Robots find regular teeth brushing helps them munch through 50,000 aluminium spot welds

Sep 11, 2006

Resistance spot welding research by Paul Briskham at the University of Warwick's Warwick Manufacturing Group in conjunction with Douglas Boomer of Innoval Technology and engineers from Jaguar and Land Rover has achieved a landmark result of 50,000 high quality welds on automotive-grade aluminium sheet using just one set of standard copper electrodes on an automated robotic welding system.

The remarkably long electrode life was achieved by polishing the copper electrodes during the brief gap in time between each welded component.

Resistance spot welding is the most widely used process for joining steel sheet in the automotive industry, largely because it is the most cost-effective method for high-volume production and excellent at pulling together components prior to welding. However, a major hurdle preventing the adoption of this joining process for aluminium automotive sheet has been the problem of short electrode life and associated loss of weld quality.

Previous studies have shown that the electrode life can be extended to a few thousand welds by regular tip dressing using a form-cutter, of the type commonly deployed to maintain the electrodes when welding galvanized or high-strength steels. This study has demonstrated the significant additional improvement in electrode life that can be gained by using a system that polishes the electrodes with an abrasive wheel to maintain their domed profile.

This resistance spot welding study has also investigated low-cost methods for detecting electrode damage to determine automatically when to conduct electrode maintenance and when to change the electrodes, which could lengthen the electrode life even further.

Source: University of Warwick

Explore further: Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lasers take the lead

May 13, 2011

Conserving energy is a top priority for auto manufacturers today. Laser technology can help. Lasers can be used to process thin light-weight components made of fiber-composite materials, as well as to manufacture ...

Recommended for you

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

Apr 18, 2014

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

Apr 16, 2014

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.