Evaluation of Joint Formation and Mechanical Performance of the AA7075-T6/CFRP Spot Joints Produced by Frictional Heat


The development of lightweight hybrid metal–polymer structures has recently attracted interest from the transportation industry. Nevertheless, the possibility of joining metals and polymers or composites is still a great challenge. Friction Spot Joining (FSpJ) is a prize-winning friction-based joining technique for metal–polymer hybrid structures. The technology is environment-friendly and comprises very short joining cycles (2 to 8 s). In the current work, aluminum alloy 7075-T6 and carbon-fiber-reinforced polyphenylene sulfide (CF-PPS) friction spot joints were produced and evaluated for the first time in the literature. The spot joints were investigated in terms of microstructure, mechanical performance under quasi-static loading and failure mechanisms. Macro- and micro-mechanical interlocking were identified as the main bonding mechanism, along with adhesion forces as a result of the reconsolidated polymer layer. Moreover, the influence of the joining force on the mechanical performance of the joints was addressed. Ultimate lap shear forces up to 4068 ± 184 N were achieved in this study. A mixture of adhesive–cohesive failure mode was identified, while cohesive failure was dominant. Finally, a qualitative comparison with other state-of-the-art joining technologies for hybrid structures demonstrated that the friction spot joints eventually exhibit superior/similar strength than/to concurrent technologies and shorter joining times.
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