Pressure is one of the three major inputs of the machine, pressure, current and time. Pressure is called out as force in weld schedules. Force per square inch is pressure. When pressure is applied and the electrode makes contact with the part, there is a contact resistance at that joint. The amount of this resistance changes with the amount of force/pressure being applied.
JOULES LAW STATES:
In this equation the current, resistance and time are the variables. The controller or timer can alter both the time and the current. The resistance of the parts being welded is fixed but the resistance can be changed by altering the force/pressure used in the welding process. The question is which will have the largest affect upon the process. The answer is the current (I).
Per the definition of the Resistance Welding Manufacturers Alliance:
RESISTANCE WELDING IS THE JOINING OF METALS BY APPLYING
FOR A LENGTH OF
THROUGH THE METAL AREA WHICH IS TO BE JOINED
Reference: RWMA - Resistance Welding Manual 4th Edition
Weld schedules are available in the Resistance Welding Manual and AWS Standard C1.1 for many of the most frequently used materials. The information commonly provided is the proper electrode design, size and material. The weld force, weld time and weld current are also published. The minimum distance between welds is usually listed and the expected nugget or button size is shown. Tensile properties frequently are also published. Other sources are the Tuffaloy and CMW Catalogs.
A weld schedule is an instruction to set up a resistance welder for a given job. It includes all of the specific settings of the machine, control settings, tools, electrodes, forces, times, rates and all other pertinent data related to a job. It also includes the information about the part, including material, thickness, number of welds, weld locations, quality requirements, and precleaning. This information is stored and can be used to set up the job on it’s next run. It also can be used as a ground zero if parameters have changed and you want to go back to when the job started.
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