Heavy-Duty Arc Stud Welding with Large Diameter Studs

Stud welding as a manufacturing operation can be divided into two general categories: capacitor discharge (CD) and drawn arc. CD stud welding is most effective for smaller dimension studs and pins. These fasteners can be used for anything from electrical enclosures to insulation installation. They also often range in materials, including metals like steel, copper, aluminum, brass, and bronze. Drawn arc welding, on the other hand, is capable of installing large diameter studs and heavy-duty load-bearing connectors that can take on shear and tensile stress. Drawn arc welding is most often used in the construction of multistory buildings, bridges, and other large structures. Whether you’re using CD welding or drawn arc stud welding on your job site, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) can help. We provide a complete selection of welding supplies, such as studs, accessories, tools for rent or purchase, and the support of our own expert technicians.

Arc Stud Welding

For manufacturers working with drawn arc stud welding and larger diameter studs, NFS supplies include fully and partially threaded studs, headed anchor studs, shear connectors, and deformed bar anchors. On special request, we can also provide custom-dimension studs for various arc welding applications.

In general, most large-dimension arc studs will meet the following specifications:

  • Sizes: Fully threaded studs and partially threaded studs are made with a diameter of ½” and lose ⅛” of length after welding. Before welding, their lengths range from ¾” to 2 ½”. Their threading ranges from ¼-20 and 1-8. Headed bar anchors range in diameter between ⅜” and ⅞”. Their length will also reduce by ⅛” after welding, but prior to a weld, will range between 1 ⅛” and 10 ⅛” After a weld, shear connectors reduce in length by 3/16″ or ⅜” in thru-deck operations. Before a weld, they are available between 4 ¼” and 10 ¼” in length. Shear connectors come with diameters of ¾” or ⅞”. Deformed bar anchors are made with diameters between ½” and ⅝”. Their lengths reduce by ⅛” after a weld and before range from 8 ⅛” and 48 ⅛”.
  • Materials: Compared to CD studs, drawn arc studs are fabricated from a smaller range of materials. Most are available in mild steel or stainless steel, although some are standardized for low carbon steel.
  • Applications: Because drawn arc studs are larger in dimension, they are typically used in heavy duty applications. This includes structural welding with thru-decking, beam connection, and composite construction for buildings, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Arc studs can also provide powerful, seal-tight connections that are important in shipbuilding, aerospace, and even automotive manufacturing.


If you’re working with arc stud welding for any application, you can find the type of stud, dimensions, and materials needed with NFS. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online for more information today.

Applications of the Stud Welding Process for the Marine Industry and Navy

For over 100 years, stud welding has been a mainstay of the marine industry and for a wide variety of naval vessels. The first uses of stud welding to build seaworthy ships began in the early 1900s after World War I. Since then, stud welding technology has continued to prove itself to be extremely valuable for improved efficiency, cost, and safety in the construction of steel ships. Both drawn arc operations with large dimension studs and capacitor discharge (CD) operations with thinner studs and pins are used extensively across modern ships. From the internal and external skeletons of mammoth freighters to the thin insulation fasteners used in living quarters, stud welding is a critical component of marine fabrication. If you’re working with ship construction of any size, you can find a complete range of supplies for any stud welding process with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We offer a comprehensive range of studs, welding tools, accessories, and technical support for any project, big or small.

Stud Welding Process

The stud welding process is such an important part of shipbuilding because it offers a quick, clean connection point that is stronger than the surface material and stud put together. Stud installation also only requires access to a single side of the work surface, and it provides a complete seal unlike riveting and bolting.

Stud Welding in the Marine Industry and Navy

History: Two of the earliest examples of all-welded ships were the Fullagar and the MS Carolinian. The Fullagar is considered to be the first fully welded ship that was worthy of coastal sea travel. It was completed in 1920 in Birkenhead, Great Britain. Even after collisions that would have sunk a rivet-built ship, the Fullagar operated under several names for over 15 years.

The MS Carolinian was the first all-welded American motor ship, completed in South Carolina in 1930. An internal combustion engine, 226-ton tanker storage, and fully welded body allowed the Carolinian to be one of the first modern merchant freighter vessels.

Vessels: Since those first all-welded vessels were constructed, thousands of other designs and ship specifications were made possible through the use of stud welding, among other advancements. Today, there are hundreds of applications of stud welding throughout a vessel. Heat shields, power steering, exhaust systems, and multiple other mechanical systems of a ship are built with studs. Additionally, the decking and many parts of a ship’s exterior are fortified with steel stud connectors.

Shipboard: Onboard a naval vessel, freighter, or other mid- to large-size ship, stud welding is also heavily used. It’s a manufacturing operation that can install insulation throughout crew quarters and other living spaces, in food grade equipment in kitchens, on technical equipment, electrical enclosures, and even furniture. The list goes on and on for shipboard equipment built with stud welding operations.


A single freighter or naval vessel can have upward of one million welded studs. To learn more about those applications and how the stud welding process is used across industries, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Application of Stainless Steel and Studs for Food-Grade Welding

Over the last 100 years, huge leaps have been made in the global food supply chain and the protection of food safety. The first federal regulations that began our national food safety journey started as early as 1906 with the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Later, the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957, the Egg Products Inspection Act of 1970, and several other hallmark legal changes were made to our food supply system. In more recent years, the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 began to shift the focus of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from reacting to events of foodborne illness to instead working actively to prevent those occurrences. There are many ways our food industry can work to reduce, and eventually eliminate, outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, including in the design and construction of food-grade equipment. Food service equipment from the factory floor to commercial kitchens can all see vast improvements to hygiene when they are built with stainless steel and stud welding operations. Stud welding is one of the most sanitary manufacturing operations when it comes to food safe assemblies. If you’re working with food-grade welding for any type of service equipment, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies and tools you need to get the job done. We provide a comprehensive selection of welding studs, accessories, tools for rent and purchase, and the expertise of our own welding technicians.

Food-Grade Welding

There are many aspects to food-grade manufacturing, including eliminating the risk of harborage by removing nooks and crannies, building in full washdown capabilities for sanitation, utilizing anti-microbial materials, and sealing all connection points.

Building with stud welding and stainless steel goes a long way in establishing food service and industrial food processing equipment as “food quality.” Both stainless steel and the use of studs as fasteners are significant components of food-grade welding under FDA and NSF/ANSI regulations.

FDA and NSF/ANSI Compliant

Both the FDA and NSF/ANSI work to regulate different sections of the food industry to support safety and quality. This ranges from daily practices of manufacturers to the sourcing and distribution of materials.

1. Fasteners: All types of fasteners for food equipment should meet strict FDA and NSF/ANSI specifications. Fasteners must be made from noncorrosive materials that can seal, rather than bolt, framework. Because of this, studs are an ideal fastening system for food-grade equipment. Not only does it seal a surface permanently, it can also be installed with access to only one side of a work surface and result in a clean, low profile connection.

2. Materials: Studs can readily be used to connect frameworks made from stainless steel parts, sheeting, and other components. Stainless steel is fortified against corrosion and can offer a highly sanitary, low-microbe work surface for food preparation.

Whether you are building with food-grade welding or another application of stud welding, we can help. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online for more information about food safety and our supplies.