Finite Element Modeling of Spot Weld Connections In Crash Applications 2004-01-0691
Spot welding is the primary joining method used for the construction of the automotive body structure made of steel. A major challenge in the crash simulation today is the lack of a simple yet reliable modeling approach to characterize spot weld separation. In this paper, an attempt has been made to develop a spot weld modeling methodology to characterize spot weld separation in crash simulation. A generalized two-node spring element with 6 DOF at each node is used to characterize the spot weld nugget. To represent the connection of the nugget with the surrounding plates, tied contacts are defined between the spring element nodes and the shell elements of the plate. Three general separation criteria are proposed for the spot weld that include the effects of speed and coupled loading conditions. The separation criteria are implemented into a commercially available explicit finite element code. A simple and direct method of determining modeling parameters of spot weld from component test data is also discussed.