AbstractThe influence of innovative technologies and green policies in manufacturing has created new design needs. Reinforced thermoplastics and metals are widely used as engineering materials for weight reduction, usually assembled by joining. This article presents the principles of a new injection clinching joining (ICJ) process for polymer–metal hybrid structures. Based on staking, injection molding, and adhesive bonding technologies, ICJ provides spot joints with mechanical anchoring of a polymeric partner in a designed cavity of a metallic part. A feasibility study on a polyamide thermoplastic composite and aluminum is presented, addressing the mechanical, microstructural, and thermal properties of ICJ joints.