The paper presents research regarding a thermally supported multi-material clinching process (hotclinching) for metal and thermoplastic composite (TPC) sheets: an experimental approach to investigate the flow pressing phenomena during joining. Therefore, an experimental setup is developed to compress the TPC-specimens in out-of-plane direction with different initial TPC thicknesses and varying temperature levels. The deformed specimens are analyzed with computed tomography to investigate the resultant inner material structure at different compaction levels. The results are compared in terms of force-compaction-curves and occurring phenomena during compaction. The change of the material structure is characterized by sliding phenomena and crack initiation and growth.
Keywords: FEM; clinching; compaction; joining; material behaviour; thermoplastic composite.