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Crack-Free Joining of High-Strength AA7055 Sheets by Friction Based Self-Piercing Riveting with the Aid of Numerical Design

by Hui Huang, Yong Chae Lim, Yiyu Wang, Yuan Li, Zhili Feng
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Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing
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Unique friction-based self-piercing riveting (F-SPR) was employed to join high-strength, low-ductility aluminum alloy 7055 for lightweight vehicle applications. This study aimed to maximize the joint strength of the AA7055 F-SPR joint while avoiding cracking issues due to low ductility at room temperature. A fully coupled Eulerian–Lagrangian (CEL) model was employed to predict the process temperature during F-SPR, and the temperature field was then mapped onto a 2D axisymmetric equivalent model for accelerated numerical analysis. The geometry, dimensions, and material strength of the rivet, as well as the depth of the die cavity and plunging depth, were investigated to enhance joint formation. Also, a static finite-element analysis model was developed to predict and analyze the stress distribution in the rivet under different mechanical testing loading conditions. Overall, the numerical model showed good agreement with the experiment results, such as joint formation and mechanical joint strength. With the aid of virtual fabrication through numerical modeling, the joint design iterations and process development time of F-SPR were greatly reduced regarding the goal of lightweight, high-strength aluminum joining.