Joining efforts to advance vehicle sustainability

Posted: March 7, 2017

Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Jenifer Locke will work with Arconic (formerly Alcoa) and Honda on a breakthrough resistance spot riveting (RSR) method to join aluminum and steel. By marrying conventional resistance spot welding with self-piercing rivets, the technique can connect nearly every material automakers are considering for vehicles through the next ten years.

Locke and her research team will examine the galvanic corrosion resistance of RSR joints of steel to aluminum and aluminum to carbon fiber composites, as well as the ability of protection strategies to protect those joints against galvanic corrosion. Her team will also compare corrosion-related performance of RSR joints to conventional joining techniques.   

DNV Designated Chair Gerald Frankel, a professor of materials science and engineering, and Locke will partner with PPG Industries to develop new coating and adhesives that enable carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic/aluminum closure panels and validate corrosion testing methods.


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