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Spot welding - design and process questions


Cast Iron
Dec 5, 2015
I am working with a design that currently has a nickel plated steel connector (.032" thick) and nickel pins (.020" thick) coming out of an element that get spot welded in 2x locations. I have attached a rough sketch showing the design. We are having issues with some of the assemblies failing prematurely and believe it is in part due to a relatively uncontrolled spot weld process. With having relatively limited experience with spot welding I wanted to poll the group and see if there were any thoughts from people experienced with the process. Things I imagine it would be good to look out for include:
  • Fixturing/constraining parts during welding
  • Cleaning parts prior to welding
  • Cleaning electrodes on machine?
  • Allowing cooling time between welds
Should we consider other materials when looking at the design? From an initial search it seemed that nickel plated steel and nickel elements should be relatively compatible for spot welding. What are suggested tests for confirming a good weld? Is something like checking resistance of the joint reliable enough? I am also curious if something like x-ray would be preferred to prove out a good weld.


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I've never seen something round spot welded to a flat surface before, not sure how that contact surface would react but that has to be part of the problem. We would solder or TIG in that situation depending on strength requirements. I'm interested to know what you figure out.
from my limited experience making battery packs, nickel coated steel strips take a longer duration to spot weld and produce much more variable welds. Pure nickel strips were much easier to work with.

you also need to keep an eye on electrode temperature as increasing temp = lower resistance and more energy going into the weld.