Nickel Plated Electrodes for Spot Welding Aluminum 760167
A new type plated electrode has been developed which shows considerable promise for spot welding mill finish and mechanically cleaned aluminum sheet. This electrode consists of preconditioning the tips of regular Class I and Class II electrodes followed by an inexpensive electroplating of dull nickel. Laboratory data has shown that 2000 spots can be made on mill finished 2036 aluminum using this plated electrode.
On wirebrushed 5182-0, 3750 welds were made before failure occurred. This represents a significant increase in tip life compared to tests run using regular copper electrodes.
The paper gives details as to how the nickel plated electrodes were developed. This includes results from evaluating other electrode plating and capping materials. The results of tests run using the plated electrodes are included as part of the paper, as well as a discussion as to why the nickel plating works when spot welding aluminum.