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Konzept für den MBSE-Einsatz zur automatisierten Individualisierung von komplexen Produkten

F. Dworschak, C. Zirngibl, B. Schleich, S. Wartzack, DFX 2019: Proceedings of the 30th Symposium Design for X, 18-19 September 2019, Jesteburg, Germany (2019)


Mechanical joining without auxiliary element by cold formed pins for multi-material-systems

M. Kraus, P. Frey, T. Kleffel, D. Drummer, M. Merklein, AIP Conference Proceedings (2019), 2113, pp. 050006


Characterization and Numerical Modelling of Through-Thickness Metallic-Pin-Reinforced Fibre/Thermoplastic Composites under Bending Loading

H. Böhm, H. Zhang, B. Gröger, A. Hornig, M. Gude, Journal of Composites Science (2020), 4, pp. 188


Investigation of Clinched Joints – A Finite Element Simulation of a Non-destructive Approach

B. Sadeghian, C. Guilleaume, R. Lafarge, A. Brosius, Lecture Notes in Production Engineering (2020), pp. 116-124


Potential of Joining Dissimilar Materials by Cold Formed Pin-Structures

M. Kraus, M. Merklein, Journal of Materials Processing Technology (2020), 283, pp. 116697


A New Approach for the Evaluation of Component and Joint Loads Based on Load Path Analysis

C. Steinfelder, A. Brosius, Lecture Notes in Production Engineering (2020), pp. 134-141


Numerical analysis of the robustness of clinching process considering the pre-forming of the parts

C.R. Bielak, M. Böhnke, R. Beck, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes. (2020)


Investigation of influencing parameters on the joint formation of the self-piercing riveting process

F. Kappe, S. Wituschek, M. Lechner, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, M. Merklein, 2020

Probability Distribution of Joint Point Loadings in Car Body Structures under Global Bending and Torsion

S. Martin, A.A. Camberg, T. Tröster, Procedia Manufacturing (2020), pp. 419-424

Influence of Nozzle Shape on Near-Surface Segregation Formation During Twin-Roll Casting of Aluminum Strips

O. Grydin, M. Stolbchenko, M. Schaper, in: Light Metals 2020, 2020, pp. 1039-1044


Untersuchungen zum Einfluss von Geometrieparametern bei artgleichen Al-Clinchverbindungen auf das Ermüdungsverhalten im Bereich hoher bis sehr hoher Lastspielzahlen

L. Ewenz, S. Schettler, A.T. Zeuner, M. Zimmermann, Tagung Werkstoffprüfung 2020. Werkstoffe und Bauteile auf dem Prüfstand. Prüftechnik - Kennwertermit (2020)


Experimental and Numerical Studies on the Deformation of a Flexible Wire in an Injection Moulding Process

D. Köhler, B. Gröger, R. Kupfer, A. Hornig, M. Gude, Procedia Manufacturing (2020), 47, pp. 940-947


Potentiale datengestützter Methoden zur Gestaltung und Optimierung mechanischer Fügeverbindungen

C. Zirngibl, B. Schleich, S. Wartzack, Proceedings of the 31st Symposium Design for X (DFX2020) (2020)


Clinching in in-situ CT—A numerical study on suitable tool materials

D. Köhler, R. Kupfer, M. Gude, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2020), 2, pp. 100034


Joining with Versatile Friction-Spun Joint Connectors

T. Rostek, E. Wiens, W. Homberg, Procedia Manufacturing (2020), 47, pp. 395-399


Test Method for Friction Characterization of Rivets

S. Wituschek, C.M. Kuball, M. Merklein, M. Lechner, Defect and Diffusion Forum (2020), 404, pp. 132-137


Development of a Method for the Identification of Friction Coefficients in Sheet Metal Materials for the Numerical Simulation of Clinching Processes

M.S. Rossel, M. Böhnke, C.R. Bielak, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, in: Sheet Metal 2021, Trans Tech Publications Ltd, 2021, pp. 81-88

In order to reduce the fuel consumption and consequently the greenhouse emissions, the automotive industry is implementing lightweight constructions in the body in white production. As a result, the use of aluminum alloys is continuously increasing. Due to poor weldability of aluminum in combination with other materials, mechanical joining technologies like clinching are increasingly used. In order to predict relevant characteristics of clinched joints and to ensure the reliability of the process, it is simulated numerically during product development processes. In this regard the predictive accuracy of the simulated process highly depends on the implemented friction model. In particular, the frictional behavior between the sheet metals affects the geometrical formation of the clinched joint significantly. This paper presents a testing method, which enables to determine the frictional coefficients between sheet metal materials for the simulation of clinching processes. For this purpose, the correlation of interface pressure and the relative velocity between aluminum sheets in clinching processes is investigated using numerical simulation. Furthermore, the developed testing method focuses on the specimen geometry as well as the reproduction of the occurring friction conditions between two sheet metal materials in clinching processes. Based on a methodical approach the test setup is explained and the functionality of the method is proven by experimental tests using sheet metal material EN AW6014.

Numerical and Experimental Fracture Mechanical Investigations of Clinchable Sheet Metals Made of HCT590X

D. Weiß, B. Schramm, G. Kullmer, in: Key Engineering Materials, Trans Tech Publications, Ltd., 2021, pp. 127-132

<jats:p>In many areas of product manufacturing constructions consist of individual components and metal sheets that are joined together to form complex structures. A simple and industrial common method for joining dissimilar and coated materials is clinching. During the joining process and due to the service load cracks can occur in the area of the joint, propagate due to cyclic loading and consequently lead to structural failure. For the prevention of these damage cases, first of all knowledge about the fracture mechanical material parameters regarding the original material state of the sheet metals used within the clinching process are essential.Within the scope of this paper experimental and numerical preliminary investigations regarding the fracture mechanical behavior of sheet metals used within the clinching process are presented. Due to the low thickness of 1.5 mm of the material sheets, the development of a new specimen is necessary to determine the crack growth rate curve including the fracture mechanical parameters like the threshold against crack growth ΔK<jats:sub>I,th</jats:sub> and the fracture toughness K<jats:sub>IC</jats:sub> of the base material HCT590X. For the experimental determination of the crack growth rate curve the numerical calculation of the geometry factor function as well as the calibration function of this special specimen are essential. After the experimental validation of the numerically determined calibration function, crack growth rate curves are determined for the stress ratios <jats:italic>R</jats:italic> = 0.1 and <jats:italic>R</jats:italic> = 0.3 to examine the mean stress sensitivity. In addition, the different rolling directions of 0° and 90° in relation to the initial crack are taken into account in order to investigate the influence of the anisotropy due to rolling.</jats:p>

Holistic investigation chain for the experimental determination of fracture mechanical material parameters with special specimens

D. Weiß, B. Schramm, G. Kullmer, Production Engineering (2021)

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>In addition to the classical strength calculation, it is important to design components with regard to fracture mechanics because defects and cracks in a component can drastically influence its strength or fatigue behavior. Cracks can propagate due to operational loads and consequently lead to component failure. The fracture mechanical analysis provides information on stable or unstable crack growth as well as about the direction and the growth rate of a crack. For this purpose, sufficient information has to be available about the crack location, the crack length, the component geometry, the component loading and the fracture mechanical material parameters. The fracture mechanical properties are determined experimentally with standardized specimens as defined by the guidelines of the American Society for Testing and Materials. In practice, however, especially in the context with damage cases or formed material fracture mechanical parameters directly for a component are of interest. However, standard specimens often cannot be extracted at all due to the complexity of the component geometry. Therefore, the development of special specimens is required whereby certain arrangements have to be made in advance. These arrangements are presented in the present paper in order to contribute to a holistic investigation chain for the experimental determination of fracture mechanical material parameters with special specimens.</jats:p>

Numerical and Experimental Fracture Mechanical Investigations of Clinchable Sheet Metals Made of HCT590X

D. Weiß, B. Schramm, G. Kullmer, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 127-132


Computed tomography investigation of the material structure in clinch joints in aluminium fibre-reinforced thermoplastic sheets

B. Gröger, D. Köhler, J. Vorderbrüggen, J. Troschitz, R. Kupfer, G. Meschut, M. Gude, Production Engineering (2021)


Holistic investigation chain for the experimental determination of fracture mechanical material parameters with special specimens

D. Weiß, B. Schramm, G. Kullmer, Production Engineering (2021)


Approach for the automated and data-based design of mechanical joints

C. Zirngibl, B. Schleich, S. Wartzack, Proceedings of the Design Society (2021), 1, pp. 521


Application of reinforcement learning for the optimization of clinch joint characteristics

C. Zirngibl, F. Dworschak, B. Schleich, S. Wartzack, Production Engineering (2021)


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

D. Römisch, J. Popp, D. Drummer, M. Merklein, Production Engineering (2021)


A New Non-destructive Testing Method Applied to Clinching

R. Lafarge, A. Wolf, C. Guilleaume, A. Brosius, Minerals, Metals and Materials Series (2021), pp. 1461


A contribution on versatile process chains: joining with adaptive joining elements, formed by friction spinning

C. Wischer, W. Homberg, Production Engineering (2021)


Identification of joints for a load-adapted shape in a body in white using steady state vehicle simulations

S. Martin, J. Schütte, C. Bäumler, W. Sextro, T. Tröster, Forces in Mechanics (2021), 6, 100065

Joint point loadings in car bodies – the influence of manufacturing tolerances and scatter in material properties

S. Martin, T. Tröster, ESAFORM 2021 (2021)

Concept development of a method for identifying friction coefficients for the numerical simulation of clinching processes

M. Böhnke, M.S. Rossel, C.R. Bielak, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology (2021)

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>In order to reduce fuel consumption and thus pollutant emissions, the automotive industry is increasingly developing lightweight construction concepts that are accompanied by an increasing usage of aluminum materials. Due to poor weldability of aluminum in combination with other materials, mechanical joining methods such as clinching were developed and established in series production. In order to predict the relevant characteristics of clinched joints and to ensure the reliability of the process, it is simulated numerically during product development processes. In this regard, the predictive accuracy of the simulated process highly depends on the implemented friction model. In particular, the frictional behavior between the sheet metals as well as between the sheet metal and clinching tools has a significant impact on the geometrical formation of the clinched joint. No testing methods exist that can sufficiently investigate the frictional behavior in sheet materials, especially under high interface pressures, different relative velocities, and long friction paths, while allowing a decoupled consideration of the test parameters. This paper describes the development of further testing concepts based on a proven tribo-torsion test method for determining friction coefficients between sheet metal materials for the simulation of clinching processes. For this purpose, the correlation of interface pressure and the relative velocity between aluminum and steel sheet material in clinching processes is investigated using numerical simulation. Based on these findings, the developed concepts focus on determining friction coefficients at interface pressures of the above materials, yield stress, as well as the reproduction of the occurring friction conditions between sheet metal materials and tool surfaces in clinching processes using tool substitutes. Furthermore, wear investigations between sheet metal material and tool surface were carried out in the friction tests with subsequent EDX analyses of the frictioned tool surfaces. The developed method also allows an optical deformation measurement of the sheet metal material specimen by means of digital image correlation (DIC). Based on a methodological approach, the test setups and the test systems used are explained, and the functionality of the concepts is proven by experimental tests using different sheet metal materials.</jats:p>

Load Path Transmission in Joining Elements

C. Steinfelder, S. Martin, A. Brosius, T. Tröster, Key Engineering Materials (2021), pp. 73-80

<jats:p>The mechanical properties of joined structures are determined considerably by the chosen joining technology. With the aim of providing a method that enables a faster and more profound decision-making in the spatial distribution of joining points during product development, a new method for the load path analysis of joining points is presented. For an exemplary car body, the load type in the joining elements, i.e. pure tensile, shear and combined tensile-shear loads, is determined using finite element analysis (FEA). Based on the evaluated loads, the resulting load paths in selected joining points are analyzed using a 2D FE-model of a clinching point. State of the art methods for load path analysis are dependent on the selected coordinate system or the existing stress state. Thus, a general statement about the load transmission path is not possible at this time. Here, a novel method for the analysis of load paths is used, which is independent of the alignment of the analyzed geometry. The basic assumption of the new load path analysis method was confirmed by using a simple specimen with a square hole in different orientations. The results presented here show a possibility to display the load transmission path invariantly. In further steps, the method will be extended for 3D analysis and the investigation of more complex assemblies. The primary goal of this methodical approach is an even load distribution over the joining elements and the component. This will provide a basis for future design approaches aimed at reducing the number of joining elements in joined structures.</jats:p>

Influence of various procedures for the determination of flow curves on the predictive accuracy of numerical simulations for mechanical joining processes

M. Böhnke, F. Kappe, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, Materials Testing (2021), 63(6), pp. 493-500

The predictive quality of numerical simulations for mechanical joining processes depends on the implemented material model, especially regarding the plasticity of the joining parts. Therefore, experimental material characterization processes are conducted to determine the material properties of sheet metal and generate flow curves. In this regard, there are a number of procedures which are accompanied by varying experimental efforts. This paper presents various methods of determining flow curves for HCT590X as well as EN AW-6014, including varying specimen geometries and diverse hardening laws for extrapolation procedures. The flow curves thus generated are compared considering the variety of plastic strains occurring in mechanical joining processes. The material data generated are implemented in simulation models for the joining technologies, clinching and self-piercing riveting. The influence of the varied methods on the predictive accuracy of the simulation model is analysed. The evaluation of the differing flow curves is achieved by comparing the geometric formation of the joints and the required joining forces of the processes with experimentally investigated joints.

Investigation of the influence of varying tumbling strategies on a tumbling self-piercing riveting process

S. Wituschek, F. Kappe, M. Lechner, Production Engineering (2021)


A contribution on versatile process chains: joining with adaptive joining elements, formed by friction spinning

C. Wischer, W. Homberg, Production Engineering (2021)

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Nowadays, manufacturing of multi-material structures requires a variety of mechanical joining techniques. Mechanical joining processes and joining elements are used to meet a wide range of requirements, especially on versatile process chains. Most of these are explicitly adapted to only one, specific application. This leads to a less flexibility process chain due to many different variants and high costs. Changes in the boundary conditions like sheet thickness, or layers, lead to a need of re-design over the process and thus to a loss of time. To overcome this drawback, an innovative approach can be the use of individually manufactured and application-adapted joining elements (JE), the so-called Friction Spun Joint Connectors (FSJC). This new approach is based on defined, friction-induced heat input during the manufacturing and joining of the FSJC. This effect increases the formability of the initial material locally and permits them to be explicitly adapted to its application area. To gain a more detailed insight into the new process design, this paper presents a detailed characterization of the new joining technique with adaptive joining elements. The effects and interactions of relevant process variables onto the course and joining result is presented and described. The joining process comprises two stages: the manufacturing of FSJC from uniform initial material and the adaptive joining process itself. The following contribution presents the results of ongoing research work and includes the process concept, process properties and the results of experimental investigations. New promising concepts are presented and further specified. These approaches utilize the current knowledge and expand it systematically to open new fields of application.</jats:p>

Joining with versatile joining elements formed by friction spinning

C. Wischer, E. Wiens, W. Homberg, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2021), 3, 100060


Joining with Friction Spun Joint Connectors – Manufacturing and Analysis

C. Wischer, C. Steinfelder, W. Homberg, A. Brosius, in: IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 2021


Inverse parameter identification of an anisotropic plasticity model for sheet metal

J. Friedlein, S. Wituschek, M. Lechner, J. Mergheim, P. Steinmann, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (2021), 1157, pp. 012004

The increasing economic and ecological demands on the mobility sector require efforts to reduce resource consumption in both the production and utilization phases. The use of lightweight construction technologies can save material and increase energy efficiency during operation. Multi-material systems consisting of different materials and geometries are used to achieve weight reduction. Since conventional joining processes reach their limits in the connection of these components, new methods and technologies are necessary in order to be able to react versatilely to varying process and disturbance variables. For fundamental investigations of new possibilities in joining technology, numerical investigations are helpful to identify process parameters. To generate valid results, robust and efficient material models are developed which are adapted to the requirements of versatile joining technologies, for instance to the high plastic strains associated with self-piercing riveting. To describe the inherent strain-induced plastic orthotropy of sheet metal an anisotropic Hill-plasticity model is formulated. Tensile tests for different sheet orientations are conducted both experimentally and numerically to adjust the anisotropic material parameters by inverse parameter identification for aluminium EN AW-6014 and steel HCT590X. Then, the layer compression test is used to validate the model and the previously identified parameters.

Energy direction in ultrasonic impregnation of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics

J. Popp, M. Wolf, T. Mattner, D. Drummer, Journal of Composites Science (2021), 5, pp. 239

As a new and innovative processing method for fabrication for fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTs), the feasibility of ultrasonic welding technology was proven in several studies. This method offers potential for the direct manufacturing of CFRT–metal structures via embedded pin structures. Despite the previous studies, a deeper understanding of the process of energy input and whether fibers work as energy directors and consequently can, in combination with chosen processing parameters, influence the consolidation quality of the CFRTs, is still unknown. Consequently, the aim of this work is to establish a deeper process understanding of the ultrasonic direct impregnation of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics with an emphasis on the fiber’s function as energy directors. Based on the generated insights, a better assessment of the feasibility of direct, hybrid part manufacturing is possible. The produced samples were primarily evaluated by optical and mechanical test methods. It is demonstrated that with higher welding time and amplitude, a better consolidation quality can be achieved and that independent of the process parameters chosen in this study, no significant fiber breakage occurs. This is interpreted as a sign of a gentle impregnation process. Furthermore, based on the examination of single roving and 5-layer set-ups, it is shown that the glass fibers function as energy directors and can influence the transformation of sonic energy into thermal energy. In comparison to industrially available CFRT material, the mechanical properties are weaker, but materials and processes offer potential for significant improvement. Based on these findings, proposals for a direct impregnation and joining process are made.

Influence of the production process on the binding mechanism of clinched aluminum steel mixed compounds

J. Kalich, U. Füssel, Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing (2021), 5, pp. 105

The multi-material design and the adaptability of a modern process chain require joining connections with specifically adjustable mechanical, thermal, chemical, or electrical properties. Previous considerations primarily focused on the mechanical properties. The multitude of possible combinations of requirements, materials, and component- and joining-geometry makes an empirical determination of these joining properties for the clinching process impossible. Based on the established and empirical procedure, there is currently no model that takes into account all questions of joinability—i.e., the materials (suitability for joining), design (security of joining), and production (joining possibility)—that allows a calculation of the properties that can be achieved. It is therefore necessary to describe the physical properties of the joint as a function of the three binding mechanisms—form closure, force closure, and material closure—in relation to the application. This approach illustrates the relationships along the causal chain “joint requirement-binding mechanism-joining parameters” and improves the adaptability of the mechanical joining technology. Geometrical properties of clinch connections of the combination of aluminum and steel are compared in a metallographic cross-section. The mechanical stress state of the rotationally symmetrical clinch points is qualified with a torsion test and by measuring the electrical resistance in the base material, in the clinch joint, and during the production cycle (after clinching, before precipitation hardening and after precipitation hardening).

Stochastic local FEM for computational homogenization of heterogeneous materials exhibiting large plastic deformations

D. Pivovarov, J. Mergheim, K. Willner, P. Steinmann, Computational Mechanics (2021)

Computational homogenization is a powerful tool allowing to obtain homogenized properties of materials on the macroscale from simulations of the underlying microstructure. The response of the microstructure is, however, strongly affected by variations in the microstructure geometry. In particular, we consider heterogeneous materials with randomly distributed non-overlapping inclusions, which radii are also random. In this work we extend the earlier proposed non-deterministic computational homogenization framework to plastic materials, thereby increasing the model versatility and overall realism. We apply novel soft periodic boundary conditions and estimate their effect in case of non-periodic material microstructures. We study macroscopic plasticity signatures like the macroscopic von-Mises stress and make useful conclusions for further constitutive modeling. Simulations demonstrate the effect of the novel boundary conditions, which significantly differ from the standard periodic boundary conditions, and the large influence of parameter variations and hence the importance of the stochastic modeling.

Anisotropic plasticity‐damage material model for sheet metal — Regularised single surface formulation

J. Friedlein, J. Mergheim, P. Steinmann, PAMM (2021), 21

Sheet metal forming as well as mechanical joining demand increasingly accurate and efficient material modelling to capture large deformations, the inherent sheet orthotropy and even process-induced damage, which is expected to be influential. To account for large strains the additive logarithmic strain space is utilised that enables a straightforward incorporation of plastic anisotropy, herein modelled by a Hill48 yield function. A gradient-enhancement is used to equip the ductile damage model with an internal length scale curing the damage-induced localisation. An affine combination of the local and non-local softening variable is derived enabling a more efficient single surface formulation for the regularised plasticity-damage material model.

Data-driven analysis of cold-formed pin structure characteristics in the context of versatile joining processes

D. Römisch, C. Zirngibl, B. Schleich, S. Wartzack, M. Merklein, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (2021), 1157, pp. 012077

Due to increasingly strict emission targets and regulatory requirements, especially for companies in the transport industry, the demand for multi-material-systems is continuously rising in order to lower energy consumption. In this context, mechanical joining processes offer an environmentally friendly and flexible alternative to established joining methods, especially in the field of lightweight design. For example, cold-formed cylindrical pin structures show high potentials in joining multi-material-systems without auxiliary elements. The pin structures are joined either by pressing them directly into the joining partner or by caulking with a pre-punched part. However, to evaluate the strength of the joint and to ensure the joining reliability for versatile processes, such as changing joining partners or batch variations, engineering designers currently have only limited design principles available compared to thermal joining processes. Consequently, the design of an optimal pin joint requires cost- and time-intensive experimental investigations and adjustments to design or process parameters. As a solution, data-driven methods offer procedures for structuring data and identifying dependencies between varying process parameters and resulting pin structure characteristics. Motivated by this, the paper presents an approach for the data-driven analysis of cold-formed pin structures and offers a deeper understanding of how versatile processes affect the pin characteristics. Therefore, the application of an intelligent design of experiment in combination with several machine learning methods enable the setup of a best-fitting meta-model. Resulting, the determination of a mathematical model provides the opportunity to accurately estimate the pin height considering only relevant geometrical and process parameters with a prediction quality of 95 %.

Numerical and experimental investigation of the transmission moment of clinching points

C. Steinfelder, J. Kalich, A. Brosius, U. Füssel, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (2021), 1157, pp. 012003

In clinching, the combinations of requirements, materials, component dimensions and tools influence the resulting joint geometry and the resulting bonding mechanisms. These in turn affect the property profile of the joint. For example, it is possible to use different tools to flexibly adapt clinching points to the respective required load regime. Clinching points dimensioned in this way can be geometrically similar, but have different mechanical stress states, which leads to different properties in terms of load-bearing behavior. Within the scope of this work, the clinching process with different tools in optimal and compromise design and its effect on the force and form-closure component, is investigated in a torsion test of the clinched connection. Clinched steel sheets with two thicknesses and joining directions are analyzed. Virtual experiments are carried out using finite element analyses (FEA) of the joining process and are followed by a springback simulation. Subsequently, the surface pressure between the two joining partners in the clinching points is calculated on the basis of the results from the FEA and the transmittable moment of the connection, as an indicator for the force-closure component, is determined. Finally, the experimental and simulated data are compared and discussed.

Joining with Friction Spun Joint Connectors – Manufacturing and Analysis

C. Wischer, C. Steinfelder, W. Homberg, A. Brosius, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (2021), 1157, pp. 012007

Nowadays, the production of modern lightweight structures, like a body in white structure requires a wide variety of mechanical joining processes. To fulfill the various demands, mechanical joining processes and joining elements (JE) are used. Very often, they are adapted to the application, which leads in turn to a numerous of different variants, high costs, and loss of the process chain versatility. To overcome this drawback, an innovative approach is the usage of individually produced and task-adapted JE, the so-called friction spun joint connectors (FSJC). These connectors can be modified in shape as well as in material properties. This flexibility offers high potential for lightweight design but also increases the necessary analytical effort regarding the forming process as well as the manufactured joint's properties. Therefore, a new analysis strategy based on the Finite-Element-Method (FEM) is proposed, which numerically determines the local load bearing capacity within a given joint in order to identify the critical regions for load transfer. The process of joining element manufacturing and the analysis strategy will be described in detail and optimization results of the joints are shown. Numerical results are discussed and possible recommendations for joint manufacturing are derived.

Joining with versatile joining elements formed by friction spinning

C. Wischer, E. Wiens, W. Homberg, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2021), 3, pp. 100060

Mechanical joints are an essential part of modern lightweight structures in a broad variety of applications. The reason for this is the rapidly increasing number of different material combinations needing to be joined in areas of application like the automotive industry. It is currently common to use numerous standardized elements (if necessary, from different joining technologies) instead of individually adapted joining elements. This leads to a large number of different joining elements per product and thus to high costs. An innovative approach to overcome this issue is the design and manufacturing of application adapted joining elements. A promising strategy for the manufacturing of adapted joining elements of this type is the so-called friction spinning process. The joining elements formed in this way can be specifically adapted to the application in question in terms of shape and mechanical properties. The joining process using this friction spun joint connectors (FSJC) benefits from the use of friction-induced heat and supports the process by reducing the joining forces required through a variation of the rotational speed and the feed-rate. By controlling the significant process parameter (e.g. the joining force), it is possible to substantially influence the quality of the joint or the joint properties. The following contribution will present results of ongoing research at Paderborn University and includes the process concept, the process properties, the tooling and the results of the experimental investigations of the joining of two preholed sheet metal parts with help of this new joining process.

Fiber Orientation Mechanism of Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics Hybrid Parts Joined with Metallic Pins

J. Popp, T. Kleffel, D. Römisch, T. Papke, M. Merklein, D. Drummer, Applied Composite Materials (2021), 28, pp. 951–972

Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRT) hybrid parts offer interesting possibilities for lightweight application, which can exceed the capabilities of mono material metal or CFRT parts. In this case, the joining technology oftentimes is the limiting factor. This study investigates a joining operation with metal pin structures which are additively manufactured via powder bed fusion featuring different diameters and tip geometries, which are inserted into the locally infrared heated CFRT part. The resulting fiber rearrangement is assessed using transmitted light microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy as well as micro-computer-tomography. It could be shown that for all assessed pin variants a similar distinct fiber displacement can be seen and that the pin diameter has a significant effect on the resulting fiber orientation with smaller pin diameters being advantageous because of gentle fiber displacement and reduced undulation. The tip geometry has only minor effect on the fiber orientation. Especially in the X/Y plane no systematic influence of the tip geometry on the fiber displacement could be observed. Based on the gained insights a three-stage model of the fiber orientation processes is proposed.

Clinching of Thermoplastic Composites and Metals—A Comparison of Three Novel Joining Technologies

B. Gröger, J. Troschitz, J. Vorderbrüggen, C. Vogel, R. Kupfer, G. Meschut, M. Gude, Materials (2021), 14, pp. 2286

Clinching continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites and metals is challenging due to the low ductility of the composite material. Therefore, a number of novel clinching technologies has been developed specifically for these material combinations. A systematic overview of these advanced clinching methods is given in the present paper. With a focus on process design, three selected clinching methods suitable for different joining tasks are described in detail. The clinching processes including equipment and tools, observed process phenomena and the resultant material structure are compared. Process phenomena during joining are explained in general and compared using computed tomography and micrograph images for each process. In addition the load bearing behaviour and the corresponding failure mechanisms are investigated by means of single-lap shear tests. Finally, the new joining technologies are discussed regarding application relevant criteria.

Determination of the Interface Structural Resolution of an Industrial X-Ray Computed Tomograph Using a Spherical Specimen and a Gap Specimen Consisting of Gauge Blocks

M. Busch, T. Hausotte, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 41-48

Industrial X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is a tool for non-destructive testing and a volumetric analysis method with the ability to measure dimensions and geometry inside a component without destroying it. However, XCT is a relatively young technology in the field of dimensional metrology and thus faces several challenges. The achievement of a high measurement resolution, which is re-quired to detect small geometrical features, depends on a variety of influencing factors. In this arti-cle, the interface structural resolution (ISR) as one of the key challenges will be investigated. The two-sphere standard called the hourglass standard allows the determination of the structural resolu-tion by evaluation of the surrounding area of an ideal point contact of two spheres after the CT re-construction in form of a neck-shaped transition. Close to the contact point of the two spheres two opposing surfaces exist. Their distances from each other increase as the distance from the contact point of the two spheres increase. The determination of the distances between the spheres’ surface allows a statement about the ISR. A new developed specimen or standard with a variable gap size consisting of calibrated parallel gauge blocks allows statements about the ISR, too. Because of the higher number of probing points of the gauge block standard the results of the determined ISR are more stable compared to the hourglass standard. This paper compares the results of the computed tomography measurements for the designed interface structural resolution standard with those of the hourglass standard.

Clinching in In-situ CT – Experimental Study on Suitable Tool Materials

D. Köhler, R. Kupfer, J. Troschitz, M. Gude, ESAFORM 2021 (2021)

In lightweight design, clinching is a cost-efficient solution as the joint is created through localized cold-forming of the joining parts. A clinch point’s quality is usually assessed using ex-situ destructive testing methods. These, however, are unable to detect phenomena immediately during the joining process. For instance, elastic deformations reverse and cracks close after unloading. In-situ methods such as the force-displacement evaluation are used to control a clinching process, though deviations in the clinch point geometry cannot be derived with this method. To overcome these limitations, the clinching process can be investigated using in-situ computed tomography (in-situ CT). However, a clinching tool made of steel would cause strong artefacts and a high attenuation in the CT measurement, reducing the significance of this method. Additionally, when joining parts of the same material, the sheet-sheet interface is hardly detectable. This work aims at identifying, firstly, tool materials that allow artefact-reduced CT measurements during clinching, and, secondly, radiopaque materials that can be applied between the joining parts to enhance the detectability of the sheet-sheet interface. Therefore, both CT-suitable tool materials and radiopaque materials are selected and experimentally investigated. In the clinching process, two aluminium sheets with radiopaque material in between are clinched in a single-step (rotationally symmetric joint without cut section). It is shown that e.g. silicon nitride is suited as tool material and a tin layer is suitable to enhance the detectability of the sheet-sheet interface.

In Situ Computed Tomography—Analysis of a Single-Lap Shear Test with Clinch Points

D. Köhler, R. Kupfer, J. Troschitz, M. Gude, Materials (2021), 14, pp. 1859

As lightweight design gains more and more attention, time and cost-efficient joining methods such as clinching are becoming more popular. A clinch point’s quality is usually determined by ex situ destructive analyses such as microsectioning. However, these methods do not yield the detection of phenomena occurring during loading such as elastic deformations and cracks that close after unloading. Alternatively, in situ computed tomography (in situ CT) can be used to investigate the loading process of clinch points. In this paper, a method for in situ CT analysis of a single-lap shear test with clinched metal sheets is presented at the example of a clinched joint with two 2 mm thick aluminum sheets. Furthermore, the potential of this method to validate numerical simulations is shown. Since the sheets’ surfaces are locally in contact with each other, the interface between both aluminum sheets and therefore the exact contour of the joining partners is difficult to identify in CT analyses. To compensate for this, the application of copper varnish between the sheets is investigated. The best in situ CT results are achieved with both sheets treated. It showed that with this treatment, in situ CT is suitable to properly observe the three-dimensional deformation behavior and to identify the failure modes.

Friction Characterisation for a Tumbling Self-Piercing Riveting Process

S. Wituschek, M. Lechner, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 27-34

Due to increasing demands regarding ecological and economic specifications in vehicle design, the effort required for production is continuously increasing. One trend is the increased use of multi-material systems, which are characterised by the use of different materials such as high-strength steels or aluminium alloys. In addition to the varying mechanical properties of the components, an increased number of variants accompanied by different geometries is leading to increasing challenges on body construction. For the assembly and connection of the individual components, conventional joining methods reach their limitations. Therefore, new joining methods are necessary, which feature properties of versatility and can adapt to process and disturbance variables. One way of achieving tailored joints is to use a tumbling self-piercing riveting process. For the design of the process route, numerical investigations are necessary for which a characterisation of the friction properties is necessary. This paper therefore investigates the contact and friction conditions that occur in a tumbling self-piercing riveting process. The individual contacts between the process components are identified and based on this, suitable processes for the characterisation of the friction factors - and coefficients are selected and performed.

Material characterisation methods for a tumbling self-piercing riveting process

S. Wituschek, M. Lechner, ESAFORM 2021 (2021)

The growing demands of resource-saving processes and products are leading to increasing importance of lightweight construction for the automotive industry. One approach is multi-material design, which uses high-strength steels and aluminium alloys in the production of vehicle bodies. Therefore, reliable processes for joining components with different mechanical properties and geometries are necessary. As conventional joining processes reach their limits, new versatile processes and methods are required which can adapt to different process conditions and disturbance variables. A widely used joining process to join different materials is self-piercing riveting as a joining by forming method, however it is characterised as inflexible to changing process conditions due to a linear process kinematic and rigid dies. An approach to extend the process limits is the application of a tumbling kinematic for the punch. Thus, an adapted tumbling strategy can be used to influence the joining process and to achieve a controlled material flow in order to manufacture tailored joints. For the fundamental investigation of the process, numerical investigations are necessary. In order to achieve high model quality a precise material modelling is crucial. Therefore, a characterisation of the materials HCT590X+Z and EN AW-6014 as typical materials of multi-material mixes and the rivet material 38B2 is performed. Due to the different stress conditions during tumbling self-piercing riveting suitable characterisation methods are selected and carried out.

Experimental study on joining by forming of hct590x + z and en-aw 6014 sheets using cold extruded pin structures

D. Römisch, M. Kraus, M. Merklein, Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing (2021), 5, pp. 25

Due to stricter emission targets in the mobility sector and the resulting trend towards lightweight construction in order to reduce weight and consequently emissions, multi-material systems that allow a material to be placed in the right quantity and in the right place are becoming increasingly important. One major challenge that is holding back the rapid and widespread use of multi-material systems is the lack of adequate joining processes that are suitable for joining dissimilar materials. Joining processes without auxiliary elements have the advantage of a reduced assembly effort and no additional added weight. Conventional joining processes without auxiliary elements, such as welding, clinching, or the use of adhesives, reach their limits due to different mechanical properties and chemical incompatibilities. A process with potential in the field of joining dissimilar materials is joining without an auxiliary element using pin structures. However, current pin manufacturing processes are mostly time-consuming or can only be integrated barely into existing industrial manufacturing processes due to their specific properties. For this reason, the present work investigates the production of single- and multi-pin structures from high-strength dual-phase steel HCT590X + Z (DP600, t0 = 1.5 mm) by cold extrusion directly out of the sheet metal. These structures are subsequently joined with an aluminium sheet (EN AW-6014-T4, t0 = 1.5 mm) by direct pin pressing. For a quantitative evaluation of the joint quality, tensile shear tests are carried out and the influence of different pin heights, pin number, and pin arrangements, as well as different joining strategies on the joint strength is experimentally evaluated. It is proven that a single pin structure with a diameter of 1.5 mm and an average height of 1.86 mm achieves a maximum tensile shear force of 1025 N. The results reveal that the formation of a form-fit during direct pin pressing is essential for the joint strength. By increasing the number of pins, a linear increase in force could be demonstrated, which is independent of the arrangement of the pin structures.

Investigation of Different Joining by Forming Strategies when Connecting Different Metals without Auxiliary Elements

D. Römisch, M. Kraus, M. Merklein, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 19-26

Lightweight constructions become more and more important, especially in the mobility sector. In this industry, the increasingly strict regulations regarding the emissions of carbon dioxide can be achieved to a certain extent by reducing the vehicle weight. Thus, multi-material systems are used. Conventional joining techniques reach their limits when joining different materials due to different thermal expansion, unequal stiffness or chemical incompatibilities. This is why additional joining elements or adhesives are used. These must be viewed critically regarding a lightweight and resource-efficient production, since they add weight or complicate the recycling process of these components. Consequently, there is a great and growing need for new versatile joining technologies in order to overcome these challenges and to be able to react to changing process parameters and boundary conditions. Joining without an auxiliary element using pin structures formed directly from the sheet metal plane is one approach to meet these challenges. These pin structures are then joined by direct pressing into the joining partner. This is possible with a variety of material combinations, but is advantageous with regard to continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTP), as the fibres do not have to be cut when joining CFRTP using pin structures. In this paper, the formability of pin structures made of a dual-phase steel DP600 (HCT590X + Z) is investigated. The extruded pin structures are joined by direct pin pressing with an EN AW-6014 to form tensile shear specimens. Different joining strategies are investigated to compare their influence on the joint strength. The results have shown that it is feasible to form suitable pins from a DP600 dual-phase steel to produce reliable connections with an aluminium sheet joined by direct pin pressing.

A Method for Characterization of Geometric Deviations in Clinch Points with Computed Tomography and Transient Dynamic Analysis

D. Köhler, B. Sadeghian, R. Kupfer, J. Troschitz, M. Gude, A. Brosius, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 89-96

When joining lightweight parts of various materials, clinching is a cost efficient solution. In a production line, the quality of a clinch point is primarily controlled by measurement of dimensions, which are accessible from outside. However, methods such as visual testing and measuring the bottom thickness as well as the outer diameter are not able to deliver any information about the most significant geometrical characteristic of the clinch point, neck thickness and undercut. Furthermore, ex-situ destructive methods such as microsectioning cannot detect elastic deformations and cracks that close after unloading. In order to exceed the current limits, a new non-destructive in-situ testing method for the clinching process is necessary. This work proposes a concept to characterize clinch points in-situ by combining two complementary non-destructive methods, namely, computed tomography (CT) and ultrasonic testing. Firstly, clinch points with different geometrical characteristics are analysed experimentally using ex-situ CT to get a highly spatially resolved 3D-image of the object. In this context, highly X-ray attenuating materials enhancing the visibility of the sheet-sheet interface are investigated. Secondly, the test specimens are modelled using finite element method (FEM) and a transient dynamic analysis (TDA) is conducted to study the effect of the geometrical differences on the deformation energy and to qualify the TDA as a fast in-situ non-destructive method for characterizing clinch points at high temporal resolution.

Effect of Different Tool Geometries on the Mechanical Properties of Al-Al Clinch Joints

L. Ewenz, J. Kalich, M. Zimmermann, U. Füssel, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 65-72

The use of clinch joints, e.g. vehicle structures, is determined by the reliability of the joint and its strength properties - in particular the fatigue strength. Clinch connections offer the advantage over form-closure and force-closure processes that they can also be used for hybrid material combinations. In order to be able to evaluate the influence of the geometry parameters such as e.g. undercut, neck thickness or also base thickness on the fatigue behavior, three clinch connections (in optimum and compromise design) with different tool parameters were designed and examined using the example of a joining task with aluminum sheet material. For this purpose, fatigue curves (F-N curves) in the range of high to very high numbers of load cycles (N = 105 to 107) were determined. In this load cycle range, a so-called "neck fracture" is mainly to be expected as the type of failure, whereas for quasi-static tests, a “buckling” is more likely to occur. The tests were carried out on single-cut overlapping shear tensile specimens. Metallographic and scanning electron microscopic examinations of the joints and the fracture surfaces served to identify the crack initiation site and to clarify the respective type of failure. Significant differences in the damage behaviour of the three clinching variants could be shown. This observation enables one step into the direction of fully understanding the relationship along the causal chain "joint requirements - joining process - fatigue strength". Thus the adaptability of the clinching process can be improved.

Development of a novel adaptive joining technology employing friction-spun joint connectors (FSJC)

E. Wiens, C. Wischer, W. Homberg, ESAFORM (2021), pp. 4682

Joints are an essential part of modern (lightweight) structures in a broad variety of applications. The reason for this is the rapidly increasing number of different material combinations needing to be joined in application areas like the automotive industry. It is currently common to use numerous auxiliary or standardized elements instead of individually adapted joining elements. This leads to a large number of different joining elements per product and thus to high costs. An innovative approach to overcoming this issue is the design, manufacture and setting of joint-specific joining elements. A good candidate for the manufacture of adapted joining elements of this type is the so-called friction spinning process. The joining elements formed in this way can be specifically adapted to the application in question in terms of both shape and mechanical properties. The part geometry required for the properties of a given joint is formed using a universal forming tool. This makes it possible to form a wide variety of sub geometries for the auxiliary joining part as a function of the prevailing joint condition, using a single forming tool and starting from the same semi-finished bar material. By applying different process strategies for the rotational speed and feed rate during the forming operation, the same part geometry can even be given different local mechanical properties. The following contribution presents the results of ongoing research work and includes the process concept, process properties, tooling and the results of experimental investigations into the joining of two sheet metal parts with help of this new joining process.

A First Approach for the Treatment of Galvanic Corrosion and of Load-Bearing Capacity of Clinched Joints

S. Harzheim, C. Steinfelder, T. Wallmersperger, A. Brosius, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883, pp. 97-104

Corrosion is a major cause for the failure of metallic components in various branches of the industry. Depending on the corrosion severity, the time until failure of the component varies. On the contrary, a study has shown that certain riveted metal joints, exposed to a short period of mechanical loading and corrosion, have greater fatigue limits. This study gives rise to the question how different corrosion exposure times affect joint metallic components. In the present research, a theoretical approach is developed in order to evaluate the influence of galvanic corrosion on joint integrity of clinched metal joints. At first, the framework for modeling galvanic corrosion is introduced. Furthermore, a simulative investigation of a clinching point is carried out based on the assumption that corrosion leads to a reduction of the contact area which leads to a local increase in contact pressure. For this purpose, the stiffness values of individual elements in a finite element model are reduced locally in the contact area of the undercut and the contact stress along a path is evaluated. Summarizing, a modeling approach is introduced to investigate corrosion effects on load-bearing behavior of clinched joints.

A first Model of Fatigue Corrosion of a Metal through Hydrogen Embrittlement

M. Hofmann, Y. Shi, T. Wallmersperger, PAMM (2021), 20

Predicting the durability of components under mechanical loading combined with environmental conditions leading to corrosion is one of the most challenging tasks in mechanical engineering. Precise predictions are neccesary for lightweight design in transportation due to environmental protection. During corrosion often hydrogen is produced by electrochemical reactions. Hydrogen embrittlement is one of the most feared damage mechanisms for metal constructions leading to early and unexpected failure. Until now predictions are mostly done through costly experiments. In the present research, a first simple simulation model based on the fundamentals of electrochemistry and continuum damage mechanics is developed to couple the damage induced by the mechanical stress with the hydrogen embrittlement. Results of the durability are presented for the case of uniaxial cyclic loading for varying testing frequency.

Modelling of thermally supported clinching of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics: Approaches on mesoscale considering large deformations and fibre failure

B. Gröger, A. Hornig, A. Hoog, M. Gude, ESAFORM 2021 - 24th International Conference on Material Forming (2021)

Thermally supported clinching (Hotclinch) is a novel promising process to join dissimilar materials. Here, metal and fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (FRTP) are used within this single step joining process and without the usage of auxiliary parts like screws or rivets. For this purpose, heat is applied to improve the formability of the reinforced thermoplastic. This enables joining of the materials using conventional clinching-tools. Focus of this work is the modelling on mesoscopic scale for the numerical simulation of this process. The FTRP-model takes the material behaviour both of matrix and the fabric reinforced organo-sheet under process temperatures into account. For describing the experimentally observed phenomena such as large deformations, fibre failure and the interactions between matrix and fibres as well as between fibres themselves, the usage of conventional, purely Lagrangian based FEM methods is limited. Therefore, the combination of contact-models with advanced modelling approaches like Arbitrary-Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE), Coupled-Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) and Smooth-ParticleHydrodynamics (SPH) for the numerical simulation of the clinching process are employed. The different approaches are compared with regard to simulation feasibility, robustness and results accuracy. It is shown, that the CEL approach represents the most promising approach to describe the clinching process.

A finite plasticity gradient-damage model for sheet metals during forming and clinching

J. Friedlein, J. Mergheim, P. Steinmann, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883 KEM, pp. 57

In recent years, clinching has gathered popularity to join sheets of different materials in industrial applications. The manufacturing process has some advantages, as reduced joining time, reduced costs, and the joints show good fatigue properties. To ensure the joint strength, reliable simulations of the material behaviour accounting for process-induced damage are expected to be beneficial to obtain credible values for the ultimate joint strength and its fatigue limit. A finite plasticity gradient-damage material model is outlined to describe the plastic and damage evolutions during the forming of sheet metals, later applied to clinching. The utilised gradient-enhancement cures the damage-induced localisation by introducing a global damage variable as an additional finite element field. Both, plasticity and damage are strongly coupled, but can, due to a dual-surface approach, evolve independently. The ability of the material model to predict damage in strongly deformed sheets, its flexibility and its regularization properties are illustrated by numerical examples.

Temperature dependent modelling of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic organo-sheet material for forming and joining process simulations

B. Gröger, A. Hornig, A. Hoog, M. Gude, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883 KEM, pp. 49

Joining and local forming processes for fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (FRTP) like hole-forming or variations of the clinching process require an in-depth understanding of the process induced effects on meso-scale. For numerical modelling with a geometrical description of a woven fabric, adequate material models for a representative unit cell are identified. Model calibration is achieved employing a mesoscopic finite-element-approach using the embedded element method based on tensile tests of the consolidated organo-sheets and a phenomenological evaluation of photomicrographs. The model takes temperature dependent stiffness and fibre tension failure into account.

Approach for the automated analysis of geometrical clinch joint characteristics

C. Zirngibl, B. Schleich, Key Engineering Materials (2021), 883 KEM, pp. 105

Due to their cost-efficiency and environmental friendliness, the demand of mechanical joining processes is constantly rising. However, the dimensioning and design of joints and suitable processes are mainly based on expert knowledge and few experimental data. Therefore, the performance of numerical and experimental studies enables the generation of optimized joining geometries. However, the manual evaluation of the results of such studies is often highly time-consuming. As a novel solution, image segmentation and machine learning algorithm provide methods to automate the analysis process. Motivated by this, the paper presents an approach for the automated analysis of geometrical characteristics using clinching as an example.

Effect of Solidification Rates at Sand Casting on the Mechanical Joinability of a Cast Aluminium Alloy

M. Neuser, O. Grydin, A. Andreiev, M. Schaper, Metals (2021), 1304

<jats:p>Implementing the concept of mixed construction in modern automotive engineering requires the joining of sheet metal or extruded profiles with cast components made from different materials. As weight reduction is desired, these cast components are usually made from high-strength aluminium alloys of the Al-Si (Mn, Mg) system, which have limited weldability. The mechanical joinability of the cast components depends on their ductility, which is influenced by the microstructure. High-strength cast aluminium alloys have relatively low ductility, which leads to cracking of the joints. This limits the range of applications for cast aluminium alloys. In this study, an aluminium alloy of the Al-Si system AlSi9 is used to investigate relationships between solidification conditions during the sand casting process, microstructure, mechanical properties, and joinability. The demonstrator is a stepped plate with a minimum thickness of 2.0 mm and a maximum thickness of 4.0 mm, whereas the thickness difference between neighbour steps amounts to 0.5 mm. During casting trials, the solidification rates for different plate steps were measured. The microscopic investigations reveal a correlation between solidification rates and microstructure parameters such as secondary dendrite arm spacing. Furthermore, mechanical properties and the mechanical joinability are investigated.</jats:p>

Joining suitability of cast aluminium for self-piercing riveting

M. Neuser, F. Kappe, M. Busch, O. Grydin, M. Bobbert, M. Schaper, G. Meschut, T. Hausotte, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (2021), 012005


Identification of Requirements for FE Modeling of an Adaptive Joining Technology Employing Friction-Spun Joint Connectors (FSJC)

A. Oesterwinter, C. Wischer, W. Homberg, Metals (2022), 12(5), 869

<jats:p>The adaptive joining process employing friction-spun joint connectors (FSJC) is a promising method for the realization of adaptable joints and thus for lightweight construction. In addition to experimental investigations, numerical studies are indispensable tools for its development. Therefore, this paper includes an analysis of boundary conditions for the spatial discretization and mesh modeling techniques, the material modeling, the contact and friction modeling, and the thermal boundary conditions for the finite element (FE) modeling of this joining process. For these investigations, two FE models corresponding to the two process steps were set up and compared with the two related processes of friction stir welding and friction drilling. Regarding the spatial discretization, the Lagrangian approach is not sufficient to represent the deformation that occurs. The Johnson-Cook model is well suited as a material model. The modeling of the contact detection and friction are important research subjects. Coulomb’s law of friction is not adequate to account for the complex friction phenomena of the adaptive joining process. The thermal boundary conditions play a decisive role in heat generation and thus in the material flow of the process. It is advisable to use temperature-dependent parameters and to investigate in detail the influence of radiation in the entire process.</jats:p>

Numerical investigation of the clinched joint loadings considering the initial pre-strain in the joining area

S. Martin, C.R. Bielak, M. Bobbert, T. Tröster, G. Meschut, Production Engineering (2022)

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The components of a body in white consist of many individual thin-walled sheet metal parts, which usually are manufactured in deep-drawing processes. In general, the conditions in a deep-drawing process change due to changing tribology conditions, varying degrees of spring back, or scattering material properties in the sheet blanks, which affects the resulting pre-strain. Mechanical joining processes, especially clinching, are influenced by these process-related pre-strains. The final geometric shape of a clinched joint is affected to a significant level by the prior material deformation when joining with constant process parameters. That leads to a change in the stiffness and force transmission in the clinched joint due to the different geometric dimensions, such as interlock, neck thickness and bottom thickness, which directly affect the load bearing capacity. Here, the influence of the pre-straining in the deep drawing process on the force distribution in clinch points in an automotive assembly is investigated by finite-element models numerically. In further studies, the results are implemented in an optimization tool for designing clinched components. The methodology starts with a pre-straining of metal sheets. This step is followed by 2D rotationally symmetric forming simulations of the joining process. The resulting mesh of each forming simulation is rotated and 3D models are obtained. The clinched joint solid model with pre-strains is used further to determine the joint stiffnesses. With the simulation of the same test set-up with an equivalent point-connector model, the equivalent stiffness for each pre-strain combination is determined. Simulations are performed on a clinched component to assess the influence of pre-strain and sheet thinning on the clinched joint loadings by using the equivalent stiffnesses. The investigations clearly show that for the selected component, the loadings at the clinch points are dependent on the sheet thinning and the stiffnesses due to pre-strain. The magnitude of the influence varies depending on the quantity considered. For example, the shear force is more sensitive to the joint stiffness than to the sheet thinning.</jats:p>

Influence of the Surrounding Sheet Geometry on a Clinched Joint

S. Martin, K. Kurtusic, T. Tröster, Key Engineering Materials (2022), 927

Functionality Study of an Optical Measurement Concept for Local Force Signal Determination in High Strain Rate Tensile Tests

M. Böhnke, E. Unruh, S. Sell, M. Bobbert, D. Hein, G. Meschut, Key Engineering Materials (2022), 926, pp. 1564-1572

<jats:p>Many mechanical material properties show a dependence on the strain rate, e.g. yield stress or elongation at fracture. The quantitative description of the material behavior under dynamic loading is of major importance for the evaluation of crash safety. This is carried out using numerical methods and requires characteristic values for the materials used. For the standardized determination of dynamic characteristic values in sheet metal materials, tensile tests performed according to the guideline from [1]. A particular challenge in dynamic tensile tests is the force measurement during the test. For this purpose, strain gauges are attached on each specimen, wired to the measuring equipment and calibrated. This is a common way to determine a force signal that is as low in vibration and as free of bending moments as possible. The preparation effort for the used strain gauges are enormous. For these reasons, an optical method to determine the force by strain measurement using DIC is presented. The experiments are carried out on a high speed tensile testing system. In combioantion with a 3D DIC high speed system for optical strain measurement. The elastic deformation of the specimen in the dynamometric section is measured using strain gauges and the optical method. The measured signals are then compared to validate the presented method. The investigations are conducted using the dual phase steel material HCT590X and the aluminum material EN AW-6014 T4. Strain rates of up to 240 s-1 are investigated.</jats:p>

Numerical investigation of a friction test to determine the friction coefficients for the clinching process

C.R. Bielak, M. Böhnke, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications (2022), 146442072210934

<jats:p> Clinching as a mechanical joining process has become established in many areas of car body. In order to predict relevant properties of clinched joints and to ensure the reliability of the process, it is numerically simulated during the product development process. The prediction accuracy of the simulated process depends on the implemented friction model. Therefore, a new method for determining friction coefficients in sheet metal materials was developed and tested. The aim of this study is the numerical investigation of this experimental method by means of FE simulation. The experimental setup is modelled in a 3D numerical simulation taking into account the process parameters varying in the experiment, such as geometric properties, contact pressure and contact velocity. Furthermore, the contact description of the model is calibrated via the experimentally determined friction coefficients according to clinch-relevant parameter space. It is shown that the assumptions made in the determination of the experimental data in preliminary work are valid. In addition, it is investigated to what extent the standard Coulomb friction model in the FEM can reproduce the results of the experimental method. </jats:p>

Development of a Modified Punch Test for Investigating the Failure Behavior in Sheet Metal Materials

M. Böhnke, C.R. Bielak, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, in: The Minerals, Metals &amp; Materials Series, Springer International Publishing, 2022


Increasing flexibility of self-piercing riveting by reducing tool–geometry combinations using cluster analysis in the application of multi-material design

F. Kappe, L. Schadow, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part L Journal of Materials Design and Applications (2022)


Determining the properties of multi‑range semi‑tubular self‑piercing riveted joints

F. Kappe, S. Wituschek, M. Bobbert, G. Meschut, Production Engineering (2022)


Forming process induced material structure of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics - Experimental and numerical investigation of a bladder-assisted moulding process

B. Gröger, V. Würfel, A. Hornig, M. Gude, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 5


Effect of the tool geometry on microstructure and geometrical features of clinched aluminum

L. Ewenz, M. Kuczyk, M. Zimmermann, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 5

In addition to brazing and welding processes, mechanical joining processes such as clinching are increasingly being used. Clinch joints offer an advantage over metallurgical joining processes by giving the possibility of joining different material combinations without typical drawbacks. Thereby clinching offers an enormous advantage for lightweight construction. An additional benefit is a great variability in the geometric shapes of the toolsets, which ensure optimum adaptation of the clinching process on variations of the joining elements such as e.g. the sheet thickness. However, the vast variability is also one of the major challenges regarding the prediction of the joint reliability. In the work presented, the effect of different toolset geometries was investigated with a particular focus on the interaction between geometrical features and deformation-induced microstructural changes. Light optical and electron microscopy techniques, as well as micro-hardness measurements, were performed. The results were evaluated and discussed concerning the material's deformation behavior, the change in geometrical shape and the microstructural evolution due to the different tool geometries. The findings point out the main influence factors regarding the mechanical properties in general and the fatigue behavior in particular.

Characterisation of lateral offsets in clinch points with computed tomography and transient dynamic analysis

D. Köhler, B. Sadeghian, J. Troschitz, R. Kupfer, M. Gude, A. Brosius, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 5, pp. 100089

Clinching is a very cost-efficient method for joining two or more sheets made of identical or different materials. However, the current evaluation methods cannot confirm the critical geometrical features of joints such as neck thickness, undercut, and bottom thickness. Furthermore, the effects caused by joining process such as elastic deformation and crack-closure are significant for the joining quality, but often earn insufficient attention. Therefore, computed tomography (CT) and Transient Dynamic Analysis (TDA) as an ultrasonic testing and evaluation procedure are combined to overcome the obstacles mentioned above. In order to have a well-defined and reproducible typical geometrical error in clinching, specimens with a pre-specified lateral offset of the punch with 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm are as well as with no lateral offset are investigated using CT. The specimens are treated with conductive copper varnish in varying intensities to support the two sheets' distinguishability in the CT measurement. The subsequently extracted surfaces from CT-scan data are used to create three-dimensional models for a numerical Transient Dynamic Analysis. Hereby, a harmonic force is applied to one sheet and the transferred energy is determined at the opposite side of the clinch point on the other sheet. The transmitted energy can be used as a quantitative measure for the joining quality. This setup is simulated by means of Finite-Element-Method and the specimens are investigated experimentally using a piezo actuator and a piezo sensor. The novelty of the results presented here is the completely non-destructive investigation of joint specimen by CT of similar materials with a contrast given foil in between the sheets and the subsequent TDA, which can easily detect difference between the specimens by evaluation of the energy dissipation of the joints.

Joining of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic/steel hybrid parts via undercutting pin structures and infrared heating

J. Popp, D. Drummer, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 5, pp. 100084

Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRT)/steel hybrid parts offer promising properties and possibilities, which can exceed the capabilities of both individual materials. In this case, the joining operation presents the main challenge. This paper studies the direct pin pressing where metallic pins with undercutting geometries, protruding from the metal component, are inserted into a locally infrared heated CFRT component. The aim is to investigate the joining process with a focus on the filling of the undercut features with matrix and fibers to create a primarily form-fitting joint. For good mechanical properties of the joint, it is crucial, that the undercutting features are filled and do not lead to significant deconsolidations. The pin structures are manufactured from 42CrMo4 steel on a cnc-lathe and are joined via welding with HCT600+Zn sheet metal. The CFRT samples are manufactured from polypropylene and approximately 45% vol. unidirectional glass fibers. In the scope of this study, different pin geometries are joined with varying process settings and micro sections of the joints are investigated via reflected light microscopy. It could be shown that the undercuts can be completely filled with matrix and fiber material using the described process route. Based on the optical investigations a suitable setting of joining parameters is defined and lap shear as well as cross head samples are manufactured and experimentally tested. It could be seen that independently from the pin geometry the lap shear strength was primarily limited due to shear failure of the pin structures and it is assumed that the base diameter and pin strength predominantly determine the joint strength. Cross head samples failed due to pin extraction. Here, a significant increase of the joint strength with undercutting features could be shown in comparison to cylindrical reference pins.

Analysis of the interactions between joint and component properties during clinching

C. Steinfelder, J. Acksteiner, C. Guilleaume, A. Brosius, Production Engineering (2022)

Clinching is a joining process that is becoming more and more important in industry due to the increasing use of multi-material designs. Despite the already widespread use of the process, there is still a need for research to understand the mechanisms and design of clinched joints. In contrast to the tool parameters, process and material disturbances have not yet been investigated to a relatively large extent. However, these also have a great influence on the properties and applicability of clinching. The effect of process disturbances on the clinched joint are investigated with numerical and experimental methods. The investigated process variations are the history of the sheets using the pre-hardening of the material, different sheet thicknesses, sheet arrangements and punch strokes. For the consideration of the material history, a specimen geometry for pre-stretching specimens in uniaxial tension is used, from which the pre-stretched secondary specimens are taken. A finite element model is set up for the numerical investigations. Suitable clinching tools are selected. With the simulation, selected process influences can be examined. The effort of the numerical investigations is considerably reduced with the help of a statistical experimental design according to Taguchi. To confirm the simulation results, experimental investigations of the clinch point geometry by using micrographs and the shear strength of the clinched joint are performed. The analysis of the influence of difference disturbance factors on the clinching process demonstrate the importance of the holistic view of the clinching process.

Design of clinched joints on the basis of binding mechanisms

J. Kalich, U. Füssel, Production Engineering (2022)

The work carried out is based on the thesis properties of clinched joints are determined by the proportions of binding mechanisms form-closure, force-closure and material-closure. To describe the acting binding mechanisms and thus to derive the joint properties, detailed knowledge of the local effect of the individual binding mechanisms is necessary to ensure their targeted adjustment by the joining process. The targeted setting of different proportions of the binding mechanisms is achieved firstly via tool geometry and secondly via surface condition of the joined parts. An introduced form-closure component can be quantified by metallographic cross section with subsequent measurement of the quality-determining parameters such as undercut, penetration depth and neck thickness. To qualify the force-closure component, a torsional load can be applied mechanically at rotationally symmetrical clinch joints. This also allows the influence of different surface conditions on the tribological system to be quantified. Measurement of electrical resistance can reveal the binding mechanisms of force- and material-closure. These investigations are carried out on an aluminum joining part combination of the same type. As a result of these investigations, the clinched joints can be designed according to the load occurring in the later life cycle in the form of an optimum and compromise variant with regard to minimum loads to be transmitted mechanically, electrically with regard to low resistance or manufacturing with minimum energy input.

Observations on additive plasticity in the logarithmic strain space at excessive strains

J. Friedlein, J. Mergheim, P. Steinmann, International Journal of Solids and Structures (2022), 239-240, pp. 111416

Additive plasticity in the logarithmic strain space is compared to multiplicative plasticity for various loading cases including coaxial and non-coaxial plastic deformations. Even though both finite plasticity approaches are based on total Lagrangian descriptions, the former is popular due to its inherent similarity to the infinitesimal theory and its easy extensibility. However, since its introduction several limitations of additive plasticity in the logarithmic strain space have been discovered. In this study, these problems such as stress rotation and softening are considered, revealing that fundamental differences compared to multiplicative plasticity occur for non-coaxial plastic deformations. We focus in particular on the observed softer response of the additive based approach, which is analysed in depth using three numerical examples including two well-known benchmarks for finite plasticity. By means of these finite element simulations the softer and possibly even localising response of additive plasticity in the logarithmic strain space is confirmed.

Investigation of the influence of the tumbling angle on a tumbling self-piercing riveting process

S. Wituschek, M. Lechner, Production Engineering (2022)

To achieve the climate objectives, various measures are taken to increase the efficiency of raw materials and energies used. A sector with a large proportion of the global consumption of resources is the mobility sector. To increase the efficiency in this field, large efforts are made to reduce the weight of moving masses. One approach is the use of multi-material systems, which utilises different materials and their specific properties depending on the local requirements. Multi-material systems consist often of materials which differ in strength and density, for example, high-strength steels, aluminium alloys or polymers. Additionally, such a system can utilise different geometries of the components to be joined, characterised for example by varying sheet thicknesses. A central challenge of producing these systems is the joining of the individual components. This requires robust joining processes capable of covering the entire spectrum of possible variants and is feasible for different physical properties of the materials. Since conventional joining processes are rather rigid and have difficulty reacting to changing process and disturbance variables, new joining processes are necessary. With the objective of being able to react versatile to varying parameters, a process combination consisting of a semi-tubular self-piercing riveting process and orbital forming process with adjustable tumbling kinematic is introduced. Due to the process combination of tumbling and self-piercing riveting, mutual influences of the two process components are analysed in regard to material flow and process forces. Further, the investigations show the influence of a varying tumbling angle on the joining process itself and how the characteristic properties undercut, rivet head end position and residual sheet thickness of the joint are affected. The material used for the joining partners is an aluminium alloy EN AW-6014 typical for multi-material systems in the automotive industry and the rivets are from type Rivset C produced by the Böllhoff company.

Application of an edge detection algorithm for surface determination in industrial X-ray computed tomography

M. Busch, T. Hausotte, Production Engineering (2022)

Surface determination is an essential step of the measurement process in industrial X-ray computed tomography (XCT). The starting point of the surface determination process step is a single grey value threshold within a voxel volume in conventional surface determination methods. However, this value is not always found in the reconstructed volume in the local environment of the surface of the measurement object due to various artefacts, so that none or incorrect surfaces are determined. In order to find surfaces independently of a single grey value, a three-dimensional approach of the initial contour determination based on a Prewitt edge detection algorithm is presented in this work. This method is applied to different test specimens and specimen compositions which, due to their material or material constellation, their geometric properties with regard to surfaces and interfaces as well as their calibrated size and length dimensions, embody relevant properties in the examination of joining connections. It is shown that by using the surface determination method in the measurement process, both a higher metrological structure resolution and interface structure resolution can be achieved. Surface artefacts can be reduced by the application and it is also an approach to improved surface finding for the multi-material components that are challenging for XCT.

Influence of solidification rates and heat treatment on the mechanical performance and joinability of the cast aluminium alloy AlSi10Mg

M. Neuser, O. Grydin, Y. Frolov, M. Schaper, Production Engineering (2022)

In modern vehicle chassis, multi-material design is implemented to apply the appropriate material for each functionality. In spaceframe technology, both sheet metal and continuous cast are joined to castings at the nodal points of the chassis. Since resistance spot welding is not an option when different materials are joined, research is focusing on mechanical joining methods for multi-material designs. To reduce weight and achieve the required strength, hardenable cast aluminium alloys of the AlSi-system are widely used. Thus, 85–90% of aluminium castings in the automotive industry are comprised of the AlSi-system. Due to the limited weldability, mechanical joining is a suitable process. For this application, various optimisation strategies are required to produce a crack-free joint, as the brittle character of the AlSi alloy poses a challenge. Thus, adapted castings with appropriate ductility are needed. Hence, in this study, the age-hardenable cast aluminium alloy AlSi10Mg is investigated regarding the correlation of the different thicknesses, the microstructural characteristics as well as the resulting mechanical properties. A variation of the thicknesses leads to different solidification rates, which in turn affect the microstructure formation and are decisive for the mechanical properties of the casting as well as the joinability. For the investigation, plates with thicknesses from 2.0 to 4.0 mm, each differing by 0.5 mm, are produced via sand casting. Hence, the overall aim is to evaluate the joinability of AlSi10Mg and derive conclusions concerning the microstructure and mechanical properties.</jats:p>

Influence of heat treatment on the suitability for clinching of the aluminium casting alloy AlSi9

M. Neuser, M. Böhnke, O. Grydin, M. Bobbert, M. Schaper, G. Meschut, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications (2022), 146442072210758

<jats:p> In many manufacturing areas, multi-material designs are implemented in which individual components are joined together to form complex structures with numerous joints. For example, in the automotive sector, cast components are used at the junctions of the body and joined with different types of sheet metal and extruded profiles. To be able to join structures consisting of different materials, alternative joining technologies have emerged in recent years. This includes clinching, which allows assembling of two or more thin sheet metal and casting parts by solely cold forming the material. Clinching the brittle and usually less ductile cast aluminium alloys remains a challenge because the brittle character of the cast aluminium alloys can cause cracks during the forming of the clinched joint. In this study, the influence of the heat treatment time of an aluminium casting alloy AlSi9 on the joinability in the clinching process is investigated. Specific heat treatment of the naturally hard AlSi9 leads to a modification of the eutectic microstructure, which can increase ductility. Based on this, it will be examined if specific clinching die geometries can be used, which achieve an optimized geometrical formation of the clinched joint. The load-bearing capacities of the clinched joints are determined and compared by shear tensile and head tensile tests. Furthermore, the joints are examined microscopically to investigate the influence of the heat treatment on the failure behaviour during the load-bearing tests as well as crack initiation within the joining process. </jats:p>

Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Heat Transfer in the Solidification-Deformation Zone During Twin-Roll Casting of Aluminum Strips

O. Grydin, D. Mortensen, M. Neuser, D. Lindholm, H.G. Fjaer, M. Schaper, in: Light Metals 2022, Springer International Publishing, 2022


Provision of cross-domain knowledge in mechanical joining using ontologies

C. Zirngibl, P. Kügler, J. Popp, C.R. Bielak, M. Bobbert, D. Drummer, G. Meschut, S. Wartzack, B. Schleich, Production Engineering (2022)

Since the application of mechanical joining methods, such as clinching or riveting, offers a robust solution for the generation of advanced multi-material connections, the use in the field of lightweight designs (e.g. automotive industry) is steadily increasing. Therefore, not only the design of an individual joint is required but also the dimensioning of the entire joining connection is crucial. However, in comparison to thermal joining techniques, such as spot welding, the evaluation of the joints’ resistance against defined requirements (e.g. types of load, minimal amount of load cycles) mainly relies on the consideration of expert knowledge, a few design principles and a small amount of experimental data. Since this generally implies the involvement of several domains, such as the material characterization or the part design, a tremendous amount of data and knowledge is separately generated for a certain dimensioning process. Nevertheless, the lack of formalization and standardization in representing the gained knowledge leads to a difficult and inconsistent reuse, sharing or searching of already existing information. Thus, this contribution presents a specific ontology for the provision of cross-domain knowledge about mechanical joining processes and highlights two potential use cases of this ontology in the design of clinched and pin joints.</jats:p>

Influence of plane mixed-mode loading on the kinking angle of clinchable metal sheets

D. Weiß, B. Schramm, G. Kullmer, in: Procedia Structural Integrity, Elsevier BV, 2022, pp. 139-147


A Review on the Modeling of the Clinching Process Chain - Part I: Design Phase

B. Schramm, S. Martin, C. Steinfelder, C.R. Bielak, A. Brosius, G. Meschut, T. Tröster, T. Wallmersperger, J. Mergheim, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 6, 100133


A Review on the Modeling of the Clinching Process Chain - Part II: Joining Process

B. Schramm, J. Friedlein, B. Gröger, C.R. Bielak, M. Bobbert, M. Gude, G. Meschut, T. Wallmersperger, J. Mergheim, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 100134


A Review on the Modeling of the Clinching Process Chain - Part III: Operational Phase

B. Schramm, S. Harzheim, D. Weiß, T.D. Joy, M. Hofmann, J. Mergheim, T. Wallmersperger, Journal of Advanced Joining Processes (2022), 100135


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