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Technical Paper

Effect of Weld Pitch Variation on the Performance of a Two-Piece Spot-Welded Body Structure

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of spot weld spacing on the stiffness and natural frequency of a two-piece welded body structure. The variation in spot weld spacing may occur either by design or due to assembly mistakes. In this study, rectangular beam cross sections with six different weld flange orientations are first considered. Finite element analysis is performed to compare the fundamental frequencies of these sections in bending and torsion. Weld pitch and sheet thickness are varied on two of the sections considered, namely the L-shaped and the clamshell sections. The effects of spot weld spacing on the bending stiffness, torsional stiffness, frequency response and mode shapes of these two sections are determined. Comparisons are made with seam welded sections. It is shown that the torsional stiffness and first torsional frequency can be severely affected by weld pitch, but the effect on the bending performance is not as severe.