Finite Element Simulation of the Process of Aluminum Alloy Resistance Spot Welding

In this paper, an axis-symmetric finite element analysis (FEA) model for the resistance spot welding (RSW) of aluminum alloys is developed using the FEA software ANSYS. It accounts for the interactions of mechanical, electrical and thermal phenomena. The coupled analysis is accomplished through the cycles of contact analysis and electrical-thermal analysis. In order to perform the coupled mechanical-electrical-thermal analysis, the relationship for contact electrical resistivity as a function of contact pressure and temperature is proposed, and the phase change due to melting is also accounted for. At the same time, temperature-dependent variable material properties are used to the simulation. In addition, the coupled analysis also includes the effect of distortion on the electrical-thermal analysis.
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