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The generation of Heat at the place where two pieces are to be joined. 2. The application of pressure at the place where a weld joint is to be formed. 1. Heat The heat, H, for electrical resistance welding is generated by passing a large electrical current (of the order of !!! to 1!!,!!! "mps with a voltage between 1 and 2# volts$ through two pieces of metal that are touching each other H α I2RT ...(i) where H is the heat generate %ndicate %n joules, % is the current in root mean s&uare amperes, ' is the resistance in ohms, T is the time (from fraction of a second to a few seconds$ of current flow through the pieces to be welded. Current, I (ith other parameters )ept constant, the temperature in resistance welding is regulated by controlling the magnitude and timing of the welding current. *nough welding current is re&uired to heat the metal pieces being welded to their plastic state. The current is obtained from a step down transformer. The magnitude of current may be controlled through taps on the primary of the transformer or by an autotransformer that varies the primary voltage supplied to the main transformer. +ow welding current does not provide proper fusion whereas if welding current is too high, the entire thic)ness of the wor) metal between the electrodes is heated to the plastic state by the time the weld ,one reaches the fusion temperature, and the electrodes embed themselves deeply into the metal. "s the current-current density. is increased, the weld time can be decreased sufficiently to produce a weld without overheating the electrode contact surfaces. "s the welding current increases, the nugget diameter, brea)ing load of welded joint and the electrode indentation into the wor) pieces, all, increase. %n resistance welding, three types of current supply systems generally are used i$ "/ systems. (ii$ 0/ systems. (iii$ 1tored energy current systems. 2y far the majority of resistance welding machines operate on single phase alternating current of the power line fre&uency, usually #! cycles second. " single phase transformer converts the power line voltage to a low voltage and provides the high currents needed for welding. High fre&uency resistance welding is used for applications of continuous seam or butt seam welding. The welding current fre&uencies are of the order of 3#!,!!! cycles per second. %n 0/ systems, energy is delivered directly from the power line and rectifier to direct current on the secondary side of the welding transformer. 1tored energy systems are4 storage batteries, electromagnetic type, the homopolar generator and capacitor type. /apacitor stored5energy type involves charging a group of capacitors from a high5voltage rectifier unit and subse&uent discharge of the energy from the capacitors through a welding transformer. Resistance, R The total resistance of the system between the electrodes consists of (i$ The resistance of the wor)piece'1. (ii$ The contact resistance between the electrodes and the wor), '2, and (iii$ The resistance between the faying surfaces of the two metal pieces to be welded together, ' . %n order to obtain a sound weld and to avoid overheating of the welding electrodes, '1 and '2 should be )ept as low as possible with respect to resistance '
such as aluminium. %t is the interval from the end of the hold time to the beginning of the s&uee. (iv$ 7sing the proper pressure between the electrodes and the wor)pieces. This cycle. . .ed by (i$ 6eeping the electrode tip and the wor)piece surface properly cleaned. 9ff time.e time. 9ff time. Hold time. 1mooth wor)piece surfaces and high electrode pressures reduce resistance '8. depends upon the nature of the material and its thic)ness. the welding current is applied. 2. There are a number of types of spot welding cycles which incorporate different elements. The main aim is to obtain a sound weld without overheating either the electrodes or the wor)pieces.erted on the wor) pieces by the welding electrodes does the following4 . %n automatic machines all these segments of times are controlled . (eld times range from one5half cycle of #! cycle fre&uency for thinnest sheets to as long as several seconds for thic)er plates. This will improve weld strength. "t the end of the s&uee. 1&uee.e time. Hold time. 1urfaces that have not been cleaned and possess scale.plained below4 1. the resistance of the wor)piece. the welding force usually is maintained until the post heat current is applied after which it is increased to the forging force. 1ome of them are e.automatically whereas in manually operated machines. . 1. %t is the time during which force acts at the point of welding after the last impulse of welding current ceases. 0uring this period the welding current flows through the circuit. (eld time. (iii$ /ontrolling the shape and si..t (resistance$ welding cycle. it re&uires very high currents in order to produce the re&uired welding temperature and hence a proper weld. %t is the time between the initial application of the electrode pressure on the wor) and the initial application of current to ma)e the weld. only the weld time is controlled automatically and the remaining time periods are adjusted by the operator himself. the contact resistance between the electrode and the wor)piece can be minimi. 9verheating of the welding electrodes is avoided by circulating either water or a refrigerant through them. 2. it enters from one electrode. <ressure e. 8ust before the weld time the electrode pressure is reduced a little in order to intentionally increase the resistance between the faying surfaces of the wor)pieces. 1uch a cycle is used chiefly for grain refinement on harden able carbon and alloy steels and is not used on low carbon steels. 1&uee. varies with the &uality of the surfaces. (eld time can be controlled automatically by using a suitable (electronic$ timer. 0uring this period the upper electrode comes in contact with the wor)piece and develops full electrode force.e time. electrode pressure is increased in order to forge the weld metal as it cools. This will help raise temperature &uic)ly at the place of welding. ' . . dirt or other contaminants on them offer more resistance to the flow of welding current.e of the electrodes. (ii$ 7sing the welding electrodes of highly conductive materials such as /u5/d or /u5/r alloys.e. %f the wor)piece material has low electrical resistance. 3. i. '2.'1. depending somewhat upon the metal being welded. the resistance between the contacting surfaces of the two wor)pieces. . ressure or Electrode Force *lectrode force is the force applied to the wor) pieces by the electrodes during the welding cycle. 0uring the Hold Time. Time. (eld time. 2.e time for the ne. %t cannot be changed otherwise. T :our definite segments or periods of timing are set up on a resistance spot welding machine during one welding cycle 1. <ost heat current is applied along with the forge pressure. . 3. passes through the wor) pieces and goes out from the second electrode. The electrode pressure is maintained until the metal has somewhat cooled.
also. (ii$ Ca)ing tubes and metal furniture. s&uee.erted by the electrodes e. Human element. (vi$ High reliability and reproducibility are obtained. #. (iii$ They dissipate the heat from the weld . 1!. (elding machine characteristics. (vi$ Ca)ing wire fabric. /ondition of the material and surfaces of material. %f too little electrode force is used. (ii$ %t ensures the completion of the electrical circuit between the electrodes and through the wor).one.tending from the arms of the welding machine. Throat height #d$antages of Resistance Welding 5 (i$ :ast rate of production. %f too high electrode force is used. tractors etc. (ii$ Bo filler rod is needed. mash weld.(i$ %t brings the various interfaces into intimate contact and thus affects the contact resistance between the two wor)pieces. Type and condition of machines. !aria"les in Resistance Welding – =ariables commonly encountered and considered carefully by both the design and welding engineers are4 1. (ii$ 1)illed persons are needed for the maintenance of e&uipment and its controls. . (iii$ %t permits the weld to be made at lower temperatures. the contact resistance between the two wor)pieces is high and surface burning and pitting of the electrodes may result. rods and tubes. Throat depth. 3. (iv$ +ess s)illed wor)ers can do the job.e softened hot metal between the faying surfaces or the wor) may be indented by the electrodes.<ressure on the wor)pieces is e. . 2esides this. (iv$ Ca)ing cutting tools. (v$ 2oth similar and dissimilar metals can be welded. it decreases the contact resistance of the wor) metal and therefore reduces the total heat generated between the faying surfaces of the wor)pieces by the welding current. the other junctions performed by electrodes are4 (i$ They carry the current which passes through and generates heat at the place where the two wor)piece are in pressed contact. /onditions of electrodes and arms. grills. (ii$ 0epending upon the area of the electrodes face or tip. grids. they determine the current density in the weld . (iv$ 2igger job thic)nesses cannot be welded #&&lications of Resistance Welding 5'esistance welding is used for (i$ 8oining sheets. (iii$ %n some materials. (vii$ Core general elimination of warping or distortion of parts.one and thus prevent surface fusion of the wor). (iii$ 1emi automatic e&uipments. (elding time. (iii$ (elding aircraft and automobile parts. special surface preparation is re&uired. @. bars. Too high electrode force may. 2. (v$ Ca)ing fuel tan)s of cars. /urrent. containers etc . (iv$ %t provides a forging action and thus reduces weld porosity. *lectrode pressure. %isad$antages of Resistance Welding 5 (i$ The initial cost of e&uipment is high. ?. >. A.
Figure 2 e H: induction welding uses a coil rather than contacts. &o'er su&&l(. and 'eld roll "asics By Gerald Weimer and Ray Cagganello. *ach of these can be bro)en down further into subcategories. Figure 1 The pressure generated during the forge welding process e. " successful forged weld uses the optimum amount of heat. " forged weld is created by applying a combination of heat and pressure. such as o.one. as well as the power supplies and weld rolls. 2!!2 This article provides an overview of electric resistance welding (*'($.Electric resistance 'elding at a glance rocess. The pressure comes from rolls that s&uee.ides and debris. 0/. to the weld . all *'( processes have one thing in common–all of them produce a forged weld. (hile each process has different characteristics. %t dicusses high5fre&uency *'( (contact and induction$ and rotary wheel contact welding ("/. . %t describes the differences among the processes. the heat generated by the weld power is a result of the materialDs resistance to the flow of electrical current. The coil induces current into the unfinished tube. 1everal electric resistance welding (*'($ processes are available for tube and pipe production. which forces the heated edges together (see Figure 1$. This e. and s&uare wave$. or forging force. The two main types of ERW are high-frequency (HF) and rotary contact wheel. which is normally slightly less than the melting point of the material.e the tube into its finished shape. T)e *asics of HF Welding The two main aspects of HF welding are processes and power supplies.trudes foreign particles. which re&uires more power than contact welding. and a nearly simultaneous application of circumferential pressure to the section. Contributing Writers 8une 1 .one. from the weld .truded material forms a weld bead on the 90 and %0 of the tube. "s the name implies.
The two H: welding processes are H: contact and H: induction. both H: methods can employ impeders.rocesses. 0/. %t is estimated that A! percent of tube mills in Borth "merica use H: induction welding. The wor) coil does not contact the tube55the electrical current is induced into the material through magnetic fields that surround the tube. 1ince their introduction in the early DA!s. %t is estimated that between #!! and >!! of each type are operating in Borth "merica. creating a buildup of heat at the ape. it is well5suited to heavy5wall and large5diameter tube production. H: welding machines also are classified by how they generate power. The current ta)es the path of least resistance.. The contact wheel also applies some of the forge pressure necessary for the welding process. o'er . 2ecause it is more efficient. Figure + %n H: contact welding. H: induction welding eliminates contact mar)s and reduces the setup re&uired when changing tube si. %n all three power supplies. %n both processes. HF Induction Welding. The three main types of rotary contact wheel welders are "/. The vacuum tube type is the traditional power supply.u&&lies. which are soft magnetic components located inside the tube that help to focus the weld current in the strip edges. H: contact welding transfers weld current to the material through contacts that ride on the strip (see Figure +$. The two types are vacuum tube and solid5state. which ma)es this process more electrically efficient than H: induction welding. The weld power is applied directly to the tube. "lso. flowing around the open =.e. These contact wheels transfer the current to the strip edges. the e&uipment that provides the electrical current is independent from the e&uipment that supplies the forge pressure. %n the case of H: induction welding. HF Contact Welding. the weld current is transmitted to the material through a wor) coil in front of the weld point (see Figure 2$. current flows through the contacts and into the unfinished tube. This is where the welding occurs. T)e *asics of Rotar( Contact W)eel Welding %n rotary contact wheel welding. the electrical current is transmitted through a contact wheel at the weld point. and s&uare wave. %t also re&uires less maintenance than contact welding. electrical current is transferred by brush assemblies that engage slip rings attached to a rotating shaft that supports the contact wheels. . solid5state units have &uic)ly gained prominence in the industry. however.
the corresponding welding temperature varies dramatically.cess (waste$ heat that causes heavy wear. reaches its ma. The strip completes the circuit by acting as a conductor between the two halves of the wheel. as opposed to 12! times per second with a >!5H.imum amplitude 1.Figure The "/ sine wave (top$ correlates to the weld temperature (bottom$. 3@!. The two legs of the transformerDs output circuit are connected to the two halves of the rotating contact wheel. Traditional rotary contact wheel welders used >!5hert. "lthough this solves the problem of varying heat. signal. 1ome of the fre&uencies used were 1@!. motor generator sets were introduced to create "/ at higher fre&uencies. "n "/ sine wave reaches its ma. "/. it is necessary to transmit the high5amperage. Transmitting high5amperage. " drawbac) to this system is that the current55and therefore the weld heat55rises and falls. 2ecause the pea)s and valleys of "/ are brief. 2ecause it is not possible to change the voltage of 0/ with a transformer. The ne. producing weld heat that varies just as the sine wave does (see Figure -$. %C Rotar( Contact W)eel Welding. . %n an "/ rotary contact wheel welding machine. or common line current. #C Rotar( Contact W)eel Welding. which has a transformer mounted on it. ma)ing it suitable for welding. The A>!5H. a major drawbac) is that higher maintenance costs are associated with this type of welding machine.A2! times per second. resulting in the high maintenance costs mentioned previously. the current is transferred through the brushes to the rotating shaft. low5voltage weld current into the shaft through a large number of brushes (A2 for 0/ versus @ for "/$ with a high current density. To help even out the heat variation. low5voltage current produces e. which are insulated from each other. " few solid5state units also were produced to generate higher5fre&uency currents. The transformer reduces the voltage and increases the current.t step in rotary contact wheel welding was the 0/ power supply. limiting the speed at which the tube can be welded. >!. and A>! H. "n "/ sine wave at A>! H. sine wave produces heat with a much more consistent temperature.. The power produced has a nearly constant amplitude.imum amplitude briefly.
Ho' 0an( Roll 1nits #re 2eeded3 The types of weld pressure rolls.e ranges are as follows4 • -@ to 2 in. uses five or more rolls. that apply the pressure re&uired for the weld are as varied as the welding units used to supply the heat. (hile rotary contact weld methods preceded the more commonly used H: welding processes.agonal55are welded in the finished shape rather than being reshaped after being welded round. The number of rolls in the weld s&uee.es as they sometimes are called. The weld bo. 'otary contact welding is useful for applications that cannot accommodate an impeder on the %0 of the tube. uses three5roll units. This method combines the consistent weld heat of 0/ with the lower maintenance associated with "/ units (see Figure . he. .es used for the shapes are custom5designed for each application and usually have no more than five rolls.$.e bo. 1&uee. Today. • +arger than 1! in. common guidelines for round tube or pipe si.amples of this are small5diameter refrigeration5grade tube and tube that is painted on the %0 immediately after the welding process. • 1-2 to 1-2 in. 0irect current and voltage produce power with a much more consistent amplitude55and weld heat55than "/ power.e bo.e and shape of the product being welded. There are no hard and fast rulesE however./uare Wa$e Rotar( Contact W)eel Welding.Figure . *. is proportionate to the si. many shapes55s&uare. they still have a vital role in specialty welding applications. uses two5roll units.es for rotary contact wheel welding typically have two or three roll units. with the contact wheel serving as one of the rolls. uses four5roll units. much more so than in the past. . or s&uee.e bo. The latest step in the evolution of rotary contact wheel welding is the s&uare wave power supply. • 2 to 1! in. rectangular.
* to /"*** cycle)" the deeper the heat penetration )igher frequencies (0%*"*** cycle1 second" or 0%* megahert2) result in less penetration Average heat penetration for a 0%*megahert2 power source is approximately * *+* inch into each edge )eating tube and pipe edges with a high-frequency power source provides a number of surface conditioning operations to help achieve an acceptable ERW weld 3oint 4urface conditioning occurs when the edges are brought together and the compressive force of the welding rolls is applied to achieve deformation 5etal extrusion can occur on the inside and outside surfaces of the welded material !his extrusion forms a typical ERW weld 6psets occur because of the excessive force on the welding rolls" which is necessary 4ome national and international specifications require reheating of the tube or pipe7s ERW longitudinal weld to a temperature necessary to eliminate the untempered martensite structure formed because of rapid cooling of the narrow heat-affected 2one ()A8) !his reheating is referred to as a normali2ing operation 6ntempered martensite is a hard element formed when a heated weld .% inch when welded with a low-frequency power source !he use of low-frequency welding machines to produce pressure tube and pipe no longer is acceptable for most specifications and customer requirements -ompared to a low-frequency power source" heat penetration produced by a high-frequency power source into the edges of in-process material will be greater at the top and bottom corners and less at middle wall !he lower the output frequency (.An in-depth examination of electric resistance welding (ERW) weld nuggets as a quality control step in the manufacturing of high-strength tube and pipe used for pressure applications has been a proprietary procedure for some manufacturers for Figure 1: !his typical hourglass signature of an ERW weld nugget macro shows the upsets still intact !he most useful weld nugget sample is ta(en in a transverse plane through the weld seam several years !ypes of pressure-application tube and pipe are cross-country line pipe" such as A#$ %& grades for the transmission of oil and gas' down-hole casing for oil and gas wells' and pipe used in oil and gas refineries !his article focuses on the fundamental steps required for any manufacturer to develop such a procedure Regardless of the frequency of the power source used to ma(e longitudinal butt welds in tube and pipe" a discernable hourglass shape signature is present when the ERW process is used !his hourglass shape signature" or pattern" is the result of electrical current flow in and around the edges of the in-process material !he depth of the heat into the edges is controlled by the power source frequency (see Figure 1) !he ERW tube and pipe industry usually separates the power sources available into the low-frequency range (rotary electrodes) and the high-frequency range (induction coil or sliding contacts) )eat penetration into the edges of in-process material--usually hot-rolled steel--may be as deep as * +.
Figure 2 !he fracture brea( sample reveals the longitudinal structure of the weld area nugget passes through the cooling cycle too quic(ly $f it is not reheated and allowed to cool slowly" it will remain" reducing the ductility of the weld area $f untempered martensite remains in the weld area" it causes corrosion because of stress in the area Sampling a Weld 4tandard operating procedure (49#) and quality manuals dictate that ERW weld samples be ta(en on a regular schedule !hese samples are ta(en at different locations along the mill line" from the coil entry to the finished product (see Figure 2) 4ome of the weld samples are unwelded' some are welded but have extrusions or upsets that are not removed or normali2ed' some are normali2ed and have upsets removed' and some are single-edge samples at various locations along the mill line (see Figure 3) Accurate" sharp delineation of the microstructure of the ERW weld sample in various conditions along the process line is important to characteri2e the si2e" shape" composition" and fault (if any) of the weld !he optics required to examine an ERW weld macro are not a ma3or capital investment compared to the optics required to examine an ERW weld micro !hese samples normally are examined metallographically either in the micro or macro condition 5icro samples differ from macro samples in the amount of time needed for examination" the number of finishing steps (grinding and polishing) performed" and the complexity of the examination 6sually" a sample is prepared in the macro condition" acid-etched" and examined first under a microscope at approximately %* power magnification #reparing and evaluating the sample ta(es five to /* minutes .
Figure 3 !his normal ERW tube and pipe weld geometry has the weld bead upset removed $f additional examination is required or requested" such as in the micro condition" the sample should be mounted and finished :inishing a sample to the micro condition ta(es about an hour !he author is not familiar with any commercially available device that attaches to the microscope to aid in the measurement of flow line angles !here is" however" a generic design available that wor(s well with several microscopes Also" a layout and listing of recommended equipment for a weld lab station is available A tube and pipe manufacturer that is required to produce a product to a specification or customer requirement" for example" with a specific grain si2e and grain count" and no untempered martensite" must be equipped to perform the appropriate sampling procedures .
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