Recommendations For Installing PEM® Self-Clinching Fasteners INTO Sound Dampening (Quiet Steel®) Panels

Laminated steel products, such as Quiet Steel®, are gaining popularity in the marketplace. Used in automotive, consumer, industrial, electrical and electronic applications, they offer the ability to reduce the overall noise and vibration in assemblies.

These laminated panels typically consist of two pieces of sheet metal, which “sandwich” one or more extremely thin polymer layers. It is this layer which provides the dampening function – sound and vibration are dissipated as it passes from one sheet of metal through the polymer layer(s) into the second sheet of metal. However, due to this sandwich, only the top sheet of metal is available to clinch into with a PEM fastener.

We at PennEngineering want to provide a guide to our customers who design with these types of materials. We tested our studs, nuts and standoffs in .060″ (1.5mm) total thickness Quiet Steel® and recommend the following:

  • When possible, use a drilled or laser-cut hole, as a punched hole causes excessive blowout of the hole in the bottom layer. (Figs. 4 & 5)
  • For nuts, select the longest shank possible for the total sheet thickness.
  • Use standard flat anvil installation tooling for nuts and studs, and de-rate the published pushout values by 20%.
  • Use a raised ring anvil for standoffs, and de-rate the published pushout values by 20%. De-rate by 60% if a standard flat anvil is used for installation.
  • Torque-out performance is minimally affected for all parts.

The PennEngineering Technical Lab is available to test our customers’ individual applications and recommend the proper installation procedures.

* Quiet Steel® is a trademark of Material Sciences Corporation.

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