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What is self-piercing riveting used for?


Self-piercing riveting is a high-speed process for making lap and flange point joints in sheet material components. In contrast to welding, which usually requires the materials to fuse, an interlocking mechanical joint is formed. The process can, therefore, be used on many materials and dissimilar material combinations for which resistance spot welding, for example, is difficult or impossible. The process can also be used in combination with adhesives, either in paste or film form.

Since the rivet has to pierce and then flare, all materials in the joint must have sufficient ductility. Also, the sheet on the die side should be metal with an elongation of at least 12%. Suitable sheet thickness typically ranges from 0.5 to 3.0mm, with a total joint thickness of up to 6mm for steel. Aluminium alloys up to 6mm thickness and 10mm total joint thickness may be riveted, depending on the joint properties required.

Self-piercing riveting is used for joining:

  • low carbon and micro-alloyed steels
  • zinc-coated, organic-coated or pre-painted steels
  • lightweight materials such as ductile aluminium alloys
  • dissimilar material combinations such as steel to aluminium alloys, aluminium to magnesium alloys
  • ductile plastics and composites to metal

The automotive, white goods, heating & ventilation and building products sectors all use self-piercing riveting.

Further information:

FAQ: What is self-piercing riveting?
FAQ: What is riv-bonding?

Self-piercing riveting - knowledge summary 

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