Proceedings of the
9th International Conference of Asian Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (ASPEN2022)
15 – 18 November 2022, Singapore

Advanced Hybrid Joining for Needle-punched rCF Composite-Metal Structures via Compression Moulding Process

Wang Chen1,a, Cheah Yi Wen1, Wu Zi An1, Liu Tong2 and Tran Le Quan Ngoc1

1Polymer Technology Group, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, 73 Nanyang Dr, S637662, Singapore

2Advanced Imaging and Machine-vision Group, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, 73 Nanyang Dr, S637662, Singapore


Advanced joining technology used for composite-metal hybrid structures is highly demanded in various industries, since conventional joining methods, e.g. fastening and adhesive bonding are not satisfied in various engineering scenarios. Fasteners are over-weight and adhesive bonding involves inefficient and environmental destructive processes. Alternatively, thermo-mechanical interlocking (e.g. metal pin interlocking and surface roughening) is promising to achieve decent strength of hybrid joints thanks to reinforcement in the through-thickness direction. In this study, an advanced hybrid joint was developed to improve bonding between aluminum alloy and recycled Carbon fibre/Polyphenylene sulfide composites (rCF/PPS) structures. The rCF/PPS nonwoven preform used for making composites was fabricated via a carding/needle punching process, leading to massive fibre nesting between the plies. To form interlocked joints, the punched preforms were fitted into the pre-drilled holes of the sand-blasted metal part, followed by compression moulding process for composite consolidation. The through-hole composite pins were characterized under X-ray and SEM. Results showed the hybrid joint design combines advantages of clinching joining and thermo-mechanical interlocking joining, leading to an increment of bonding strength. It is also lightweight because interlocking pins were made of fibre reinforcement composite, instead of metals. The bonding strength of the joint was tested with the single-lap shear specimens. The bonding performance was improved by 8.5% in contrast to samples without through-hole fibre reinforcement (pure polymer pin). The effects of fibre reinforcement and key process parameters were discussed. As an outcome of current results, the developed process will be suitable to fabricate composite/composite joint as well.

Keywords: Composite-Metal Joining, Punching Process, Carbon fiber, Single-lap Shear

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