Applications and Benefits of Structural Steel Welding

Skyscrapers and other multistory buildings are known for their use of powerful steel beams, like the one showcased in the famous Lunch Atop a Skyscraper photograph. While these large buildings rely on structural steel for their construction, those materials are also used in many different industries. From general manufacturing to the aerospace industry, structural steel is often included in the products themselves or in the machinery that gets the job done. For several applications that use steel beams, stud welding is a critical fastening system that provides strong, clean connection points quickly and efficiently. Shear connectors, bar anchors, and several other stud types are significant supplies for composite building with steel beams, but there are other types of structural steel welding that utilize stud welding equipment. If you’re stud welding structural steel, you can find everything you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS has a comprehensive supply of welding tools for rent and purchase, studs, accessories, and more.

Structural Steel Welding

Welding with studs like shear connectors and bar anchors is an often-overlooked part of what makes constructing and manufacturing with beams and other structural steel possible. While the primary use of steel is in the construction industry, the material and stud welding systems are also used in the shipbuilding, automotive, mining, aerospace, energy, and manufacturing industries.

Structural Steel Welding is a Large Part of Global Infrastructure.

Because structural steel is used so heavily throughout industries, it’s a large part of global infrastructure. Aside from buildings, studs make up a large part of composite construction, allowing for the building of bridges, roads, pipelines, and mines.

Stud welding is the best fastening system in existence for steel and composite construction. Not only is it cost-effective and fast, but it also creates a bond stronger than the stud itself. Stud welding has a better appearance than most other attachment techniques, leaving the reserve weld surface mark-free.

Major benefits

Other major benefits of stud welding with steel include the fact that workers only need access to one side of the work surface and that a stud-welded connection is leak-proof and resistant to corrosion. Alternative fastening systems like rivets require access to two sides of a surface, and rivets have a tendency to fail or loosen over time. Studs will not require replacement when the weld is performed correctly and is operating within expected parameters.

Stud welding units like the Tru-Weld TW 6902 and many others on the market are perfect for job sites where structural steel construction takes place. They are portable and robust for easy transportation, and they are also extremely easy for operators to learn and operate.

Overall, when building with structural steel and composite construction, stud welding should be your choice for fastening systems. For more information about supplies for structural steel welding, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.





Part 2: Attaching Welding Studs to Advanced High-Strength Steel Automotive Surfaces

Part 1 of this two-part blog series covers the development of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS), also known as automotive steel, and the first-generation AHSS categories, which includes a brief description of first-generation ferrite and martensite-based steels such as DP, MS, CP, and TRIP steels. In Part 2, we  cover second-generation steels and the use of AHSS in the automotive industry. Since the beginning of AHSS development in the 1990s, these materials have slowly begun to replace various steel and aluminum components in multiple vehicles. In many instances, AHSS offers a higher crash resistance than aluminum and is lighter than other steels, making vehicles both safer and more efficient. As with aluminum and any other steel parts, many AHSS components of modern vehicles are constructed with stud weld fastening systems. Stud welding is a mainstay in automotive manufacturing. Not only does it provide a powerful, clean connection point that can be quickly installed, it’s also cost-effective, leak-proof, and only requires access to one side of a work surface. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), we work with multiple customers in the automotive industry to supply welding studs, accessories, and other equipment.

Welding Studs

Fastening welding studs to AHSS surfaces requires an understanding of the correct stud materials and dimensions, as well as tool and power calibration, but it can easily be done. Many manufacturers working with AHSS have quickly transitioned their stud welding technicians to these newer materials.

AHSS Material

The second generation of AHSS materials are based on austenitic microstructures. Current second-generation high-strength steels include:

  • TWIP steel: Twinning-induced plasticity (TWIP) steel has excellent mechanical properties at room temperatures. It is highly resistant to corrosion with outstanding strength and energy absorption greater than twice the ability of previously used steels.
  • L-IP steel: Lightweight with induced plasticity (L-IP) steel is a lighter version of other TWIP steels. They are high-manganese alloys that have high-impact resistance and stretch, forming properties ideal for automotive parts.
  • SIP steel: Shear band formation-induced plasticity (SIP) steel is another material based on TWIP alloys. When shear band force is applied to SIP steel, structures are actually strengthened in the austenitic matrix.

AHSS in Welding Studs

Both first- and second- generation AHSS types are utilized in the manufacturing of vehicles ranging from daily drivers to public transportation. Not only are these steels stronger than conventional steels and aluminum, they are also lighter, more sustainable, and even more affordable than previously used materials. These steels are utilized in modern vehicle parts that will absorb shear force, high-energy resonance, shock, load bearing, and many other critical components.

If you’re working with AHSS in the automotive industry, or any other application such as aircraft, shipbuilding, or general manufacturing, stud welding is likely one of your primary fastening systems. For more information about our supply of welding studs and other equipment, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Part 1: Attaching Welding Studs to Advanced High-Strength Steel Automotive Surfaces

The earliest forms of welding, dating as far back as 1,800 BCE, forged basic bronze and irons into various weapons and tools. Over the centuries, more sophisticated uses of metal developed, such as the pattern welding used to make Damascus steel and Japanese swords. When electricity was harnessed in the 1800s, resistance-welding technology was quick to advance. Today, we have many resistance-welding techniques and other arc-welding operations that utilize electricity to heat metals. Stud welding is one of many modern operations that use specifically calibrated electrical currents to fuse metals. While it’s implemented extensively throughout multiple industries, stud welding is also a frequently used fastening technique in the automotive industry. In the past 10 years, car companies have replaced a large number of other steel and aluminum stud welded parts with advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) due to its weight and crash resistance. If you’re working with AHSS and welding studs, you can find all the supplies and technical support you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS).

Welding Studs

NFS offers a complete supply of drawn arc and CD studs, welding tools for rent and purchase, accessories, and the advice of our own welding technicians. We also provide repair services for the majority of stud welding models.

Because one of the most prevalent uses of AHSS is for automotive parts, the different types of those materials are often discussed and classified as automotive steels with a minimum tensile strength of 440 MPa.

Welding Studs with AHSS Materials

There are two generations of AHSS materials. The first generation of AHSS includes ferrite and martensite-based steels, while the second-generation group are steels based on austenitic microstructures. Attaching welding studs of any dimensions to an AHSS work surface requires an understanding of the steel itself.

  • DP Steel: Dual-phase (DP) steel is a first-generation ferrite-based steel category. DP’s high-strength steel grades have low-yield strength to tensile strength ratios, high-fatigue resistance, and uniform elongation properties.
  • MS Steel: Martensitic (MS) steel is a first-generation stainless steel alloy. It can be tempered and hardened with heat treatments to become highly durable, wear-resistant, and strong in mechanical applications.
  • CP Steel: Complex-phase (CP) steels are extremely fine-grained with micro ferrite structures. They have high work-hardening properties, high-fatigue strengths, wear-resistance, and can absorb high energy resonance.
  • TRIP steel: Similar to CP steel, transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) steel has a high-yield strength for first-generation steels. Their microstructures of austenite can be transformed to martensite structures when bearing load or being deformed.


In the second part of this two-part blog, we discuss second-generation AHSS steels and all AHSS applications in the automotive industry. If you’re working with welding studs on an AHSS work surface or any other materials, you can find the supplies you need with NFS. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.