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 lightweight structures for the automotive industry by combining lightweight materials such as aluminum to stronger materials like advanced high-strength steels. The automotive industry is putting significant effort into interest in reducing vehicle structure weight to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Joining of dissimilar materials is a challenge they face in the light weighting the body of the vehicle. The purpose of the current research is to employ FBJ in the joining of a very challenging material combination: GA DP 1180 to AA 7085-T71. In accomplishing this purpose, the goal is to move FBJ toward a more production ready process by better understanding the effects of tooling, bit design, and process parameters on joint strength and reliability as they relate to load profiles captured during the joining process. It was found that the joint strength variation was influenced strongly by the hardness and the geometric consistency of the consumable bits. Bit hardness below 45 HRC led to joint strength that was less than the required specification (5kN in lap shear tension, and 1.5kN in cross-tension and T-peel). Variation in bit height and diameter also led to excessive scatter in joint strength values, where it was not possible to meet the standard for 10 consecutive specimens (for each of the three tests). Implementation of high-speed data acquisition (1000Hz) enabled the capture of load curve profiles generated during FBJ. Load curve profiles were correlated with destructive testing results to discover the impact of process parameter combinations. Analysis of load curve profiles led to improvements in parameter selections of spindle speeds (revolutions per minute) and spindle feed-rates (inches per minute). Process parameters of 5000 RPM and 15 IPM reduced variation in load-curve profiles and destructive testing. Satisfactory joint strength was achieved in lap shear tension, cross-tension, and T-peel testing configurations with values of 10.1 kN, 4.1 kN, and 1.8 kN, respectively. The presence of wet adhesive had little impact on joint performance. Finally, the analysis of a load-curve profiles resulted in a criterion that allowed for distinguishing "good" welds from "bad" ones, where a threshold load of 6kN, or higher, during the dwell phase of welding was required in order to meet joint strength standards.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





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



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Engineering Commons