The SPAR project aims to prototype aluminium self-piercing rivets via powder manufacturing routes, enabling greater flexibility in design and material modification during rivet development. The project will also seek to better 'quantify' or describe the self-piercing process enabling greater accuracy in starting choice of rivet for different materials thickness' hardness and joint stack geometry for new applications.
Sponsored by Ford motor company this project is investigating the possibility of producing aluminium self pierce rivets using sintering. This process allows mechanical properties of the material and geometry to be modified quickly and cheaply in an attempt to produce a working rivet. Currently aluminium cars are produced using steel rivets. These give problems for recycling as well as potential corrosion issues.