Types of Welding Series - Resistance Welding
Resistance welding involves the generation of heat by passing current through the resistance caused by the contact between two or more metal surfaces. Small pools of molten metal are formed at the weld area as high current (1000–100,000 A) is passed through the metal. In general, resistance welding methods are efficient and cause little pollution, but their applications are somewhat limited and the equipment cost can be high.
Spot welding is a popular resistance welding method used to join overlapping metal sheets of up to 3 mm thick. Two electrodes are simultaneously used to clamp the metal sheets together and to pass current through the sheets. The advantages of the method include efficient energy use, limited workpiece deformation, high production rates, easy automation, and no required filler materials. Weld strength is significantly lower than with other welding methods, making the process suitable for only certain applications. It is used extensively in the automotive industry—ordinary cars can have several thousand spot welds made by industrial robots. A specialized process, called shot welding, can be used to spot weld stainless steel.
Like spot welding, seam welding relies on two electrodes to apply pressure and current to join metal sheets. However, instead of pointed electrodes, wheel-shaped electrodes roll along and often feed the workpiece, making it possible to make long continuous welds. In the past, this process was used in the manufacture of beverage cans, but now its uses are more limited. Other resistance welding methods include butt welding, flash welding, projection welding, and upset welding.
"Seam welding" redirects here. For the geometrical welding configuration, see welding joints.
Resistance seam welding is a process that produces a weld at the faying surfaces of two similar metals. The seam may be a butt joint or an overlap joint and is usually an automated process. It differs from butt welding in that butt welding typically welds the entire joint at once and seam welding forms the weld progressively, starting at one end. Like spot welding, seam welding relies on two electrodes, usually made from copper, to apply pressure and current. The electrodes are disc shaped and rotate as the material passes between them. This allows the electrodes to stay in constant contact with the material to make long continuous welds. The electrodes may also move or assist the movement of the material.
A transformer supplies energy to the weld joint in the form of low voltage, high current AC power. The joint of the work piece has high electrical resistance relative to the rest of the circuit and is heated to its melting point by the current. The semi-molten surfaces are pressed together by the welding pressure that creates a fusion bond, resulting in a uniformly welded structure. Most seam welders use water cooling through the electrode, transformer and controller assemblies due to the heat generated. Seam welding produces an extremely durable weld because the joint is forged due to the heat and pressure applied. A properly welded joint formed by resistance welding is typically stronger than the material from which it is formed.
A common use of seam welding is during the manufacture of round or rectangular steel tubing. Seam welding has been used to manufacture steel beverage cans but is no longer used for this as modern beverage cans are seamless aluminum.