Sheet Metal Distortion


The sheet metal is distorted if it is deformed such that the weld interface is out of the plane of the sheet metal, or if any of the sheets are displaced from their original plane.


Examples of Distortion

The weld is not in the plane of the surrounding metal (see Fig. 1). This condition is caused by the electrode faces not being parallel to the workpiece. Therefore, the application of welding force and current cause the weld to be made at an angle (A in Fig. 1) to the plane of the interface (out of plane condition).

Out of Plane Sheet Metal Distortion - Production Engineering

Fig. 1. Out of plane condition

The metals being welded do not have intimate contact in the area to be welded. The application of welding force and current causes one or both sheets to distort toward one another (poor fit-up).

Poor Fit Sheet Metal Distortion - Production Engineering

Fig. 2. Poor fit-up

The weld is offset from the plane (or planes) of the metals to be welded (see Figs. 2 and 3).

Offset Sheet Metal Distortion - Production Engineering

Fig. 3. Weld offset from metal plane


Detection is typically made by a postweld visual inspection of the work piece.


Quality, Workplace Issues, Cost, Downtime, Maintenance, Throughput (cycle time; PPH) are all potentially affected by this condition. Special considerations are noted below:


  • Thinning of the metal in the distorted weld area may cause a distorted weld to be weaker than a nondistorted weld.
  • The distorted area may not meet the surface appearance requirements.
  • Flange distortion may adversely affect application of rubber seals.

Possible Causes

Strong Possibilities

Weak Possibilities

Note: Also see Mislocated/Edge Welds.

Sheet Metal Distortion

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