Spot Welding

Questions and Answers

Spot welding electrodes require dressing or conditioning back to original face geometry whenever the resultant weld nugget is getting smaller and approaching an unacceptable size. This is determined through quality checks of the product or coupons as determined by your quality program. Most checks are made by destructive means. The two sheets of metal are clamped in a vise and chiseled or pulled apart. The average of the measured length and width of the resultant pulled nugget is the value being sought. The quality system normally will specify a minimum which must be maintained. In some facilities tensile tests are specified and similar samples are pulled and tested at specified intervals to insure quality.  The need for dressing the electrode and testing of product applies not only to spot welding but also projection and seam welding.

The size 4 and 5 designate the body size of the electrode. A #4 electrode has a ½” body diameter with a 3/16” face diameter. A #5 electrode has a 5/8” body diameter with a ¼” face diameter. These are sizes established by the Resistance Welding Manufacturers Alliance (RWMA) and published in Bulletin 16 Section 18. All manufacturers produce to these standards here in the USA. There also is a size 6 and 7.  Size 7 is rarely used in cap form.  The charts below show data for RWMA caps and full size electrodes.

Generally all spot welding electrodes are made from a copper alloy. During the resistance welding operations if their tensile strength is exceeded they will bend or collapse and fail from the mechanical force being exerted on them. RWMA Fig 18.3 in the RWMA Manual 4th Edition, shows the relationship of electrode weld face size, applied force and maximum capability.

Generally all spot welding electrodes are made from a copper alloy. During the resistance welding operations if their tensile strength is exceeded they will bend or collapse and fail from the mechanical force being exerted on them. RWMA Fig 18.3 in the RWMA Manual 4th Edition, shows the relationship of electrode weld face size, applied force and maximum capability.  Similar information is shown in the following table.

Resistance welding tapers are precision tapers for attachment of electrodes to resistance welding holders. They are meant for quick and easy attachment and removal. If the weld forces used in the application are excessive for the size of the taper, the male taper can be driven into the female taper and ruin the tooling. Electrode removal may become difficult or impossible and further use of the holder is compromised. RWMA Fig 18.3 in the RWMA Manual 4th Edition, shows the relationship of electrode weld face size, applied force and maximum capability.

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