For the past 15 years or so, assemblers have used SPR as an alternative to spot welding, especially when joining aluminum with other materials. The reasons why SPR is preferred are many. They include:
*Greater and repeatable static strength and longer fatigue life, which let the manufacturer reduce the number of fastening points in certain applications.
*No generation of heat or heat problems related to pure aluminum and aluminum alloys, which melt below 800 C.
*Compatible with coated, galvanized and prepainted surfaces.
*No need to purchase equipment for monitoring or smoke exhaust.
*Shorter cycle time.
*Lower assembly line and component cost.
*Easy to automate for high-speed operation.
*More uniform appearance.
*A ‘greener’ process, i.e., it’s cleaner, quieter and produces no harmful fumes or smells.

“We feel that at least 30% of the situations where spot welding is employed can be replaced beneficially by SPR,” ” says Ryan Ostach, , application engineer supervisor at AVDEL.

“The level of acceptance of SPR depends to a large extent on the level of knowledge,” says Dr. Sumanjit Singh, chief technical officer for Huys Ltd. and holder of three patents for SPR products. “In the near future, the use of material combinations such as fiber-reinforced plastics will increase. Welding will not be a viable alternative.”

“New materials are constantly being developed, and until we’re challenged, we’re not sure what SPR can join together,” says Dean Monday, North American business development manager for Henrob Corp.