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WE602 Fundamentals of Resistance Welding Processes

You got an introduction to resistance welding in the required course (WE601).  But will you be going into the automotive or appliance or electronics or aerospace industries after graduation?  Resistance welding is a very common process in each of these industries, so an elective three course sequence has been developed to help you gain more insight into this very valuable process.  This course (WE602) concentrates on the resistance welding processes.  How they work, how they are controlled and what things can go wrong are considered.  A laboratory (WE651) will also give you some “hands on” experience with resistance welding.  Finally, a second course in this series (WE702) will concentrate on the materials interactions and changes in properties that accompany resistance welding of parts.  Is this an area where you want to find employment?  Well, come on to this class and take part in the upper level undergraduate and graduate level discussions.



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The Fundamentals of the resistance welding process will be presented; distinctions made between variations in processes.  Emphasis will also be placed on process systems.


Grading Policy: Homework      20%

                          Midterm           40%

                           Final                40%


Course Outline:

Process Review & Safety (1 week)

Spot Welding (1.5 week)

Physics of Spot Welding

Heat Balance

Spot Weldability

Projection Welding (1.5 week)

                        Projection Welding Principles

                        Projection Physics

                        Projection Weldability

                        Solid Projections

                        Projection Equipment

            Seam Welding (1/3 week)

            Flash Butt Welding (1/3 week)

            Other Processes (1/3 week)

            Process Selection 1/3 week)

            Systems (2 weeks)

                        Electrodes and Tooling

                        Cooling & Mechanical Systems

                        Power Systems & Controls

                        Stored Energy Systems

            Codes & Standards (1/3 week)

            Monitoring & Feedback Control (1 week)

            Process Modeling

            Industrial Applications (1 week)


Contribution to Professional Component (Criterion 4) of ABET 2000:

            a)         Mathematics and Basic Science          0 Credits

            b)         Engineering                                         3 Credits

            c)         General Education                               0 Credits

Relationship of Course to Program Objectives:

1B       Apply the fundamental principles of science to analysis of physical phenomena

2A       Describe the basic operating theory of the various materials joining processes including arc, resistance, solid-state, and high energy density welding

2C       Understand materials principles and how materials are influences by joining processes.

3A       Establish welding procedures to guide production and welding personnel relative to specifications, materials, processes, design and testing.

Course Objective: Students will develop an understanding of various resistance welding processes used in commercial manufacturing.  An understanding of the process, power supplies, control (including microprocessor feedback control), and metallurgical variables will be obtained.

Learning Outcomes:  Students should be able to:

Understand the safe operation of resistance welding equipment and the uses of codes and standards to develop safe and economical welding procedures

Understand the similarities and differences between the various resistance welding processes, and the advantages and disadvantages relative to other processes

Understand the principles of heat generation in resistance welding processes, and develop procedures for solving heat balance problems

Trouble shoot the various systems in resistance welding equipment, including the mechanical the cooling, the power and the controlling systems

Understand the concept of resistance weldability and apply this in various industries including the automotive, appliance, electronic and aerospace applications


Course Lectures


Physics of Spot Welding

Heat Balance
Spot Weldability,Quality and Performance
Spot Weld Mechanical Properties
Spot Weld Mechanical Properties 2
Spot Weld Mechanical Properties 3
Spot Weld Mechanical Properties 4
Projection Welding
Physics of Projection Welding
Solid Projections
Projection Design & Equipment
Seam Welding
Flash/Butt Welding
Capacitor Discharge Welding
Stud Welding
High Frequency Induction Welding
Resistance Brazing
Microwelding & Hotstaking
Other Processes
Electrodes and Tooling
Cooling & Mechanical Systems
Power Systems
Stored Energy
Codes & Standards
Monitoring & Feedback Control
Process Modeling
Industrial Applications

Instructor Info

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David W. Dickinson


Phone: (614) 292-0801

Link to Bio-Sketch

Teaching and Research Interests:

Resistance Welding, Welding Metallurgy, Welding Project Management, Welding Production, Sensing and Control of Welding Processes, Welding Fume and Noise Studies, Educational Technology Development, Continuous Quality in Manufacturing and Educational Environments


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York

B.S. Materials Engineering, 1967

Ph.D. Materials Engineering, 1972

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Last edit: 03/31/2003

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