Strength of Arc Spot Welds Made in Single and Multiple Steel Sheets

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Virginia Tech

The objective of this research was to establish a relationship between arc spot weld shear strength and the arc time used to form the weld. Lap shear tests were performed on both 3/4 in. and 5/8 in. nominal diameter welds. Each weld was formed in one-, two-, or four-layers of sheet steel ranging from 22 gauge (0.028 in.) to 16 gauge (.057 in.). Three distinct time series were tested for each unique weld size, thickness of sheet steel and layer configuration. The first of these series were the full-time welds. The two remaining series, 2/3-time and 1/3-time welds, had arc times equal to 2/3 and 1/3 of the average full-time weld arc time, respectively.

Both weld shear strength tests and weld sectioning were performed for each series of weld. Strength tests were performed on a minimum of three specimens from every weld series. If the strength of any specimen deviated by over ten percent from the mean strength, an additional specimen was tested, helping to better understand the true behavior of the weld. Comparisons were made between the strengths of full-time, 2/3-time and 1/3-time welds. Comparisons were also made between the observed strength of each weld and the strengths calculated using the 2001 AISI Specification.

Each sectioning test involved measuring and documenting the visual diameter, average diameter and effective diameter of the weld. Weld penetrations were also documented as sufficient or insufficient and any porosity was noted. A single sectioning test was performed for each full-time series, while three were performed for every 2/3-time and 1/3-time series.

The data taken from the strength tests and the sectioning samples proved that welds formed using reduced arc times were considerably smaller and weaker than full-time welds. The tests also proved that proper penetration is not dependent on the arc time, but is instead a function of the welding current and sheet steel thickness.

Arc Spot Weld, Puddle Weld, Sheet Steel, Multiple Steel Sheets, Arc Time