Spot Welding is a process in which contacting metal surfaces are joined by the heat obtained from resistance to electric current flow. Work-pieces are held together under pressure exerted by electrodes. Typically the sheets are in the 0.5-3.0 mm thickness range. The process uses two shaped copper alloy electrodes to concentrate welding current into a small "spot" and to simultaneously clamp the sheets together. Forcing a large current through the spot will melt the metal and form the weld. The attractive feature of spot welding is a lot of energy can be delivered to the spot in a very short time. That permits the welding to occur without excessive heating to the rest of the sheet.
The amount of heat (energy) delivered to the spot is determined by the resistance between the electrodes and the amplitude and duration of the current. The amount of energy is chosen to match the sheet's material properties, its thickness, and type of electrodes. Applying too little energy won't melt the metal or will make a poor weld. Applying too much energy will melt too much metal, eject molten material, and make a hole rather than a weld. Another attractive feature of spot welding is the energy delivered to the spot can be controlled to produce reliable welds.
Spot welding is typically used when welding particular types of sheet metal. Thicker stock is more difficult to spot weld because the heat flows into the surrounding metal more easily. Spot welding can be easily identified on many sheet metal goods, such as metal buckets. Aluminium alloys can be spot welded, but their much higher thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity requires higher welding currents. This requires larger, more powerful, and more expensive welding transformers.
The most common application of spot welding is in the automobile manufacturing industry, where it is used almost universally to weld the sheet metal to form a car. Spot welders can also be completely automated, and many of the industrial robots found on assembly lines are spot welders.
Spot welding is also used is in the orthodontist's clinic, where small scale spot welding equipment is used when resizing metal "molar bands" used in orthodontics.
Another application is spot welding straps to nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal-hydride cells in order to make batteries.
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Spot Welding is a process in which contacting metal surfaces are joined by the heat obtained from resistance to electric current flow. More >>
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