Understanding the Sanitary Properties of Effective Food-Grade Welding

Using stud-welding operations for fabrication in many industries provides several benefits to manufacturers. Not only is stud welding a quick fastening process that results in a powerful connection point, it also provides clean results without marking the other side of the weld surface or creating rough finishes. Stud welding is useful to many manufacturers working in large-scale construction, heavy-duty composite building, thin pin installation, and even food equipment production. For food equipment, in particular, capacitor discharge (CD) stud welding supports sanitation regulations and hygiene standards for the food production, packaging, and processing industries. If you’re using studs for food-grade welding operations, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies you need. We provide a broad range of tools for rent or purchase, studs in a complete range of dimensions with custom options available, and a full selection of stud welding accessories. Our team of expert welding technicians can also provide advice and information, and our tool repair services eliminate excess production downtime.


Via the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established many guidelines and requirements for every player in the food industry, from farms to food equipment manufacturers. Rules for food-grade welding were also outlined in this act. These rules set specific requirements for finished surfaces, connection points, materials, and all other aspects of manufactured food equipment.


Some basic requirements the FSMA sets for stud-welded food service equipment include:


  1. Sharps and burrs should be eliminated to prevent microscopic cavities that can house bacteria. When stud welds are performed correctly, there is no risk of micro burrs or sharps around the connection point. Too hot or too cold welds can, respectively, leave molten splatter and burrs, or create a slight ledge underneath the stud.
  2. Materials that are too dissimilar should not be used. While multiple kinds of materials can be welded together in other applications of stud welding, food-grade products should typically be limited to stainless steel or other treated metals that will hold up to corrosion.
  3. Internal corners and angles should be radiused. The FDA requires fabricators to manufacture designs that only use internal angles and corners so that exterior angles are softened and easy to fully sanitize. Sharper angles create crevices for bacteria and other cross-contamination to hide and be difficult to reach even when equipment is fully washed down.
  4. Surfaces should be manufactured without overstressing. When welding is not performed correctly, material surfaces can be overstressed, leading to corrosion, cracking, reduction of protective surfaces, and many other problems that compromise food safety. Accurately applied welds will protect food safety and prevent cross-contamination in the long term.


In addition to these requirements, stud welding also makes it possible for manufacturers to support the rule that frameworks should always be sealed and never bolted.


To learn more about food-grade welding and our supply of stud welding equipment, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Building Electrical Enclosures with CD Stud Welding

Electrical enclosures protect delicate circuitry, wiring, and other electronics susceptible to moisture, dust, and many other contaminants. For industries where electrical enclosures need to be installed in areas that are exposed to damaging elements, stud welding is a critical operation that allows manufacturers to build clean, secure systems that eliminate the risk of many contaminants. With stud welding, fabricators can build quickly and efficiently, installing threaded studs, bar anchors, shear connectors, and many other stud formats. Stud connection points are stronger than the stud or surface material, ensuring little risk of a stress failure. If you’re using stud welding in any project, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the tools and supplies you need. We provide a complete selection of tools for rent or purchase, studs in various dimensions, custom stud options, and full welding accessories for drawn arc, short cycle, and CD stud welding.

CD stud welding, in particular, is an important operation for the fabrication of electrical enclosures. Because CD stud welding creates secure, powerful connections with small diameter studs, CD operations are ideal for many types of electrical enclosures. These welding operations also leave no marks on the back of a weld surface, no matter how thin the surface is. This means CD studs can be hidden in the fabrication of clean builds.

Levels of Enclosures

Electrical enclosures meet varying levels of protection, from a simple box installed indoors to rugged casings that keep out heavy contaminants. These levels of protection are based on the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standards.

  1.  First-level enclosures are used indoors to protect people in the vicinity from exposure to hazardous components. These enclosures are simple boxes, such as a household switch box, that encase building circuit switches and keep out a low level of dust and other solid contaminants.
  2. Second-level enclosures can be used either indoors or outdoors to provide protective cases for nearby people; and they keep out low levels of dirt, windblown solid objects, and some degree of water from rain, snow, and ice. These enclosures also protect electronics from ice formation on the exterior of the case.
  3. Third-level enclosures are typically used outdoors to protect nearby people and keep out elements of weather—such as dust, ice on the casing, and corrosion—to a greater degree than second-level boxes. They are not required to be dust-tight or have ventilation systems.
  4. Fourth-level enclosures have the same protective features as third-level casings but to a greater degree, and they are required to be dust- and water-tight. These enclosures can be used in areas where they will be exposed to full water spray for short periods of time, such as in food processing equipment that is washed down and sanitized regularly.
  5. Fifth-level enclosures are fully sealed against water, dust, and other contaminants. They protect nearby people from hazardous parts, and they generally include some form of ventilation system.

CD stud welding is often used in manufacturing all types of electrical enclosures. To learn more about our CD stud welding supplies and more, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

International Standards for Stud Welding Supplies and Operations

Industrial standards for manufacturing operations, equipment, facilities, worker safety, materials used, and all other aspects of large-scale production work have developed over time since the turn of the 19th century. Today, industrial standards are highly regulated with hundreds of different certifications, licenses, and requirements that manufacturers and processors can meet to exhibit the quality of their products and the reliability of their practices. In the stud welding industry, many resources help companies receive certifications and follow the best standards available internationally. As a comprehensive supplier of stud welding supplies, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) follows international standards, including the ISO 9001:2015 certification for quality management systems.

ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001:2015 standards require an industrial facility to demonstrate its ability to consistently offer services and products that meet its customers’ needs and improve customer satisfaction while adhering to applicable regulations and requirements. This is a generic ISO standard, but there are thousands of other ISO certifications, including ones that apply to the welding industry and stud welding supplies.

For stud welding, including drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle operations, one international standard that gets into specifics is ISO 13918:2017.

ISO 13918:2017

This ISO standard applies to the use of studs and ceramic ferrules in drawn arc welding. It can be used to cover standards for other metalworking industries, but it’s most useful for arc stud welding processes. ISO 13918 covers requirements for using stud types and ferrules, including dimensions, mechanical properties, and materials used.

Details apply to fully-threaded, partially-threaded, and virtually-threaded studs as well as threaded studs with flanges, studs with internal threads, and threaded studs with reduced shafts. Regulations also cover shear connectors and insulation pins.

Ceramic Ferrules

In addition, these standards cover the use of ceramic ferrules that contain molten metal at the connection point. Because ferrules need to be removed easily after the weld is performed, they need to follow strict rules for size, materials, and fabrication process.

ISO standards like 9001 and 13918 provide important guidelines for everyone in the stud welding industry. By following internationally accepted industry standards, companies are able to provide better services and products to their customers; operators can perform safer, long-lasting welds; and parts manufacturers can fabricate tools, studs, and welding accessories in universal formats.

To learn more about our services and full selection of stud welding supplies for drawn arc, CD, and short cycle operations, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.