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Title: The improvement of weld quality in medium frequency direct current resistance spot welding.
Author: Holden, Nicholas John.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3580 2191
Awarding Body: University of Central England in Birmingham
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2000
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Zinc coated steels are widely used in the automotive industry, because of the improved protection against corrosion. Their use has consequences for the resistance welding process, which is the most widely used method of joining body panels. The zinc coating alloys with the copper electrode, resulting in increased electrode wear, and a reduction in electrode life. The welding current must be increased, because of the reduced contact resistance and thus heavier cables and power sources are required. A novel form of power source, the Medium Frequency Direct Current inverter, offers advantages over the traditional AC transformer. The higher operating frequency results in a lighter transformer, and a smaller welding current may be used, because the DC welding current generates heat at a constant rate, and is thus more effective than an AC power source. A potential advantage of this technology is that the increased frequency allows improved resolution in monitoring and control. Novel signal conditioning circuitry was developed, allowing significant improvement in the time resolution of the voltage and resistance signals. A series of welding trials was conducted, while monitoring the welding process. The correlation between weld quality and various process variables was assessed, and a control algorithm to compensate for electrode wear was proposed. This algorithm, based on a constant voltage principle, was implemented on a bespoke welding timer. A significant improvement in electrode life was obtained using this technique. The control algorithm was shown effective experimentally, but practical limitations do not permit testing under all possible conditions. A numerical model of the spot welding process, using Finite Difference technique, was developed. Following successful validation, the model was used to predict the performance of the control algorithm under various conditions of electrode wear. The results indicate that a constant voltage algorithm can compensate for an increase in electrode tip diameter, but that a change in contact resistance may result in unsatisfactory welds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Corrosion; Zinc coated steels; Electrode; Alloys