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Bollhoff has developed a fastening tool that enables class D airtight duct flanges to be manufactured more quickly, cleanly and economically than traditional drill and fix methods.

Called Rivclinch 0404 IP Aero, the tool is TUV Nord certified for class D and produces cold-formed airtight joints in cycle times of between 0.9 and 1.5 seconds – less time than it takes to drill a hole.

The pneumatically operated tool achieves low-cost, high-quality joints in a single operation, according to the company.

No additional fastener components are required; there is no swarf and hence no waste.

Bollhoff claims that key to the success of Rivclinch, and the class D joint it achieves, is its tooling, which is designed to penetrate the top and bottom layers of each joint while leaving a middle layer in tact to prevent air leakage.

The process delivers high-strength, interlocking joints that do not vibrate or work loose over time.

The clinching tool said to be is straightforward to use.

Jaws are opened either manually or pneumatically and positioned along the profile.

A trigger is pulled to deliver a clinching force of 35kN.

Distances between fastening points are generally between 120mm and 160mm.

Weighing in at 4.7kg, the clinching tool requires a 5-6bar air pressure supply.

Clinching is a method of joining sheet metal extrusions by localised cold forming.

The process results in an interlocking friction joint when two or more layers of materials are compressed by a punch into a special die.

Coated and prefinished materials can be joined together without surface damage.

The Rivclinch technique can be used to join steel and stainless steel sheet as well as aluminium and other non-ferrous materials.

Standard clinching tools produce round or rectangular-shaped joints to suit most applications, but customised tooling design options are available.

The size and shape of the joint, coupled with parameters such as the punch diameter or the depth of the die, can be varied to suit the materials to be joined.

Advantages of the Rivclinch process include no consumable items, low-energy use, the absence of thermal load and damage to workpieces, the option to use interim layers of film or adhesives, no pre- or post-treatments, excellent repeatability and good environmental credentials (no heat or fumes and low noise).

Bollhoff Fastenings

Böllhoff Fastenings Ltd is an international fastening and assembly technology specialist offering innovative, high performance products, tailored application solutions and technical support. It designs, develops and manufactures fastener systems in different metals and engineering thermoplastics that work in combination with a broad range of fastening technologies including blind riveting, self-piercing, tacking, clinching, threaded and quick locking. A comprehensive suite of complementary application tools, ranging from hand tools through to automatic and full-scale robotic systems, completes the package.

Based in Willenhall, Birmingham, Böllhoff has over 25 years' experience supporting customers in most major industrial sectors. The UK operation is an integral part of the Böllhoff Group, which comprises a network of companies employing more than 2,000 people in 21 countries across the world. A fourth-generation family business, Böllhoff is an independent organisation with headquarters in Bielefeld, Germany.

Manufacturing capabilities are run on a zero-defects philosophy and the company’s quality management system is certified to ISO/TS16949:2002. Continuous improvement is a permanent process. In addition its DIN EN ISO 14001 certification demonstrates that resources are used carefully and an environmentally conscious approach is central to the company’s culture.

Through close working relationships with its customers Böllhoff works with multi-national industries to create common standards for fastening methodology.   

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