A linearized lumped parameter heat balance model was developed and is discussed for the general case of resistance welding to see the effects of each parameter on the lobe shape. The parameters include material properties, geometry of electrodes and work piece, weld time and current, and electrical and thermal contact characteristics. These are then related to heat dissipation in the electrodes and the work piece.The results indicate that the ratio of thermal conductivity and heat capacity to electrical resistivity is a characteristic number which is representative of the ease of spot weldability of a given material. The increases in thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the sheet metal increase the lobe width while increases in electrical resistivity decrease the lobe width.Inconsistencies in the weldability of thin sheets and the wider lobe width at long welding times can both be explained by the heat dissipation characteristics. These are mainly a function of the ratio of electrode diameter to the square of the work piece thickness.