Numerical Simulation of Nugget Geometry and Temperature Distribution in Resistance Spot Welding

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 MS Graduate, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Resistance spot welding is an important manufacturing process in the automotive industry for assembling bodies. The quality and strength of the welds and, by extension, the body is mainly defined by the quality of the weld nuggets. The most effective parameters in this process are sheet material, geometry of electrodes, electrode force, current intensity, welding time and sheet thickness. The present research examined the effect of process parameters on nugget formation. A mechanical/ electrical/ thermal coupled model was created in a finite element analysis environment. The effect of welding time and current, electrode force, contact resistivity and sheet thickness was simulated to investigate the effect of these parameters on temperature of the faying surface. The physical properties of the material were defined as nonlinear and temperature dependent. The shape and size of the weld nuggets were computed and compared with experimental results from published articles. The proposed methodology allows prediction of the quality and shape of the weld nuggets as process parameters are varied. It can assist in adjusting welding parameters that eliminates the need for costly experimentation. This process can be economically optimized to manufacture quality automotive bodies.


Main Subjects

[1].Bentley K.P., Greenwood J. A., McK Knowlson P., 1963, Temperature distribution in spot welding, British Welding Journal 12: 613-619.
[2].Greenwood J. A., 1963, Temperature in spot welding, British Welding Journal 6: 316-322.
[3].Nagel Lee, Nagel G. L., 1988, Basic phenomena in resistance spot welding, Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Paper. No. 880277.
[4].Cho H. S., Cho Y. J., 1989, A study of the thermal behavior in resistance spot welds, Welding Journal 68: 236s-244s.
[5].Kim E., Eager T. W., 1988, Transient thermal behavior in resistance spot welding, sheet metal, in: Welding Conference ะจ, Detroit, MI.
[6].Nied H. A., 1984, The finite element modeling of the resistance spot welding process, Welding Journal 63(4): 123.
[7].Gould J. E., 1994, An examination of nugget development during spot welding using both experimental and analytical techniques, Welding Journal 66(1): 1-10.
[8].Tsai C. L., Jammal O. A., Dickinson D. W., 1992, Modeling of resistance spot weld nugget growth, Welding Journal 71(2): 47s-54s.
[9].Tsai C. L., Jammal O. A., Dickinson D. W., 1989, Study of nugget formation in resistance spot welding using finite element method, Paper presented at the trends in welding research, in: 2nd International Conference. Materials Park, OH., USA.
[10]. Khan J.A., Xu L., Chao Y., Broach K., 2000, Numerical simulation of resistance spot welding process, Numerical Heat Transfer, Part A 37: 425–446.
[11]. Richard D., Fafard M., Lacroix R., Clery P., Maltais Y., 2003, Carbon to cast iron electrical contact resistance constitutive model for finite element analysis, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 132: 119–131.
[12]. Chang B. H., Zhou Y., 2003, Numerical study on the effect of electrode force in small-scale resistance spot welding, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 139 (1–3): 635–641.
[13]. Feulvarch E., Robin V., Bergheau J.M., 2004, Resistance spot welding simulation: a general finite element formulation of electrothermal contact conditions, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 153–154: 436–441.
[14]. Hou Z., Kim I., 2007, Finite element analysis for the mechanical features of resistance spot welding process, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 180: 160-165.
Volume 46, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
Winter & Spring
January 2015
Pages 13-19
  • Receive Date: 08 June 2014
  • Revise Date: 29 April 2015
  • Accept Date: 24 July 2014