Joining of CFRT-steel hybrid parts via hole-forming and subsequent pin caulking

Römisch D, Popp J, Drummer D, Merklein M (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


DOI: 10.1007/s11740-021-01093-9


In times of increasing global warming, the awareness of the necessity for significant CO2 reduction is growing. Especially in the transport and aerospace sector, lightweight construction has potential to achieve emission reduction goals by reducing the overall vehicle weight. Thereby, adding lightweight fibre-reinforced composites to materials such as steel and aluminium is used to achieve weight savings. Furthermore, continuous-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTs) begin to replace more traditional thermoset thermoplastics due to their easier bulk production and uncomplicated storage. Hybrid parts often consist of a CFRT and a higher strength metal component. Here, the joining process poses the main challenge, due to different chemical and physical properties of the components. In the current state of the art, riveted and bolted joints are commonly used, leading to increased weight due to auxiliary elements and requiring precise bolt holes often destroying load-bearing fibres. Joining with cold formed pin structures is an innovative and versatile joining process, which avoids the need for auxiliary elements. These pins are subsequently inserted in warm formed holes in the CFRT component and then caulked to create a form-fitting hybrid joint. To obtain a fundamental understanding of this joining process, hole-forming and pin-caulking, are investigated in this study. First, the hole-forming with IR-radiation is investigated with regard to suitable process parameters and resulting fibre morphology. The formed holes are consequently mechanically characterized. Second, the caulking-process is investigated by iteratively upsetting a pin and subsequently measuring the geometry. Based on these findings two different suitable caulking degrees are defined and samples for mechanical as well as microscopic investigations are manufactured. The created joints are first investigated via micro-sections and reflected light microscopy to identify possible damage in the CFRT component, which can result from the pin caulking process. Second, a mechanical characterisation under shear load as well as pin extraction loads normal to the sample surface is conducted and the normal load tests are compared with the bearing strength of CFRT samples.

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Römisch, D., Popp, J., Drummer, D., & Merklein, M. (2021). Joining of CFRT-steel hybrid parts via hole-forming and subsequent pin caulking. Production Engineering.


Römisch, David, et al. "Joining of CFRT-steel hybrid parts via hole-forming and subsequent pin caulking." Production Engineering (2021).

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