With the increasing applications of multi-material structures in lightweight vehicle, traditional
joining techniques are highly challenged in joining dissimilar materials. To meet the multimaterial
structures requirements of lightweight design, electromagnetic joining (EMJ) technology,
including electromagnetic riveting (EMR) and magnetic pulse welding (MPW), developed rapidly
in recent years, which can achieve good connection performance for complex-shaped structures and
dissimilar materials. This paper presents a comprehensive review of the research progress of the
EMJ technology in China. Moreover, this review aims at providing a guideline for researchers engaged
in electromagnetic joining technology and other connecting processes to further improve the
level of lightweight vehicle design and manufacture. Firstly, the development history and status of
EMJ were presented. Then the basic joining principles and characteristics of EMR and MPW were
analyzed in detail. Subsequently, the investigation of joints formation mechanism, mechanical properties
of joints and equipment development of EMR and MPW techniques were reviewed and analyzed.
Specially, the operating principle is described along with various factors affecting the mechanical
and microcosmic properties of joints. Finally, the future development trend of the EMJ
technology based on the current research progress is highlighted.