Electric Resistance Welding - Spot Weld and Seam Welding

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Electric Resistance Welding - Spot Weld and Seam - Welding Many thin sheet metal parts, especially stainless steel parts, are joined by one of the forms of electric resistance welding, either spot welding or seam welding.

Spot Welding: Two copper electrodes are held in the jaws of the spot welding machine, and the material to be welded is clamped between them. Pressure is applied to hold the electrodes tightly together, and electrical current flows through the electrodes and the material. The resistance of the material being welded is so much higher than that of the copper electrodes that enough heat is generated to melt the metal. The pressure on the electrodes forces the molten spots in the two pieces of metal to unite, and this pressure is held after the current stops flowing long enough for the metal to solidify. The amount of current, pressure, and dwell time are all carefully controlled and matched to the type of material and the thickness to produce the correct spot welds. 

Seam Welding: Rather than having to release the electrodes and move the material to form a series of overlapping spot welds, a seam-welding machine is used to manufacture fuel tanks, enclosures and other components where a continuous weld is needed. Two copper wheels replace the bar-shaped electrodes. The metal to be welded is moved between them, and electric pulses create spots of molten metal that overlap to form the continuous seam.

In spot welding, heat is produced by electrical resistance between copper electrodes. Pressure is simultaneously applied to electrode tips to force metal together to complete fusing process. Spot or weldnugget size is directly related to tip size.

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