preheat to riveting position, (c) clamping and riveting, and (d) release

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Fig. 2

Duration of the various stages in TA-SPR joining process

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Fig. 3

Thermally assisted self-piercing riveting system

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Fig. 4

Geometry and dimensions of heating coil with an iron core (unit: mm)

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Fig. 5

Schematic diagram of tensile shear samples (unit: mm)

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Fig. 6

Dimensions of the dog-bone specimen (unit: mm)

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Fig. 7

Cross section of representative SPR joint of AA6061-T6 to DP780

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Fig. 8

Measured temperature at DP980 steel surface as a function of distance from the centerline of the induction coil

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Fig. 9

Measured temperature field contours of the top surfaces of DP980 coupons (a1), (a2), and (a3) and AA6061-T6 coupons (b1), (b2), and (b3)

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Fig. 10

Theoretical distribution of magnetic flux density as a function of distance, r, from the centerline of the induction heating coil

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Fig. 11

Isothermal tensile properties of 1.2 mm DP980 and DP780 substrates

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Fig. 12

Effect of excitation current on the average temperature in the riveting zone on the top surface of DP980 coupons at different heating distances: (a) D = 4 mm and (b) D = 2 mm. The duration of induction heating is 0.6 s.

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Fig. 13

Schematic of the key quality indicators in SPR joint

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Fig. 14

Cross sections of the joints made at 600 A and different heating times: (a) 0 A, (b) 0.5 s, (c) 0.6 s, and (d) 0.7 s

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Fig. 15

Effect of induction heating time on joints: (a) undercut, (b) bottom thickness, and (c) deformed rivet leg thickness

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Fig. 16

Effect of heating time on tensile shear performance: (a) load versus displacement curves and (b) corresponding peak tensile shear load

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Fig. 17

Micro-hardness distribution in the joints: (a) regions to be measured in rivet and steel sheet, (b) measured micro-hardness values in rivet and steel sheet as a function of position, and the micro-hardness mapping in aluminum sheet for (c) traditional SPR, (d) TA-SPR (600 A, 0.5 s), and (e) TA-SPR (600 A, 0.7 s) joints

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Fig. 18

Typical metallographic analysis of SPR and TA-SPR joints at different heating times: (a), (d), and (g) were cross sections of SPR, TA-SPR (600 A, 0.5 s), and TA-SPR (600 A, 0.7 s) joints, respectively; (b), (e), (h) and (c), (f), (i) were corresponding magnified views of DP980 and AA 6061-T6, respectively



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