Self-Piercing Rivets for Aluminum Components
Recent trends in the automotive industry toward improving fuel economy have led to the conversion of many steel applications to aluminum. The use of aluminum reduces vehicle weight while allowing the automaker to continue to use traditional fabricating methods. The primary joining technique used for steel sheet components has been resistance spot welding. While this technique is currently used to join many aluminum components, automakers are reluctant to specify this joining technique due to capital equipment cost, electrode tip life, or reliability concerns. Several alternate joining techniques have been investigated and used. These include adhesive bonding, weld bonding, resistance welding with arc cleaning (1, 2)*, GMA spot welding, clinching, and riveting. Recently, a method of riveting components without prepunching or pre-drilling holes has generated a large amount of interest. This paper is a review of this riveting technique.