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Local-global method to predict distortion of aircraft panel caused in automated riveting process

Di Yang (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Weiwei Qu (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Yinglin Ke (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Issue publication date: 18 October 2019




The riveting process is a metal forming process involving complex elastic-plastic deformation, which will induce a compressive residual stress field and cause local distortions in the connecting areas. Regarding to the aircraft panel assemblies with plenty of rivets, the global deformation is inevitable and undesired, leading difficulties to downstream assembly processes. This paper aims to present a new method for the local distortion calculation and the global deformation prediction of sheet panel assemblies during the automated riveting process.


In this paper, a simplified algebraic study is presented to analyze the local distortion of single countersunk rivet joint with the consideration of the barrel-like shape of the driven head and the through-thickness variations along the rivet shank. Then, an equivalent rivet unit is proposed based on the result of the algebraic study and embedded into the global-level model for the prediction of the overall distortions of riveted panels.


The algebraic study is able to reach a more precise contour of the deformed rivet than the traditional assumption of cylindrical deformations and rapidly determine the equivalent coefficients of the riveting unit. The result also shows an industrial acceptable accuracy of the prediction for the global deformations of the double-layered panel assemblies widely used in the aircraft panel structures.


A new local-global method for predicting the deformations of the riveted panel assembly based on the algebraic study of the local distortions is proposed to help the engineers in the early design stages or in the assembly process planning stage.



This research was supported by the Science Fund for Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.: 51221004, 51821093) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51521064).


Yang, D., Qu, W. and Ke, Y. (2019), "Local-global method to predict distortion of aircraft panel caused in automated riveting process", Assembly Automation, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 973-985.



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