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

Materials (Basel). 2021 Apr 28;14(9):2286. doi: 10.3390/ma14092286.


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.

Keywords: clinching; hybrid joint; joining; multi-material design; thermoplastic composite.