Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance

, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 3881–3891 | Cite as

Application of Pre-heating to Improve the Consistency and Quality in AA5052 Resistance Spot Welding

  • Zhen Luo
  • Sansan Ao
  • Yuh Jin Chao
  • Xuetuan Cui
  • Yang Li
  • Ye Lin
Article

Abstract

Making consistent resistance spot welds of aluminum alloy with good quality and at high volume has several obstacles in automotive industry. One of the difficult issues arises from the presence of a tough non-conducting oxide film on the aluminum sheet surface. The oxide film develops over time and often is non-uniform across the surface of the aluminum alloy sheet, which makes the contact resistance characteristics irregular at the faying interface during welding. The consistency in quality of the final spot welds is therefore problematic to control. To suppress the effect of the irregular oxide film on the spot weld quality, application of a pre-heating treatment in the welding schedule for aluminum alloy 5052 is investigated in this present work. The current level of the pre-heating required to reduce the scatter of the contact resistance at the W/W (workpiece-to-workpiece) faying interface is quantified experimentally. The results indicate that the contact resistance at the W/W faying interface with a pre-heating treatment becomes much consistent and can be reduced by two orders of magnitude. Having the uncertain variation of the contact resistance at the W/W faying surface virtually reduced or removed, the quality of the spot welds in terms of the peak load and nugget diameter is examined and shows a great improvement. The proposed method may provide a robust method for high-volume spot welding of aluminum alloy sheets in auto industry.

Keywords

aluminum alloy contact resistance oxide film pre-heating treatment resistance spot welding 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This work is sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC) (Grant Nos. 51275342 and 51405335) and the Postdoctoral Project of the NNSFC (Grant No. 2013M541175). YJC acknowledges the support during the course of this study by the NNSFC through Grant 51275338. The authors are indebted to Dr. P.C. Wang of General Motor Corporation for stimulating discussions on the subject.

References

  1. 1.
    D.R. Sigler, B.E. Carlson, and P. Janiak, Improving Aluminum Resistance Spot Welding in Automotive Structures, Weld. J., 2013, 92(6), p 64–72Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. Han, M. Thornton, D. Li, and M. Shergold, Effect of Governing Metal Thickness and Stack Orientation on Weld Quality and Mechanical Behaviour of Resistance Spot Welding of AA5754 Aluminium, Mater. Des., 2011, 32(4), p 2107–2114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    B.H. Chang, D. Du, B. Sui, Y. Zhou, Z. Wang, and F. Heidarzadeh, Effect of Forging Force on Fatigue Behavior of Spot Welded Joints of Aluminum Alloy 5182, J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 2007, 129(1), p 95–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Y.J. Chao, Ultimate Strength and Failure Mechanism of Resistance Spot Weld Subjected to Tensile, Shear, or Combined Tensile/Shear Loads, J. Eng. Mater. Technol., 2003, 125(2), p 125–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.S. Florea, D.J. Bammann, A. Yeldell, K.N. Solanki, and Y. Hammi, Welding Parameters Influence on Fatigue Life and Microstructure in Resistance Spot Welding of 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy, Mater. Des., 2013, 45, p 456–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    P.S. Wei and T.H. Wu, Effects of Electrode Contact Condition on Electrical Dynamic Resistance During Resistance Spot Welding, Sci. Technol. Weld. Join., 2014, 19(2), p 173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    P.H. Thornton, A.R. Krause, and R.G. Davies, Contact Resistances in Spot Welding, Weld. J., 1996, 75(12), p 402–412Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    K. Ueda, T. Ogura, S. Nishiuchi, K. Miyamoto, T. Nanbu, and A. Hirose, Effects of Zn-Based Alloys Coating on Mechanical Properties and Interfacial Microstructures of Steel/Aluminum Alloy Dissimilar Metals Joints Using Resistance Spot Welding, Mater. Trans., 2011, 52(5), p 967–973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. Shome and S. Chatterjee, Effect of Material Properties on Contact Resistance and Nugget Size During Spot Welding of Low Carbon Coated Steels, ISIJ Int., 2009, 49(9), p 1384–1391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Y. Li, Z. Luo, F.Y. Yan, R. Duan, and Q. Yao, Effect of External Magnetic Field on Resistance Spot Welds of Aluminum Alloy, Mater. Des., 2014, 56, p 1025–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Q. Shen, Y.B. Li, Z.Q. Lin, and G.L. Chen, Impact of External Magnetic Field on Weld Quality of Resistance Spot Welding, J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 2011, 133(5), p 1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. Abu-Aesh and M. Hindy, Evaluation of the Role of Eddy Current in Resistance Spot Welding, J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 2009, 131(6), p 1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    H.Y. Zhang, S.J. Hu, J. Senkara, and S.W. Cheng, A Statistical Analysis of Expulsion Limits in Resistance Spot Welding, J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 2000, 122(3), p 501–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    P.S. James, H.W. Chandler, J.T. Evans, J. Wen, D.J. Browne, and C.J. Newton, The Effect of Mechanical Loading on the Contact Resistance of Coated Aluminium, Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 1997, 230(1–2), p 194–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    E. Crinon and J.T. Evans, The Effect of Surface Roughness, Oxide Film Thickness and Interfacial Sliding on the Electrical Contact Resistance of Aluminium, Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 1998, 242(1–2), p 121–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Y. Zhang, Z. Luo, Y. Li, Z.M. Liu, and Z.Y. Huang, Microstructure Characterization and Tensile Properties of Mg/Al Dissimilar Joints Manufactured by Thermo-compensated Resistance Spot Welding with Zn Interlayer, Mater. Des., 2015, 75, p 166–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    D. Afshari, M. Sedighi, M.R. Karimi, and Z. Barsoum, On Residual Stresses in Resistance Spot-Welded Aluminum Alloy 6061-T6: Experimental and Numerical Analysis, J. Mater. Eng. Perform., 2013, 22(12), p 3612–3619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Recommended Practices for Test Methods for Evaluating the Resistance Spot Welding Behavior of Automotive Sheet Steel Materials” AWS/D8.9M, American Welding Society, 2012, p 61–62Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    H.G. Yang, Y.S. Zhang, X.M. Lai, and G.L. Chen, An Experimental Investigation on Critical Specimen Sizes of High Strength Steels DP600 in Resistance Spot Welding, Mater. Des., 2008, 29(9), p 1679–1684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    L. Han, M. Thornton, and M. Shergold, A Comparison of the Mechanical Behaviour of Self-Piercing Riveted and Resistance Spot Welded Aluminium Sheets for the Automotive Industry, Mater. Des., 2010, 31(3), p 1457–1467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    R.S. Florea, K.N. Solanki, D.J. Bammann, J.C. Baird, J.B. Jordon, and M.P. Castanier, Resistance Spot Welding of 6061-T6 Aluminum: Failure Loads and Deformation, Mater. Des., 2012, 34, p 624–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    W. Li, D. Cerjanec, and G.A. Grzadzinski, A Comparative Study of Single-Phase AC and Multiphase DC Resistance Spot Welding, J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 2005, 127(3), p 583–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    H. Zhang, Expulsion and Its Influence on Weld Quality, Weld. J., 1999, 78(11), p 373–380Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    W.H. Zhang, D.Q. Sun, L.J. Han, and D.Y. Liu, Interfacial Microstructure and Mechanical Property of Resistance Spot Welded Joint of High Strength Steel and Aluminium Alloy with 4047 AlSi12 Interlayer, Mater. Des., 2014, 57, p 186–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    S. Aslanlar, The Effect of Nucleus Size on Mechanical Properties in Electrical Resistance Spot Welding of Sheets Used in Automotive Industry, Mater. Des., 2006, 27(2), p 125–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Aluminum Association, Welding Aluminum Theory and Practice, Aluminum Association Inc, Arlington, 1991, p 13.3Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    A. De, M.P. Thaddeus, and L. Dorn, Numerical Modeling of Resistance Spot Welding of Aluminium Alloy, ISIJ Int., 2003, 43(2), p 238–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    S.J. Na and S.W. Park, A Theoretical Study on Electrical and Thermal Response in Resistance Spot Welding, Weld. J., 1996, 75(8), p 233–241Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Y.R. Wang, J.C. Feng, and Z.D. Zhang, Influence of Surface Condition on Expulsion in Spot Welding AZ31B Magnesium Alloy, J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 2005, 21(5), p 749–752Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    M. Pouranvari, A. Abedi, P. Marashi, and M. Goodarzi, Effect of Expulsion on Peak Load and Energy Absorption of Low Carbon Steel Resistance Spot Welds, Sci. Technol. Weld. Joining, 2008, 13(1), p 39–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    L. Han, M. Thornton, and M. Shergold, A Comparison of the Mechanical Behaviour of Self-Piercing Riveted and Resistance Spot Welded Aluminium Sheets for the Automotive Industry, Mater. Des., 2010, 31(3), p 1457–1467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    G.R. Razmjoo and S.A. Westgate, Fatigue Properties of Clinched, Self-Piercing Riveted and Spot Welded Joints in Steel and Aluminum Alloy Sheet, TWI Report, 680, 1999Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhen Luo
    • 1
  • Sansan Ao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuh Jin Chao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xuetuan Cui
    • 1
  • Yang Li
    • 1
  • Ye Lin
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Material Science and EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations