Construction Welding and Shear Connector Facts

One of the main reasons why composite construction holds the strength it does for applications like road, bridge, and building fabrication is because of stud welding. Stud welding with shear connectors and bar anchors allows workers to connect concrete to steel beams and other girders. For most large-scale construction projects, composite construction is a key component of building with accurate, durable, and long-lasting designs. For any stud construction welding needs, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies to get the job done. From studs in a complete range of dimensions and custom options available to welding tools for rent or purchase, NFS is a comprehensive resource for stud-welding supplies. In addition to a full range of tools, studs, and accessories, our welding technicians can provide tool repairs and give guidance for best practices in whatever you’re working on.

Stud Welding in Construction

Stud welding in composite construction is performed with drawn arc operations to install fasteners that form structural connections between steel beams and concrete slabs. Most applications can hold loads up to 1,000 kg/m², which is much higher than composite applications that don’t rely on stud welding.

Shear Connectors

Shear connectors are the most critical component of a composite construction when bonding concrete and steel beams. They completely impact the effectiveness, ergonomics, speed, stability, and safety of a composite construction. In hindsight of examining bridge collapses, severe road damage, and other failures, we’ve determined that the correct application or use of shear connectors often could have prevented the incident.

Construction Welding

When using shear connector studs in construction welding, drawn arc currents range from 240 to 3,000 amps and a ceramic ferrule is used to prevent issues like splatter, burring, slagging, and brittle welds. Shear studs are typically low-carbon steel, but they can be applied in stainless steel when protection from corrosion is necessary. When welded, the length of a shear connector is reduced by about 5 mm.

Stud Welding in Composite Construction

The reason why the incorporation of stud-welding techniques in composite construction is so effective is because the installed studs resist shear force. Shear force runs parallel to the cross section of a road, bridge, or other composite structure. That impact creates significant strain on inflexible construction, but longitudinal shear connectors allow the concrete and beam composite to bend and resonate with the stress, increasing durability.

Installation of Shear Connectors

The correct installation of shear connectors prevents the concrete slab from separating from the steel beam as they both bend from stress. Shear connectors should be installed on a clean deck surface free of paint, dust, oil, and water. Ceramic ferrules can be left to be covered by the concrete pour, but the pour should significantly cover the tops of the studs. Some beam areas may require additional reinforcing depending on the shallowness of the decking and the region along the composite construction.

To learn more about using shear connectors in construction welding, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.






Application of Different Metals for Welding Studs

Welding is one of the oldest metalworking techniques we still use today. Forge welding dates back to the Iron Age, around 1200 BCE. Since then, many kinds of welding have been developed, and each effective welding operation used across many industries today is highly precise, versatile, and reliable. Stud welding is one of those operations that’s used to install fastening systems, composite construction, and other fabrication techniques. If you are utilizing drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding, Northland Fastening Systems has the supplies you need. We also offer a comprehensive range of stud welding tools for rent or purchase, welding studs in varying dimensions with custom options available, welding accessories, and the expertise of our own stud welding technicians. Additionally, we provide repairs and services for the majority of stud welding equipment models, including HBS, Tru-Weld, ProWeld, Nelson, and more.

Uses for Stud Welding

No matter what type of stud welding operation you are using, there is likely a plethora of applications. Stud welding is frequently used in sheet metal construction, food-grade welding, electrical enclosures, composite construction, and more. Its range of uses is in part due to the versatility of the welding operations themselves, but also because there are multiple metals that are conducive to the stud welding process.

Metals Used With Welding Studs

Both the welding studs and the surface material can be made from a range of metals, including:

  • Steel: The most prevalently used metal for stud welding is steel. Low, medium, and high-carbon steel can always be used in stud welding operations. This is also the case for stainless steels, but other steel alloys should generally be avoided in stud welding processes. Low-carbon steels do not require pre-heating, but medium- and high-carbon surfaces (anything above 0.25% carbon by weight) do need pre-heat treatment to prevent cracking.
  • Aluminum: Secondary to steel, aluminum and aluminum alloys are also effective materials for welding studs and surface materials. While alloys are useful, pure aluminum is generally the more preferable material for stud welding.
  • Brass: If lead-free, brass can also be used as a stud welding material. In situations when steel or aluminum cannot be applied for various reasons, brass is usually the alternative material. CD welding operations are most suitable when using brass studs and surfaces.
  • Copper: In some circumstances, copper has great advantages as a welding material. Copper is usually used with CD stud welding when a project needs to be mark-free or when electrical conduction is a factor. For mark-free copper surfaces, brass studs are the best pairing and installation should be performed with rapid CD operations.

While stud welding is relatively limited to these four base materials, there’s a huge range of alloys and types within these different metals. With the right application, stud fastening systems are extremely strong, long-lasting, and flexible.

To learn more about the materials used for welding studs and the equipment and supplies we offer for stud welding operations, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.


Comparing Stud Welding to Other Fastening Systems

Many kinds of fasteners are utilized across industries, from bolt systems to rivets, and different types of stud welding are among those hundreds of fastening systems. Stud welding is implemented in many different fabrication instances for a fast, clean, and strong connection. If you’re working with drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding, you can find everything you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a comprehensive supply of tools for rent or purchase, studs in a complete range of dimensions with custom sizing available, and accessories. We also have an expert staff that can give technical guidance, advice, and support. Stud welding fastening systems are more effective, stronger, longer lasting, and more advantageous than several other connection techniques for a variety of reasons.

Other Fastening Systems

If we look at some of the following other fastening systems, we can determine their disadvantages and see why stud welding might be a better solution depending on the application.

  1. Back welding: Back welding requires holes to be punched through the surface and deburred for a cleaner finish. When the weld is complete, the result needs to be sanded and smoothed further for a flat connection point. This process is much slower than stud welding, and the punched holes weaken the surface material. On the other hand, stud welding doesn’t need any prior hole punch, and creates a clean finish by default.


  1. Drilling and tapping: This process only works effectively on thick surface materials with longer studs. Because the drilling and tapping process requires several preparatory and finishing steps, it’s also slower and more constrained in application than stud welding.


  1. Inserts: The main issue with inserts is that they begin to loosen over time. They are also prone to crack paint-finished surfaces and leave stains as they corrode. Inserts require punched holes that weaken the parent material and require a deburring step before inserts are installed, and the reverse side of the connection point is often not clean. Stud welded points are not only faster and cleaner than inserts, but also they will never loosen. In fact, either the stud will bend or the surface material will crack long before a stud welded connection point loses stability.


  1. Bolting: While through bolting can create a strong connection, it also requires hole punches through the surface material and deburring of those holes. Technicians installing a bolting system need access to both sides of a surface for two-handed assembly. Installed bolt heads are bulky and often leave stains on the parent surface. A bolting assembly can leak when exposed to liquids, and the punched holes weaken the surface material.

Stud Welding

For the majority of applications where stud welding can be used in place of these other fastening methods, it will be to your advantage to implement a drawn arc, CD, or short cycle process. Stud welding is faster, cleaner, less invasive, stronger, cost-effective, and flexible than many other fastening methods.

To learn more about using stud weld fastening systems, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Lightweight Applications of CD Stud Welding

There are several types of stud welding utilized in many different industries. Northland Fastening Systems offers a comprehensive supply of welding tools for rent or purchase, studs for all applications, accessories, and the expertise of our own technicians to customers worldwide. Depending on the application, one type of stud welding operation may be better suited than another. When it comes to capacitor discharge (CD) stud welding, there are hundreds of applications that make the fabrication of many products possible. CD stud welding is best suited for smaller-dimension studs and pins. The CD welding process doesn’t leave marks on the opposite side of the weld surface, so it’s ideal for clean results on thin surfaces.

CD Stud Welding

CD stud welding might be more prevalent than many people might realize. It’s used in hundreds of products and tools we use daily, from automotive applications to the installation of home insulation. Some of the lightweight applications of CD stud welding are even more common in most people’s lives. For example:


  • Cookware: Many pots and pans are assembled using stud welding operations. Various handles, lids, and specialized pots like steamers and pressure cookers are made stronger and longer-lasting with stud weld connections. In the face of heavy-duty commercial cooking, strong stud fastening systems hold up to the extreme heat and stress of an industrial kitchen.


  • Hardware: There are many different applications for the general category of hardware. From brackets, cleats, and hinges to tool handles and specialty kits, CD stud welding with pins and small-dimension studs is a highly effective fabrication method. Hardware for commercial doors also utilizes CD welding for escutcheon plates and insulators.


  • Small appliances: While various types of stud welding are used in the manufacturing of many kinds of large appliances, from home ovens and dishwashers to factory-grade food processing equipment, CD welding is also used extensively in building small countertop appliances. This includes most microwaves, deep fryers, hot plates, coffee makers, and more.


  • Jewelry: Along with soldering and other fine fabrication methods, stud welding is a useful tool for the jewelry industry and jewelry arts. High-quality jewelry is designed to last a long time with frequent use and hold up to routine cleanings. Using stud and pin welding, jewelers and artists can create strong connections between components.


  • Electrical setups: Because it provides a strong connection with no backside marking, CD welding is ideal for electrical enclosures, circuitry systems, terminals, and more. It’s also heavily used in fabricating devices like pumps, motors, and even communication equipment.

Even for small applications, CD stud welding is one of the most effective light-weight systems for rapid production with little-to-no warping. If you’re working with any type of stud welding, NFS has the supplies you need. To learn more about our supplies and services, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.


Building Railway Bridges with Construction Welding

All kinds of welding operations are utilized in manufacturing across various industries. When it comes to stud welding, the range of its applications is much broader than you might think. Not only is stud welding used heavily in the production of food-grade appliances, electrical enclosures, connector pins for various applications, sheet metal construction, and much more, it’s also used in the fabrication of critical infrastructure. One common use of stud welding in large-scale construction is bridge building. Many types of bridge construction rely on stud welding for composite structures, fastening systems, and more. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), we provide the tools, studs, accessories, and guidance necessary for all applications that depend on construction welding to get the job done correctly.

Not only does stud welding play an important role in roadways and roadway bridges for commercial and consumer travel, it’s also an essential operation for railway bridges. Our nation’s railways—which carry industrial, commercial, and passenger trains all over our country and across our borders—are a highly important part of our economy and our citizenship. Railways support the transport of foods, medicine, water, fuel, and many other products that give communities and businesses access to the necessary items for surviving and thriving.

Construction Welding

Construction welding, and stud welding in particular, are imperative for the composite connection points between slabs of concrete, cement, and other heavy-duty, long-lasting engineering components, and the girders of steel beams that provide flex and strength in an operating bridge.

The combination of concrete slabs and metal beams connected through shear stud beams means railway bridges can meet strict safety standards and hold up to train travel, weather, and the movement of the earth for many years. Shear reinforcement with studs connects two materials securely while also providing ductility and strength in the face of shift and stress.

Railway bridges typically use heeded shear studs with thick diameters, installed in exact row patterns along the seams of concrete slabs. Shear studs used in construction welding for railway and other bridges are typically 125, 150, 175, 200, or 250 mm in height with diameters of 16, 19, 22, or 25 mm.

Shear connector studs are highly economical and robust, creating an engineered structure that reacts to shock flow moving in a predictable pattern across a working railway bridge. For some bridges that utilize metal decking and sheet spans, composite construction with stud welding dramatically increases long-term flexibility, and decreases the effects of brittleness and quickly degrading strength of concrete support systems.

To learn more about how shear connectors and other construction welding applications improve bridge construction, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

3 Types of Stud Welding Used as Fastening Systems

Stud welding is a relatively simple manufacturing operation used to attach pins, studs, bar anchors, shear connectors, insulator caps, and many other kinds of fastening systems. It can be used in lightweight applications like the mark-free connectors in electrical enclosures, and in heavier-duty building, like composite constructions for road and railway bridges. For manufacturers utilizing studs in their production process, Northland Fastening Systems offers a comprehensive range of supplies and tools for short cycle, capacitor discharge (CD), and drawn arc stud welding operations. We supply studs in a complete range of dimensions with custom options available, and we provide tools for rent or purchase. For any of the three main stud fastening systems, NFS technicians have the expertise to advise and supply all kinds of customers.

The three main types of stud fastening systems are short cycle, drawn arc, and capacitor discharge.

  1. Drawn arc: With drawn arc welding, the use of a ceramic ferrule to contain the molten metals at the tip of the stud and a flux that regulates specific heat point are important. A triggered gun lifts the stud to an exact height while an arc is generated between the base of the stud and the welding surface. Both are melted and the gun presses the stud tip into the pool on the surface material. This welding operation is used in applications with wide-diameter studs in large-scale construction.
  2. Capacitor discharge: In this process, capacitors on a weld tool are charged to a specific setting. The triggered gun tip discharges that stored electricity and generates heat at the ignition tip on the stud. The heated stud and welding surface are melted and pressured together to create a fusion. CD stud welding is best for smaller stud dimensions that won’t require serious load bearing. It’s an important operation for clean, rapid stud attachment in many applications.
  3. Short cycle: This welding operation is similar to drawn arc stud attachment. However, short cycle welding is faster than drawn arc, finishing a weld in 20-30 milliseconds. The arc generation is almost the same process as drawn arc welding, but short cycle is better suited to smaller-diameter studs that are less than ½” in length. Short cycle welding is used often with thin sheet metal attachments in the automotive and other industrial operations. Like CD stud welding, short cycle leaves a mark-free finish on the back of the welding surface.

NFS is a long-time provider for many types of customers working in the stud welding industry. We partner with small machine shops, factories, and international manufacturers utilizing drawn arc, capacitor discharge, and short cycle welding operations in their production line.

If you’re in need of any tools, studs, accessories, or guidance in your stud welding processes, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 to get started with us today. Request a quote online to learn more about our stud weld fastening systems supplies.

Setting Up CD Weld Studs and the Benefits of CD Welding

From production uses like insulation fasteners to heavy-duty composite construction, stud welding is relied on for many purposes. If you’re working with stud welding in any capacity, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the tools for you. We provide stud welding supplies, including tools for rent or purchase, studs in all dimensions with custom options available, and complete welding accessories. In addition to a comprehensive supply of welding equipment, NFS technicians offer expert advice on all stud welding processes, including the use and setup of CD weld studs for effective and quality results.

CD (capacitor discharge) stud welding is a manufacturing technique that’s useful for some of the smaller dimension pins and studs, like the stainless steel studs used in food grade, lightweight welding, for example. Other common applications of CD weld studs are for insulation fasteners, electrical enclosures, internal electronics, and on-board aerospace systems.

Utilizing CD stud welding operations in the appropriate application is highly beneficial for many reasons. Not only does CD welding create a powerful connection point with no mark-through on the opposite side of the weld surface, it’s a rapid process that conserves energy, improves efficiency, and produces a clean finish when done correctly.

Understanding how to set up CD weld studs for the full welding process is critical for performing an effective operation. A CD stud welding process occurs in five basic steps:

  1. Contact of stud tip to weld surface
  2. Ignition of weld tool
  3. “Placement” or pressuring of stud into surface material
  4. Fusion of stud into surface material while both metal are molten from ignition
  5. Cooling of both materials to complete the weld connection

Setup can vary depending on the type of tool you’re using, implementation of different collets, stud dimensions, weld surface material, and electrical specifications. In general, the setup process takes the following steps, and in most cases, will get you ready to weld:

  1. Set up the assembly of “B” collet and “B” stop accessories by loosening the screws at the tip of the gun shaft to allow the installation of these parts.
  2. Ensure the collet is the correct size for stud diameter; then install a correctly paired length of stop into the collet.
  3. The collet and stop should seat correctly into the gun (until it stops completely on insert).
  4. Insert the stud into the collet until it stops fully. The stud should extend past the end of the collet and be held tightly in the gun during welding.
  5. Do not let the stud tip ever come into contact with the collet when the weld is ignited.
  6. Place the leg and foot assembly into the gun to allow ⅛” of the stud protruding past the foot.
  7. Tighten set screws and ensure the area around the weld point and your welding space is clear.

To learn more about this basic process of preparing CD weld studs and other stud welding operations, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Accessories for the Stud Welding Process

Stud welding is a complex process in many ways, but simple in others. The operation of a stud weld itself is a strong but straightforward connection point that fuses the metal of the stud into the metal of the base material. However, the actual process takes a deep understanding of arc generation, materials, dimensions, and the tools involved. In order to perform an accurate weld, you need the background knowledge and the right tools for the job. At Northland Fastening Systems, we provide the tools, studs, and accessories necessary for drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle processes. When it comes to the accessories important to any stud welding process, our team of expert technicians can help you find exactly what you need.

Since 1987, we’ve supported and worked to continually improve the stud welding industry. One aspect of stud welding that is often overlooked is the use of accessories in the CD and drawn arc process. These accessories are completely necessary for an effective end result, but they can be taken for granted sometimes.

For the drawn arc and CD stud welding process, NFS accessories include the following.

Drawn Arc Accessories:

CD Accessories:

NFS supplies a broad range of stud accessories that pair perfectly with industry-standard studs and welding tools. To learn more about the supplies that we provide for the drawn arc, CD, and short cycle stud welding process, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Using Stud Welding for Practical Design Aesthetics

Stud welding is a manufacturing operation used in many industries, from food-grade welding to large-scale construction. With such a high prevalence of usage for so many very different industries, it’s important for fabricators using stud welding to have access to varying types of tools, studs, and accessories compatible with each kind of operation. At Northland Fastening Systems, we provide comprehensive supplies for commonly used stud welding operations including drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding. This includes tools for rent or purchase, studs in varying dimensions with custom options available, stud welding accessories, and the expertise of our own technicians. While stud welding is most often considered to be a manufacturing operation for functional construction, it’s also used frequently as a way to build aesthetics into practical design.

In many ways, stud welding is all around us. It’s a prolific tool for quick and effective building. From the appliances in our home to the cars we drive, stud welding is used to make a broad range of metal components. Some of practical design industries we interact with the most include:

  • Furniture: Many types of furniture made out of metal are built using stud welding. This includes office desks with metal paneling and drawers, standing cabinets, filing units, shelving, and more. Food-grade stainless-steel shelves and storage systems are built with CD stud welding for complete wash-down and sanitation capabilities. Handles and other parts incorporated into furniture made from wood or other materials can also be built in with studs. Additionally, electrical enclosures are almost always made with stud welding operations because of their clean results that don’t mark through.


  • Signs: Business signs on buildings or freestanding can also be built with stud welding operations. These signs are often hollow box-like shapes mounted onto a stand or other support system with studs. Street signs, traffic lights, and other municipal signage are also constructed with pin or stud welding.


  • Automotive and Transportation: Stud welding is a key operation in the automotive industry. It’s used in manufacturing many components in everyday cars, trains, planes, freight carriers, and sport and recreational vehicles. Studs are used to produce parts like heat shields, power steering components, exhaust systems, airbags, insulation, and much more. Stud welding is also used in fabricating the cosmetic features of a car, including the practical design of a steel frame.


  • Architecture: In many cases, stud welding is used in the construction of buildings with multiple stories. This includes skyscrapers, office buildings, warehouses, factories, and even homes. Stud welding is key in the construction of a building’s skeletal frame and also the installation of interior and exterior components. Some specialized buildings with metal architectural design aspects, like the Sydney Opera House and Guggenheim Museum Bilboa, use stud welding extensively in their construction.

To learn more about the ways stud welding is used in creating practical design aesthetics and more, or to get started with us today, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

What to Consider before Buying Stud-Welding Equipment

With any kind of manufacturing tools, you need to do your research to determine what specifications, sizing, materials, and other details you’ll need depending on the job. Even with a simple tool type like a screwdriver, there is a large range of variations. When it comes to more complex manufacturing tools or whole systems like with stud-welding equipment, there are even more technical aspects to consider before purchasing even the studs you will use. Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) provides a complete range of stud-welding supplies from tools for rent or purchase to studs of any dimension, including customs options. In addition to a comprehensive supply of stud-welding equipment, our staff of knowledgeable technicians will guide you in selecting exactly the right tools, studs, and accessories you need.

While we at NFS make all our welding supplies as affordable as possible, we don’t want you to waste your time and/or money purchasing a tool or stud that won’t work for your job. To save yourself the headache of returns or wasted money, consider the following issues before buying stud-welding equipment:

Materials: Different stud-welding processes work best with different materials. If you’re working with thin stud-welding pins for stainless steel, food-grade welding, the best tools to choose will be for CD stud-welding operations. On the other hand, composite construction with bar anchors requires more heavy-duty tools for drawn arc welding. The surface material and the stud materials are both significant factors that will guide your stud-welding equipment choices.

Dimensions: Like the materials, the dimensions of the studs you’ll be working with will guide your selection of all stud-welding equipment.  CD stud-welding operations are suited to smaller studs like pins, insulator fasteners, and sheet metal connectors. Additionally, CD studs are best for thin surface materials because they don’t leave through-marking discoloration or warping. Drawn arc stud welding tools can handle larger stud dimensions and thicker base materials. Because they can handle much heavier duty dimensions, drawn arc welding studs are also used in building construction, structural steel applications, and composite construction for large-scale structures like bridges.

Automation: Another important aspect to consider before purchasing stud-welding equipment is whether you need options for automation or you’ll only be performing welds with hand tools. Automated tools can require different power calibrations, facility setups, and maintenance treatment. While handheld tools still perform rapid welds and are often useful as portable tools in the field, fully automated systems are key for many large-scale production operations. Determining whether you need automated tools for faster production will be a large factor in choosing the right stud-welding equipment.

To learn more about what you should consider before purchasing stud-welding equipment or to get started with us today, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.