Licentiate seminar

Simulation of mechanical joining for automotive applications

Defendant Main Advisor Extra Advisor Date
Johannes Gårdstam Anders Eriksson 2006-05-19

Kjell Simonsson, LiU

Evaluation committee


Regarding the use of material, modern lightweight car bodies are becoming more and morecomplex than previous constructions. The materials nowadays are used for a more specificfield of application and more high strength steels are used and also other materials like aluminium, stainless steel, reinforced polymers are used more frequent. The joining of these materials often requires new or modified joining processes. The aim with this thesis is concerned with the development of simulation models of the joining process as well as mechanical properties of self piercing riveted (SPR) joints and pierce nut joints. In both of these joining methods problems occur when introducing more high strength steel sheets. For SPR, fractures occur in the rivet, and for pierce nut the thread will be damaged. Since both the SPR process and the pierce nut process expose the material for plastic deformation up to 150%, correct material properties for very large strain and a simulation program that could handle this was required. With the commercial finite element program Deform2D an axi-symmetric model has been built for the SPR process and the pierce nut process. Because of the computational time, 3D simulations were only used where it was necessary. The developed 3D models use the commercial finite element program ABAQUS-Explicit. All simulation models have been verified with satisfactory agreement to experimental results. For SPR, an axi-symmetric simulation model was used for evaluating and optimising the setting process in the stainless steel sheets EN1.4301, HyTens 800 and HyTens 1200. Subsequently, 3D models were used for predicting the mechanical properties of new SPR joints that have showed reduced risk for rivet cracking. In pierce nut simulations, nuts with hardness 8 and 10 have been set in the high strength steel sheet DP600. An axi-symmetric simulation model was used for centred nut setting and two different simulation models in 3D were used to evaluate eccentric nut setting and torque resistance. This work resulted in more knowledge about the fracture risk in the rivet and how to reduce it. The strain and stress, which was used as fracture indicators, were reduced to the half with modifications of the rivet and the die geometry. Mechanical property simulations in shear and peel load resulted in satisfactory results for new SPR joints that have showed reduced fracture risk during rivet setting. New die and rivet designs can be developed effectively by combining the process and mechanical property simulations. For a pierce nut joint in high strength steel sheets (1.5mm DP600), the simulations show that the cutting of the sheet in combination with eccentric setting over the die causes the thread damage. The thread damage can be avoided by changing the dimension of the nut or by increasing the strength of the nut material. The simulation models can also be used to develop new nut and die geometries for future applications.
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