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Abstract

The paper investigates and provides an extensive overview of resistance welding in the aerospace industry for joining composite structures. The use of thermoplastic composites is increasing in the aerospace industry and has become a crucial material. Thermoplastics have many advantages over thermoset composites, the most important being their ability to undergo fusion bonding. Welding of thermoplastic composites provides a very advantageous alternative to mechanical fasteners and adhesive joints. Resistance welding of thermoplastics provides an advantage over other welding methods due to its fast and precise process. The ability to control multiple parameters of the welding process optimises the welding process at a very high level. For example, parameters like welding current, clamping pressure, and time of heat application have huge impacts on the weld. The heating element used for the process can also be modified to get desired results when the welding’s size, shape, and material are changed. For example, resistance welding can be done for various weld geometries like a lap joint, a double lap joint, and a skin or stringer joint, which is important in aircraft structures. Thermosets can also be fusion-bonded with the help of thermoplastic, and two techniques, co-curing and hybrid composites, are studied. To gain a better understanding of the welding process, finite element analysis modelling for numerical analysis and resistance welding method optimization is carried out.Defects in the resistance welding process, like void formation and current leakage, are discussed. Non-uniform heat distribution leads to multiple failures. Overheating and underheating also lead to diminishing weld quality. Heating element failure is also a significant cause of weld failure. For weld strengthening, surface treatments and additives like carbon nanotubes and graphene oxides are used. Further research for detailed analysis in different aspects, like fatigue analysis of the weld joint for critical aircraft structures, is required.

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Totla, H.S., Gupta, A., Mishra, S. et al. Resistance welding analysis of thermoplastic composite structures in aeronautical applications. Int J Interact Des Manuf (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12008-022-01151-1

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