Metal Stamping Clinch Stud Mechanical Assembly
Recently, our customer awarded us a program that included a large metal stamping with welded studs. The design called for electro-galvanized raw material and welded support studs. A problem presented itself from the onset of the program; the welding of the required materials presented environmental concerns. Zinc melts at about 900°F and vaporizes at about 1650°F, but steel melts at approximately 2,750°F. The process of welding a stud to this material would vaporize the zinc and release zinc into the air, mixing with oxygen to create airborne zinc-oxide. The vaporized zinc increases the volume of welding smoke and fumes. The long term exposure to an operator has shown to have chromic effects. Additionally, the zinc coating near the weld is actually burned off by the heat of the arc, removing the protective zinc coating meant to protect the part in the first place.
We put our engineering team to work to solve the problem. We knew we had to change the process and a raw material substitution was not feasible as our customer was looking for protecting the steel from environmental concerns of oxidation with its intended application. So, we looked at customizing what would have been standard tooling, and replaced the weld operation with a tight tolerance mechanically staked clinch-stud solution.
The revised design provided multiple improvements; it eliminated the need for the slow and costly weld operation as well as high on-going maintenance costs. It also provided us the opportunity to hold tighter tolerances for position of the clinch-stud and also obtain the high torque requirements. Finally, it eliminated the environmental hazards of welding electro-galvanized material to both the assembly operator and our environment. For our success we received praise from our customer for a job well done!
When we can put our expertise to work for our customers’ ultimately we all win. Whether it is a large bracket, or a mechanical assembly, we have the experience to offer an alternative to our customers and that is “The Perfection Advantage”.