Assembly of electric and other lightweight vehicles increasingly requires the joining of new materials, more complex structures and mixed compounds. Automotive body designs are also getting more and more sophisticated to lower CO2 emissions and increase crash performance. This leads to more complex manufacturing processes.
Multiple materials with different strength properties need to be joined, like high-strength steels, aluminum, castings, magnesium, carbon, or plastics. At the same time, limited accessibility and short cycle times within the manufacturing process are a challenge.
Flow drill fastening is an answer to these challenges. Atlas Copco‘s advanced K-Flow joining systems are built to the highest standards, with a focus on ease of operation, process stability, efficiency, and availability.
This technology offers multi-material joining with single-sided access, using a fastener as both drill and joining element. The fastener is rotated at high speed and pressure to warm up the material. This allows the fastener to push through the material stack, forming the thread in the process — an efficient and flexible joining method.
The high-quality system solutions of Atlas Copco’s K-Flow product line are designed for precise operation in tough manufacturing environments.
- Flow drill fastening can join multiple layers of different materials
- Removable joints enable disassembly for maintenance and repair work
- Only single-sided accessibility needed for the joint
- Best alignment of joining technology, fastener, and materials lead to a fast and reliable process
- Also, by combining flow drill fastening with adhesive bonding, the dynamic joint strength and corrosion resistance are increased
The powerful K-Flow joining tool is the heart of the system solution. It is mounted to the robot flange and can process M4, M5 and M6 fasteners with high rotation speed and process force. Due to two independent strokes (down hold stroke and main stroke), it enables very short cycle times. Depending on the accessibility of the parts, three different tool geometries are available.
Learn more about the additional tools available, including the K-Flow system controller, here.