“Lightweighting” has certainly been a buzz word the past few years for anything on wheels! In 2018 GM unwrapped the 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500. Through extensive use of mixed materials, the new truck weighs less than the outgoing model—up to 450 pounds less for some versions. “The weight savings comes from extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout the next-gen truck,” says Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of full-size trucks at GM. “This allowed us to use the right material for the application and optimize every component for mass, durability, safety and functionality to meet our customers’ needs.”

“I don’t know of any OEM that isn’t targeting at least one weight class reduction on new models that they’re developing. Over the next two decades, we expect to see incremental improvements in weight reduction on every new vehicle and every new component. This is a never-ending battle and every component is being challenged.” – Stated by Alan Taub who previously worked in R&D at Ford, GM and GE and now of Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT).

Fastening and assembly in lightweight materials creates many challenges. In steel, we can weld, pierce, clinch, bolt and more. In composite materials we must develop unique methods of fastening that do not require high forces and temperatures. The BBA blind rivet nut allows flexibility with unique strength and corrosion resistance in composites and metals. BCT® (Bulge Control Technology) allows the rivet nut to install quickly, clamp into material without any radial expansion in the hole, and control the collapse to ensure there is no damage to material.

Producing BCT® rivet nuts from aluminum for use in aluminum and magnesium, weight is reduced dramatically. In areas using advanced high strength steel, when welding is not currently advisable and self-piercing fasteners are not hard enough to join materials properly, the BBA Ultra Series Rivet nuts can reach Torque level adequate to break a Grade 12.9 bolt with torque. Using high strength steel materials, the cold forming process yields a very strong fastener, but allows proper installation with conventional rivet nut tools.

The BCT fastener has the same grip range capability of up to three standard rivet nuts. BCT rivet nuts can be placed near to the edge of the sheet without fear of inducing a crack in the sheet.  Available in hexagon body for the ultimate in joint performance.

BCT can be installed in areas with limited rear side clearance. An M6 rivet nut needs only 8mm of rear side clearance prior to installation and only 5mm after installation –perfect for use in thinner versions of sandwich materials, avoiding the need for a through hole.


EFC will work with you to overcome challenges, find alternatives and develop processes to reduce weight.