AbstractThe mechanical performance and microstructure of friction riveted metallic-insert joints made of polyether ether ketone composite reinforced with 30% short carbon fibers and titanium grade 3 was studied. The metallic-insert joints reached a maximal pull-out tensile force of 10.6 kN, which corresponds to 100% of the titanium base material strength. It was shown the pull-out force increased as the rivet tip widened. Frictional heat during the process was mainly generated by the friction between the tip of the rivet and the composite substrate in the friction zone. Microstructural analyses of the metallic part of the joint revealed the presence of different microstructural zones: a friction zone, and two thermomechanically affected zones 1 and 2. Based on the composite morphology, the composite part of the joint was categorized into three different zones: the stir zone, a thermomechanically affected zone and a heat-affected zone. A study of the material flow showed that the flow of the composite was strongly affected by the rotation and axial movement of the rivet.