Although widely employed as structural components in the auto industry, spot welded sheet metal beams manifest static and dynamic behavior that is not well characterized. For the present study, sample beams of three representative cross-sections—hat, box and box with partition—were fabricated of sheet steel. The spacing between the spot welds that hold these sections together was varied from 25.4 mm (1 in.) to 203.2 mm (8 in.) using a 25.4 mm (1 in.) increment. The beams were subjected to static bending and static torsion tests, and bending and torsional stiffnesses were determined as functions of spot weld spacing. The beams were then vibrated, and significant lower natural frequencies were determined as functions of spot weld spacing. Mode shapes were also observed for these frequencies. Pains were taken throughout the testing to ensure that the results obtained were of good statistical quality. Work was also done to distinguish the effect on results of beam length and end conditions from that of spot weld spacing. As part of the study finite element models of the beams were constructed. The results of finite element analysis (FEA) and experiment are compared, and insights are offered concerning the appropriate modeling of such structures. © 1995 ASME.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Publication Status

Available Access

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1528-8935; 1087-1357

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2024 American Society of Mechanical Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1995