Friction Bit Joining (FBJ) is a new technology that can be used to join dissimilar materials together. This ability makes it a good candidate for creating light weight structures for the automotive industry by combining lightweight materials such as aluminum to stronger materials like advanced high-strength steels. The automotive industry and many other industries have great interest in reducing structure weight to increase fuel efficiency. The purpose of this research is to make FBJ of GADP 1180 to AA 7085-T76 a production ready process by (1) better understanding the effects of process parameters, bit design and tool design on joint strength and reliability especially as they relate to different joint configurations; (2) determining if consecutive FBJ joints on a part will be additive in strength; (3) improving surface finish for better coating adhesion so that joints can be made to withstand extended corrosion testing; and (4) determining the failure modes and fatigue life of joint components at high and low load amplitudes. No universal parameter set for optimizing peak load for T-peel, cross tension, and lap-shear tension configurations were found. Due to the extreme load conditions of T-peel and the smaller margin of safety it is better to optimize for T-peel. However, strength and reliability were still improved across the board. Cutting features and tapered shanks were found to not always be necessary. Removing cutting features from the bit design increased peak weld cycle loads, but a stiffer machine can overcome this. Consecutive FBJ joints on a part are mostly additive in nature. When the weakest joint fails, its load is distributed to the remaining joints and will limit the peak load of the whole part. If all joints are "good" then the peak load will be approximately additive. Most of the stress is localized on the side of the bit opposite of the pulling direction. Failure modes in lap-shear tend to change from weld nugget pullouts in single weld specimens to aluminum material failures in multi-weld specimens. This is because of the added stiffness that additional material and welds provide to resist coupons bending and creating a peeling action. Surface finish was improved by development of a floating carbide cutting system which cut aluminum flash as it was generated around the head of the bit. A new internal drive design provided the ability to drive bits flush with the aluminum top layer if desired with minimal reductions in strength. Flush bits provided benefits in safety, cosmetics, and coating adhesion.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





FBJ, dissimilar material joining, advanced high-strength steel, aluminum, GADP 1180, automotive manufacturing, aerospace manufacturing, corrosion, flush joints



Included in

Manufacturing Commons