Flow Drill Screws are self-piercing, self-tapping screws used for single sided joining of light metals, such as aluminum. This technology has been adopted by many automotive OEMs for use in metals. Thread forming profiles exist for material stackups that are made of entirely metals and entirely polymers/composites. This research evaluated the effectiveness of these thread profiles in dissimilar metal-on-composite stackups. Thread profiles designed for use in polymers/composites and aluminum were compared with a traditional machine screw thread profile for flow drill joining of 1mm and 2mm thick 6061-T6 aluminum to 3mm thick thermoset carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The three thread profiles were manufactured as M5x25mm flow drill screws in their commercially available configurations and materials. Two parameter sets from the FDS equipment manufacturer were evaluated, the first designed for use with the polymer thread forming profile, the second designed for use with the aluminum thread forming profile. The thread profiles were evaluated based on outputs of process time, peak torque, and lap shear strength. The polymer thread profile had shorter process times than the other 2 profiles but caused more damage to itself and its mating material. All 3 thread profiles exhibited greater shear strength when aluminum was used as the lower sheet material.

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