Purdue University Graduate School
PhD Dissertation_Xuzhe Zhao.pdf (5.08 MB)


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posted on 2019-06-10, 21:00 authored by Xuzhe ZhaoXuzhe Zhao
Self-pierce riveting as a relative new technology has been used by automotive industry for decades. Because of the several benefits of the SPR technique, it has been widely used for joining the similar or dissimilar materials to satisfy the light-weighting requirements of automobile. There were many researchers and automotive manufacturers that had been investigated the SPR by experiments and applied this technique to their products. The SPR was designed for joining the materials with sufficient ductility because the joining process was going to introduce the large plastic deformation on the joint button area. Die casting aluminum alloy products became more and more popular to be used for structural components. However, the casting aluminum components have relative low ductility than the wrought alloy product. The cracking problems were easy to occur during the riveting process.

In terms of the cracking issues on die casting aluminum products, an analysis was conducted in this study to investigate the influence of composition on cracking problem. And the cracking mechanism was also analyzed and summarized. Corresponding to the influence of silicon content difference and silicon morphology, heat treatment was used to modify the eutectic silicon morphology of the casting aluminum alloys to improve the rivetability. Once the silicon network was broken by the heat treatment, the rivetability of die casting aluminum was drastically increased and the cracks on joint button were also suppressed. Under the effect of heat treatment, the joint performance was tightly related to the variation of the eutectic silicon phase and the cracks on the joint button. The joint strength was obtained by shear test to investigate the influence of heat treatment and die depth. A novel cracking statistics has been generated and used to calculate the cracks on the joint button. Eventually, a comprehensive joint performance was obtained by taking into consideration of joint strength, heat treatment and die depth.

Finally, the simulation of the SPR process was conducted and analyzed by FORGE. The die depth as the variable was used to investigate the strain and fracture distribution in
cross-section view of the joint. In terms of the initial results of the simulation, the die cavity with various sidewall incline angles was simulated to find the optimal die cavity geometry in order to improve the rivetability of the bottom material sheet.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Engineering Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Xiaoming Wang

Additional Committee Member 2

Milan Rakita

Additional Committee Member 3

Haiyan Zhang

Additional Committee Member 4

Yeouli Chu