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Numerical and experimental analysis on the influence of surface layer on the resistance spot welding process for the aluminum alloys 5182 and 6016


Resistance spot welding is used as a high-productivity joining process for the increasing use of lightweight materials in industrial applications. The main challenge for the welding of aluminum alloys is the wear of the electrodes. Due to the natural oxide layers on the metal surface, high contact resistances exist between the sheet metal and the electrode. This results in increased heat generation at this interface, which leads to increased alloyage on the electrode. Breaking the insulating natural oxide layers can be achieved by a friction-free or friction-assisted motion overlay and leads to a reduced electrode wear. The complex physical correlations involved are currently being investigated in a basic research project at TU Dresden. In addition to welding tests on a test rig, simulation-based analyses are also carried out. These allow a physic-based modeling of the effects and can be used later on for an extrapolation of any resistance welding process with motion overlay. In this paper, first experimental and analytical considerations for the mechanical destruction of the oxide layer of aluminum are discussed. Subsequently, the developed extended simulation model is presented and compared according to the quality of simulation of the welding process with motion overlay. The simulation method used is a multiphysics FEM simulation with ANSYS.

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This research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the project “Development of a methodology for simulation-based analysis of resistance spot welding processes with motion overlay on the example of aluminium materials” under the grant numbers GR1458/62-1 resp. FU307/11-1.

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Correspondence to Stefan Heilmann.

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Recommended for publication by Commission III - Resistance Welding, Solid State Welding, and Allied Joining Process

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Heilmann, S., Köberlin, D., Merx, M. et al. Numerical and experimental analysis on the influence of surface layer on the resistance spot welding process for the aluminum alloys 5182 and 6016. Weld World 63, 1205–1220 (2019).

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  • Aluminum alloys
  • Resistance spot welding
  • Resistance welding electrodes
  • Contact resistance
  • Fem simulation