The self-piercing riveting (SPR) process was used to join 2.0-mm-thick aluminum alloy 6061-T6 and 1.2-mm-thick mild steel SPFC340 sheets. SPR joints produced with a conventional flat-bottom die and conical-section dies were investigated both experimentally and numerically. Lap shear tests were conducted under quasi-static conditions to evaluate the load-carrying capability of these SPR joints. The effect of variation in die geometry (such as variation in the die groove shape, cone height, and die radius) on the main mechanical response of the joints, namely the peak load and energy absorption, was discussed. The results showed that SPR joints produced with the conical-section dies exhibited a failure mode similar to those produced with a conventional die. All the joints failed by tearing of the top steel sheet. Cracks that occurred in the bottom aluminum alloy 6061-T6 sheet around the rivet leg were a result of tangential tensile stress. The cone height of a conical-section die is the most important parameter affecting the surface quality of Al/steel SPR joints. Conical-section dies with a moderate convex can ensure a good surface quality during the SPR process. In addition, SPR joints with single conical-section die allow higher tensile strength and energy absorption compared to those with double conical-section die.
Self-piercing riveting (SPR) Aluminum/steel dissimilar sheet Conical-section die Lap shear test
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The authors gratefully acknowledge both the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51774097, 51705081) and Key Project of the Youth Natural Science Fund of Fujian Provincial University (Grant No. JZ160417) for their kindly financial supports of this work. Jiang-Hua Deng is grateful for the financial support from Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Fujian Province University (NCETFJ).
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