Types of Ferrules and Their Applications with Drawn Arc Welding

As a broad category of manufacturing operations, stud welding has many applications. Even within the stud welding classification, there are various kinds of operations with specific applications and capabilities. Capacitor discharge stud welding, for example, is a rapid, lightweight weld best for studs with diameters under 3/8”. However, CD welding is extremely useful for quick, clean, and strong welds of smaller studs for a greater range of materials than other types of stud welding. Drawn arc welding, on the other hand, uses larger diameter studs for heavy industrial purposes and composite construction. No matter what kind of studs and applications you work with, Northland Fastening Systems has the tools, studs, accessories, and any other supplies you need. We also provide tool repair and maintenance for most models, and our own stud welding technicians offer expert advice for any project.

Drawn Arc Welding

If you’re working with drawn arc welding operations, you’re likely using ceramic ferrules. Ferrules are attached around the tip of the stud and control the flow of molten metal as the weld is performed. When a successful weld is completed, ferrules are quickly and cleanly removed with a hammer.


These ferrules are critical components of drawn arc stud fastening systems. Some common types of ferrules include:

  • Flat ferrule: These ferrules are some of the most commonly used standard ferrule types. They are used when welding to a horizontal, flat surface such as sheet metal and beams. Standard flat ferrules come in a range of diameters, thread specifications, profiles, and fillets.
  • Vertical ferrule: Vertical ferrules are another standard ferrule type with specifications that are similar to flat ferrules. The main difference is that these are used when welding on a vertical surface. A vertical ferrule has a ring of half-teeth and half-solid ceramics to prevent molten metal from spilling through the teeth on the bottom while the weld is being performed.
  • Inside angle ferrule: Angled ferrules are used to install studs at varying angles, determined by the ferrule shape. Standard inside angle ferrules are typically used to install studs at a 90º angle.
  • Outside angle ferrule: These ferrules are used to contain molten metal and install studs on the opposite side of inside angle ferrules.
  • Side angle ferrule: Like inside angle ferrules, side angle ferrules are used to install studs at specific degrees. Side angles are almost always used to install studs at 45º.
  • Thru-hole decking ferrule: Studs that will be installed through decking to a steel beam use thru-hole decking ferrules with teeth wider than most standard ferrules. The wider space between ferrule teeth allows for more shielding gas and atmospheric exposure to create a hotter weld.
  • Specialty ferrules: There are many types of specialty ferrules, from aluminum welding ferrules to hydraulic port ferrules. A variety of more frequently-used specialty ferrules include radius, reduced base, thru-bore, rectangular, and square ferrules.

To learn more about ferrules and drawn arc welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online to get started with us today.

Highlighting Our Video Resources for Stud Welding Equipment

Northland Fastening Systems provides a complete supply of stud welding equipment to the construction and industrial markets, including tools for rent or purchase, studs in a wide range of dimensions, custom stud options, welding accessories, maintenance and repairs, and the expert advice of our own welding technicians.

Stud Welding Equipment

To provide some technical support and highlight tools and operations, we produce a variety of stud welding equipment media content. This includes the following videos that can be found on the NFS YouTube channel:

Stud gun check:

This video demonstrates checking a standard type of welding gun to determine if cleaning or other services are required. If you do require tool maintenance, take advantage of our services for most stud welding gun models.

Studs welded on top of each other:

This video showcases shooting 3/4” x 6 and 3/16” studs onto a weld surface and then welding an additional stud directly on top of the first, both using drawn arc welding systems.

CD stud welding quality:

This video shows the inspection of a CD welding unit, cable set, and weld results for quality control. Visual and mechanical diagnostics are done to show the strength of the weld.

CDi 502 demo:

This video demonstrates using a CDi welding unit, including covering the strength, pressure, sizing, time, release, and cost.

KARE11 commercial:

In 2019, NFS was featured in a North American Banking Company commercial. The commercial highlights NFS as a family-owned, long-standing business offering services and supplies to a global industry.

Automation stud welding:

This video demonstrates the versatility of the automation tool QUICK BOY and the rapid operations it allows.

NFS Stud Welding Automation:

This stylized video shows the power and speed our automated systems can provide on a production line.

HBS Visar 650 with 150’ of cable:

This video shows that the HBS VISAR 650 can be used effectively with cable lengths upwards of 150 feet on a fabrication site.

HBS VISAR 650 highlight:

This video further demonstrates the specifications, features, and operation of the VISAR 650 drawn arc welding unit.

Headed anchor stud welding:

This video shows an example of how headed bar anchors can be attached quickly with strong results.

Automated CD stud welding:

  • This video demonstrates the speed and precision of an automated CD machine with a VBZ-3 stud feeder.

Stud welding nameplate studs:

This video shows an example of a break-off nameplate stud and how those specialty studs are attached easily and quickly with CD welders.

Weld thrudeck stud welding:

This video shows an operator performing thru-decking fastening of studs with a drawn arc tool.

NFS CD stud welding:

This video demonstrates CD stud welding with a chuck and collet system using an HBS CDi 1502 unit.

For more information about the content shown in these videos, our team, or about our stud welding equipment, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770, or request a quote online to get started with us today.

Thru-Decking Procedures for Structural Steel Welding

Drawn arc stud welding operations are used extensively in the construction industry. Not only do drawn arc studs function as fastening systems for sheet metal fabrication, construction equipment manufacturing, and structural steel manufacturing, they are also used to build large-scale infrastructure with composite building. With drawn arc shear connectors, bar anchors, and other studs, manufacturers can build composite materials. Stud welding offers a rapid, clean operation that results in a connection stronger than the stud or the welding surface. At Northland Fastening Systems, we provide a complete selection of drawn arc welding tools, studs, and accessories. We also provide repairs and service for most welding tool models, and our expert welding technicians can give guidance and advice on any project. If you’re working with drawn arc structural steel welding, NFS is your one-stop-shop for supplies.

Structural Steel Welding

One of the most important uses of drawn arc operations for structural steel welding is the thru-deck installation process. Weld thru-decking (studs abbreviated WTD) fastens decking material to steel beams. Building with decking welded to beams is a common construction practice, used to fabricate components in many types of buildings, from homes to skyscrapers.

In order to accurately attach studs through decking to the beam underneath, specific welding procedures should be followed.

Surface Preparation

Both the surface of your decking material and the steel beams should be properly prepared for a weld. This means removing any paint, rust, mill scale, dirt, moisture, and other contaminants. Galvanized surfaces on beams should have the galvanization removed at the weld point. Moisture from rain or humidity should be dried with a heat gun at the weld point. Additionally, if you are welding in cold weather, the weld point should be warmed to the touch but not overheated.


Finally, the decking and beam should be properly grounded to prevent loss of welding current. Using C-clamps or welding grounds attached to a beam flange where the surface has been ground to bare metal will prevent poor weld connections due to inadequate current.

Weld Specifications

Thru-deck welding requires currents typically between 1,500 to 1,900 amps. Your welding unit manual will specify the exact power source requirements determined by stud dimensions, decking thickness, and materials. Keep in mind that extensions of cables and changes to wire size can impact the current and compromise a weld. If you must run a long cable, you may need to run parallel cables to generate enough power for the weld site.


Thru-deck welding requires a special ceramic ferrule with wider gaps between teeth. These gaps allow for a hotter weld that can successfully fuse the stud through the decking to the steel beam. Most thru-decking welds will take between 0.8 to 1.6 seconds to fuse, and studs will plunge approximately 1/4″ to 1/2” depending on their length and decking thickness.

If you would like more information about drawn arc structural steel welding with thru-decking or need to order supplies, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.