Researchers at BASF AG have developed a better, mechanical way to join molded plastic components and sheet metal, according to the resin maker in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
BASF is pitching “collar joining” as an alternative to an overmolded assembly. It works by mechanically pressing a collar protruding from the metal component into the plastic component.
An undercut on the collar ensures that the metal remains firmly anchored into the plastic part. The process uses no heat, the company said.
BASF claims the process gives designers more freedom compared with overmolding, to optimize the strength of the plastic component, which is especially important for high-stress applications.
That means hybrid parts can be made smaller and lighter. Another advantage is the parts are less prone to warping.
Collar joining is suitable for both reinforced and unfilled plastics.
“Even if you take into account the investment cost for a press or assembly robot, collar joining — for larger-volume production — is cheaper than current assembly methods,” said Ulrich Endemann, head of application research for hybrid parts, and one of the inventors.
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