Influence of rivet to sheet edge distance on fatigue strength of self-piercing riveted aluminium joints

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Li, Dezhi ; Han, Li ; Thornton, Martin ; Shergold, Mike (2012)

Self-piercing riveting (SPR) is one of the main joining methods for lightweight aluminium automotive body structures due to its advantages. In order to further optimise the structure design and reduce the weight but without compromising strength, reduction of redundant materials in the joint flange area can be considered. For this reason, the influence of rivet to sheet edge distance on the fatigue strengths of self-piercing riveted joints was studied. Five edge distances, 5 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm, 11.5 mm and 14.5 mm, were considered. The results showed that the SPR joints studied in this research had high fatigue resistance and all specimens failed in sheet material along joint buttons or next to rivet heads. For lap shear fatigue tests, specimens failed in the bottom sheet at low load amplitudes and in the top sheet at high load amplitudes except for specimens with very short edge distance of 5 and 6 mm; whereas, for coach-peel fatigue tests, all specimens failed in the top sheet. For both lap shear and coach-peel fatigue tests, specimens with an edge distance of 11.5 mm had the best fatigue resistance. It was found that for coach-peel fatigue, length of crack developing path before specimens lost their strengths was the main factor that determined the fatigue life of different specimens; for lap shear fatigue, the level of stress concentration and subsequent crack initiation time was the main factor that determined the fatigue life.
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