A novel procedure for establishing clinching parameters for high strength steel sheet: Dissertation

Juha Varis

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


The building industry has a particular interest in using clinching as a joining method for frame constructions of light-frame housing. Normally many clinch joints are required in joining of frames.In order to maximise the strength of the complete assembly, each clinch joint must be as sound as possible. Experimental testing is the main means of optimising a particular clinch joint. This includes shear strength testing and visual observation of joint cross-sections. The manufacturers of clinching equipment normally perform such experimental trials. Finite element analysis can also be used to optimise the tool geometry and the process parameter, X, which represents the thickness of the base of the joint. However, such procedures require dedicated software, a skilled operator, and test specimens in order to verify the finite element model. In addition, when using current technology several hours' computing time may be necessary. The objective of the study was to develop a simple calculation procedure for rapidly establishing an optimum value for the parameter X for a given tool combination. It should be possible to use the procedure on a daily basis, without stringent demands on the skill of the operator or the equipment. It is also desirable that the procedure would significantly decrease thenumber of shear strength tests required for verification. The experimental workinvolved tests in order to obtain an understanding of the behaviour of the sheets during clinching. The most notable observation concerned the stage of the process in which the upper sheet was initially bent, after which the deformation mechanism changed to shearing and elongation. The amount of deformation was measured relative to the original location of the upper sheet, and characterised as the C-measure. By understanding in detail the behaviour of the upper sheet, it waspossible to estimate a bending line function for the surface of the upper sheet. A procedure was developed, which makes it possible to estimate the process parameter X for each tool combination with a fixed die. The procedure is based on equating the volume of material on the punch side with the volume of the die. Detailed information concerning the behaviour of material on the punch side is required, assuming that the volume of die does not change during the process. The procedure was applied to shear strength testing of a sample material. The sample material was continuously hot-dip zinc-coated high-strength constructional steel,with a nominal thickness of 1.0 mm. The minimum Rp0.2 proof stress was 637 N/mm2. Such material has not yet been used extensively in light-frame housing, and little has been published on clinching of the material. The performance of the material is therefore of particular interest. Companies that use clinching on a daily basis stand to gain the greatest benefit from the procedure. By understanding the behaviour of sheets in different cases, it is possible to use data at an early stage for adjusting and optimising the process. In particular, the functionality of common tools can be increased since it is possible to characterise the complete range of existing tools. The study increases and broadens the amount ofbasic information concerning the clinching process. New approaches and points of view are presented and used for generating new knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
Place of PublicationLappeenranta
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


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