Lightweight metals leader Arconic, Inc. has announced a breakthrough in resistance spot riveting called the RSR™ joining system, a high-performance joining solution for multiple materials. RSR technology can join dissimilar materials using the same equipment as conventional spot welds but offers manufacturers the flexibility of switching between it and conventional welds, depending on the material.
“Our RSR technology is going to be a powerful tool in the array of joining options for manufacturing,” said Ray Kilmer, Arconic’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President. “As manufacturers continue to design using multi-material combinations, RSR technology is the ideal joining solution. It can easily accommodate stack up changes on the assembly line, and it leverages existing welding robots outfitted with our automatic feeding systems.”
In addition to partnering with several customers on the RSR technology, Arconic recently received a grant from the Department of Energy to work with Honda R & D Americas, Inc. and Ohio State University to continue to demonstrate the use of RSR joining on a prototype scale. Ultimately, the goal is to enable multi-material automotive body structures that achieve an additional 10-20% weight reduction over those made from conventional high-strength steel.
Notably, manufacturers can utilize Arconic’s RSR technology with minimal modifications to existing production lines. Conventional spot welding equipment and robotic automation can be adapted for use with RSR technology, which can easily shift between material combinations and fastener types.
Arconic expects the first commercial application for the RSR technology by 2018.
RSR technology has been in development for several years as a pilot program at the Arconic Technical Center (ATC) near Pittsburgh, PA, where scientists and engineers have been collaborating with the Arconic Fastening Systems and Rings manufacturing facility in Waco, TX. The team has also been working on developing the rivet feed system in its Kingston, NY facility.