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Spot Welding

Dec 05, 2016

Spot welding is a resistance welding method used to join two or more overlapping metal sheets, studs, projections, electrical wiring hangers, some heat exchanger fins, and some tubing. Usually power sources and welding equipment are sized to the specific thickness and material being welded together. The thickness is limited by the output of the welding power source and thus the equipment range due to the current required for each application. Care is taken to eliminate contaminants between the faying surfaces. Usually, two copper electrodes are simultaneously used to clamp the metal sheets together and to pass current through the sheets. When the current is passed through the electrodes to the sheets, heat is generated due to the higher electrical resistance where the surfaces contact each other. As the electrical resistance of the material causes a heat buildup in the work pieces between the copper electrodes, the rising temperature causes a rising resistance, and results in a molten pool contained most of the time between the electrodes. As the heat dissipates throughout the workpiece in less than a second (resistance welding time is generally programmed as a quantity of AC cycles or milliseconds) the molten or plastic state grows to meet the welding tips. When the current is stopped the copper tips cool the spot weld, causing the metal to solidify under pressure. The water cooled copper electrodes remove the surface heat quickly, accelerating the solidification of the metal, since copper is an excellent conductor. Resistance spot welding typically employs electrical power in the form of direct current, alternating current, medium frequency half-wave direct current, or high-frequency half wave direct current.