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Mechanical Fastening of Steel to Aluminium for Automotive

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TWI Technical Literature Review 30185

By Sullivan Smith

Background

To achieve ever more stringent fuel economy and performance targets the automotive sector has a need to dramatically reduce the weight of vehicles. Nearly all car manufacturers have a multi materials strategy, producing vehicles from a range of different steel grades and plastics, with more exotic aluminium, magnesium and composite components also becoming more common in mass produced cars. The main focus of this literature review is the case of steel to aluminium joining. At present no single technology exists that is able to join the full range of steel and aluminium panels that exist in a car body construction. But a wide range mechanical joining technologies have the potential to join certain combinations of steel and aluminium. The purpose of this literature review is to identify the technologies with the most potential for steel to aluminium joining and to assess their applicability for use in high volume car manufacture. This has been done by; examining material limitations, considering mulita sheet joint stacks, considering ease of robotisation, considering processing speed and cost and identifying any technique specific factors.

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