A stronger, more reliable and cost effective alternative to the traditional automotive ball stud has been developed by Textron Fastening Systems.
Ball studs provide the connection point between the car body and gas struts used to aid the opening and closing of bonnets, boots and hatchbacks. The component consists of a plain or threaded stud with a ball which sits within a cup connected to the gas strut.
Traditionally, ball studs have been machined from hexagonal bar. Ensuring a smooth machined finish on the ball, however, has always proved difficult. If machine marks are left, these can wear down the cup connector and cause the gas struts to stick and sometimes fail.
Textron’s answer has been to weld a ball bearing onto the stud. Tests prove that rather than weakening the component this has increased its tensile strength. Furthermore, the use of a ball bearing increases the part’s reliability.
Resistance welding, using specially designed automatic feed welding machines, secures the ball bearing onto the cold headed stud. To guarantee the integrity of the welded part, welding pressure, current flow stability and weld sink depth are electronically monitored. This is in addition to normal quality control procedures and tests on the finished component.
Three German automotive manufacturers are specifying welded ball studs in various versions including numerous shank diameters which can be threaded or plain as well as SEM units.
Textron Fastening Systems Tel: 01707 668571