Projection Welding

Questions and Answers

Poor electrode alignment or being out of parallel can be a serious problem with projection welding. Generally projection welding involves making several small projections welds with one electrode delivering the force and current to the part. Therefor if the electrode contacts one side of the part first those projections will be in the most intimate contact and carry most of the current. Projections on the other side of the part will have little if any force and could be subject to expulsion when the current initiates. This is both dangerous and bad for weld quality since the projection may be expelled when the current initiates.

Projection welding is a resistance weld where the design or shape of the part is used to make discreet individual point contacts to concentrate the current during the welding process. In most applications multiple small projections are formed on one surface of the parts to be welded. These projections can be round dimples, elongated ridges, circular, or the extended corners of weld nuts. Two round wires placed together at 90 degrees form a point contact. This would also be a projection weld. When the mating parts are brought together these projections concentrate the current flow and generate the heat in these locations. When the projections get hot they collapse as the weld nugget forms. After cooling the result is several weld nuggets holding the part together. Of course in the case of cross wire welding there is one weld per crossing location but normally many are welded at the same time as in fencing.

Nut welding is used to describe the projection welding process used to attach threaded nuts to a metal substrate. This is a projection weld because the nuts either have a partial or full ring projection or multiple corner edges are formed into projections. This is a very common form of welding in the automotive and appliance industry. These weld nuts provide the assembly points for all of the screws and bolts used in assembly of these products. It is a reliable fast repetitive process.

Yes, cross wire welding is a projection weld. There is no formed projection present on the wire or rod. When you bring the wire together at 90 degrees to each other they make a point contact. This then becomes the projection for projection welding. Many products are projection welded using this process including fencing, grating and rebar.

A good projection weld should exhibit good set down with little gap between the faying surfaces. The projections should be even and penetrated into both thicknesses of material. Quality specifications are available to define the tensile pull or amount of nugget required.

A1 150 collapsed Projections after weld

Sketch of a good projection weld

Reference: AWS C1.1 Recommended Practices for Resistance Welding
RWMA Manual Section 1, Chapter 3

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