In order to ensure the structural rigidity and safety performance requirements of a Chinese car company, the X1 model adopts a steel-aluminum hybrid body structure mainly composed of lightweight aluminum alloy materials and supplemented by ultra-high-strength steel plates. The proportion of aluminum alloy in the vehicle reaches 88%. In the design of the steel-aluminum hybrid body structure, a large number of steel-aluminum hybrid body connection processes are used:
- 1) Self-piercing riveting (SPR), self-tapping screwing (FDS), bolt connection, pressure riveting, pull riveting and other cold connection processes;
- 2) Aluminum spot welding, laser welding, aluminum arc welding, aluminum stud welding and other thermal connection processes.
Ranger Auto has successfully applied the steel-aluminum hybrid body connection technology in the body manufacturing of Ranger X1 after years of technical accumulation, achieving high standards for the connection quality requirements of the steel-aluminum hybrid body.
2. Achievement innovation points and difficult problems solved
A Chinese car company has achieved two major innovations when using the advanced connection technology of the steel-aluminum hybrid body:
- 1) Combined application of hot connection technology and cold connection technology, complementary advantages;
- 2) Almost all body connection processes are covered.
solves four major difficulties:
- 1) Cold connection technology eliminates the performance impact of structural adhesive and damage to the coating;
- 2) Thermal connection technology, Ranger’s proprietary technology solves the problem of welding resistance between aluminum spot welding electrodes and aluminum materials;
- 3) Cold connection technology solves the defects of signal loss caused by strong magnetic field interference caused by aluminum spot welding;
- 4) Self-tapping screw connection can realize the connection of cavity structure.
3. Comparative analysis of international standards
At present, there are two main ways to connect models with a steel-aluminum hybrid body structure in the world:
- 1) Adopt self-piercing riveting, pressure riveting, pull riveting, aluminum spot welding and other connection processes, without using self-tapping screw connection, representing the model Tesla steel-aluminum hybrid body;
- 2) Adopt self-piercing riveting, self-tapping screw connection and other connection techniques, representing the model Cadillac CT6.
On this basis, X1, a Chinese car company, combined the body structure and performance requirements, compared the characteristics of cold joining processes such as self-piercing riveting and thermal joining processes such as aluminum spot welding, and adopted the above-mentioned connection methods through structural design optimization. The connection technology used is at the leading level in the world.
4.The application of results
A Chinese car company’s X1 steel-aluminum hybrid car body advanced connection technology has passed three rounds of more than 300 sets (132 sets of self-piercing riveting, 200 sets of aluminum spot welding and other joining processes) experimental verification and actual application verification of the entire vehicle. The combination of excellent connection technology is applied in the right position, and 8 consecutive car bodies have been qualified and rolled off the assembly line.
5. Social and economic benefit analysis
A Chinese car company successfully applied advanced connection technology to the X1 model with a steel-aluminum hybrid body structure, and formed a complete database that will lead the development of the industry and guide the direction.
Link to this article： Advanced Connection Technology Of Steel-Aluminum Hybrid Body
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