History of Sheet Metal and Arc Stud Welding

While general welding dates back to the Bronze Age, the history of stud welding is much more recent. The first stud welding operations were developed in the early 1900s in the shipbuilding industry. Those early operations were rudimentary compared to the capabilities of stud welding today. Modern stud welding can be done manually on a jobsite or in an automated capacity in the manufacturing facility. Either way a weld is performed, when done correctly, it will generate a connection point that is clean and stronger than both the stud and surface material. Stud welding is used across industries from the automotive sector to food service supplies. Whatever kind of project you’re working on, you can find all the stud welding supplies you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS has a complete supply of materials for capacitor discharge (CD), short cycle, and drawn arc stud welding, including studs, tools, accessories, and even repairs.

ARC Stud Welding

One of the main reasons why arc stud welding and other stud welding operations are used so prevalently across industries is because of their compatibility with sheet metal and the fasteners used to build with those materials.

Arc Stud Welding Uses

Sheet metal has its own large range of specifications, such as thickness, material type, manufacturing technique, and surface treatments. Even with this range, however, stud welding is often a useful operation for attaching sheeting to other structures, fixing studs and other fasteners to sheeting surfaces, and thru-deck welding to connect sheeting to steel beams.

Uses for Sheet Metal

Humans have used sheets of metal for centuries. The oldest metal sheets were hand-hammered and used for both decorative and functional purposes. The first idea for a rolling mill is credited to Leonardo da Vinci from a sketch drawn c. 1485, but the first recorded accounts of water-powered sheet-rolling mills didn’t occur until the early 1500s. Check out the following timeline:

  1. 1485: Leonardo da Vinci makes several sketches detailing his idea for a rolling mill.
  2. Early 1500s: Some records show two rolling mill designs that were used to make gold sheeting for coins.
  3. 1600s: The use of a puddling technique for sheet metal was used. This method is somewhat effective, but often loses over half of the iron content into the sand bed while the metal is molten. The puddling method was used to make metal sheets that are part of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.
  4. Late 1600s: The first tests of rolling iron to make tinplate occurred around 1670. Ironmaster Major John Hanbury built rolling mills for tinplate and black plate.
  5. Late 1700s and the Industrial Revolution: The beginning of modern sheet metal manufacturing began during the industrial revolution. The first iron casting techniques were developed in the early 1700s. By the time of the industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century, rolling and casting sheet metal processes began to be perfected.


Today, many applications of arc stud welding and sheet metal are used across the manufacturing world. To learn more about the stud welding supplies we provide, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.