Clinching is a term that is used for the joining two pieces of sheet metal without the use of heat. More about this process can be learned at http://www.juradotools.com/en/clinching-clinciatura/ but basically it is possible by the use of a punch and die with sufficient force to deform the metal sheets to create what is known as a button. There are several different shaped punches and dies, depending on how you want to join the metal and these punches and dies are collectively known as clinching tools. The two main shapes for the die are either Trapezoidal or round. The round point die is often used as it provides equal strain on the join from any direction but the trapezoidal die is often used when more than two pieces of metal are to be joined.
Clinching is therefore the joining of two materials, usually metal, without the use of heat, rivets, screws, pegs nuts or bolts. The process was designed to make many manufacturing tasks easier, reducing costs, time and quality control. The process of clinching is a fairly new innovation that showed that two or more metals could be firmly joined if they were caught in a die and a certain amount of pressure was applied to that die. There are now several different tools that can be used to perform this process, depending on the number of pieces to be joined together, their purpose and the thickness of the metal sheets to be joined. Although clinching is still in its infancy as far as tools go, it is already possible to get tools that can successfully clinch various types of metal, including low carbon steels, high strength steels, aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, magnesium alloys, copper and even hybrid joints between a metal and polymer. Further research is still being carried out to widen the uses for clinching but it already provides an alternative when up to now, welding had been the only available option.
Some of the industries that are already using the clinching technology are:
- The Automotive Industry – Although clinching is already widely used in the automotive industry, experiments continue to see if it can be applied to the rail and even the aerospace industries.
- Civil Engineering and Construction industry – In these industries clinching is used in the manufacturing of specialized equipment such as excavators and cranes.
- Agriculture – As with the construction industry, the use of clinching in the production of specialized equipment is under experiment.
- Household Appliances – There are now several household appliances that are built with clinching technology.
- Medical Engineering – The medical engineering sector seems to be leading the way in clinching technology and may on the threshold of a new break through.
- Energy Production and Chemicals – Clinching has become particularly important in this sector due to the joins now being affected by weather or assorted chemicals.
Although these are a few of the industries that now use clinching, it is obviously widely used throughout the world of engineering where it is rapidly replacing other more traditional methods of joining materials.