How to Choose the Correct Cable for Your Stud Welding Equipment

Stud welding offers several advantages to manufacturers across different industries. Not only is it a powerful fastening system that can connect studs to a surface with clean, quick results, but stud welding also has many welding units designed for portability. These units can be moved throughout a work site with ease using cables reaching even beyond 200 ft. The majority of handheld stud welding tools can be used as portable systems, but units like the HBS IT 2002 for arc welding and the TRUWELD ACE-P100 for capacitor discharge (CD) pins are specifically designed to be used on work sites where multiple locations require weld fastening operations. These tools and others often work with long cables that need their own management systems to ensure electrical safety and reduce trip hazards. If you’re working with portable units on multiple job sites, you can find all the supplies you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We offer a comprehensive selection of stud welding equipment, including tools for rent or purchase, studs for drawn arc and CD operations, welding accessories, and our own expertise.

Cables for Stud Welding Equipment

Whether you’re working on an active job site with a portable unit or in-house facilities with permanent systems, choosing the correct type of cable that meets a range of specifications is key. Without the correct welding cable, tools are, at best, operating at poor capacities, and at worst, posing a risk to worker safety.

Specifications for Stud Welding Equipment

There are several technical specifications to take into account when choosing the correct cable for your stud welding equipment. Basics include:

  • Length: On a job site or in your routine facility layout, your cable needs to be long enough to reach a weld point without stretching. This often means you’ll need to account for extra length as you move around a space to reach multiple weld points on a part. Each welding cable will need to be long enough to reach the weld point, safely connect to the unit for power supply, and accurately ground the system.
  • Gauge: Welding cable is available in a range of gauges. The thinner and the longer the cable is, the lower the available amperage. Longer cables reaching several hundreds of feet will need to be thicker in gauge to account for lost power supply.
  • Power: With length and gauge taken into account, you should make sure you are operating at the right ampacity. Cables will each have specific amp levels they can safely handle. Operating with the wrong power supply can damage a welding unit, making it hazardous to workers.
  • Insulation: There are several materials welding cables may be insulated with. Choosing the right insulation depends on your work site conditions. For example, neoprene (synthetic rubber) and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer or monomer) insulation is flexible and resistant to weather, but they should not be used when gas and petroleum based liquids are exposed. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), on the other hand, is stiffer but more resistant to tearing or cuts.


If you’re working with any types of stud welding equipment, including various cables, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online for more information today.

Accident Prevention Guidelines for Construction Welding

On every work site, there are multiple factors laborers and managers need to actively address to ensure everyone’s safety. Industrial work creates hazardous situations involving powerful tools, extreme temperatures, tall heights, toxic materials, and more. All these issues have safety precautions and operational guidelines put in place to prevent worker fatigue, injury, or fatality. Compared to some other manufacturing operations, stud welding can be a very safe production process. However, without the appropriate accident prevention measures or an understanding of the equipment, it can become dangerous, and in some cases, even deadly. Working with high-quality equipment on construction welding projects paired with adhering to safety systems will help you and your team avoid welding-related harm. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), we provide a comprehensive range of quality supplies, including tools for rent and purchase, drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding studs, welding accessories, tool repair services, and the expertise of our own technicians.

Construction Welding

Like any type of fabrication process, construction welding has a basic checklist for maintaining safe working conditions. These standards include the use of certain precautions and attention to areas of concern including:

Grounding for Construction Welding

Welding machines of all types, not just construction stud welding, require proper grounding for electrical current to be safe. Stud welders must be in contact with the earth through a unit grounder or by the use of a grounding clamp when performing thru-deck welding.

Live wires

Welding technicians and nearby workers should never interact with live wires without proper protective gear. Welding should also never be performed with pooling water in the area. Live electrical parts and live wires that need attention should be handled with the correct safety gear.

Cables Used in Construction Welding

Especially on work sites where technicians are moving welding units over long distances, cable management is a major safety concern. Cables should not be used if damaged or stretched, placed in areas where they will be exposed to trucks and other heavy traffic, or hung to hold their full weight at a single point.

Spatter in Construction Welding

While stud welding has minimal spatter when done correctly, some occasions might result in wider spatter if a tool has an inaccurate calibration. Technicians should be aware of increases in spatter and adjust to prevent them from affecting safety.


Gas cylinders pose explosion and fire risks, and the heat and sparks that occur during a weld could pose additional fire hazards to other nearby flammable materials. Solvents, fiberglass, paper, and other highly flammable materials should be removed from the welding work area.


Workers’ safety is compromised by fumes generated in the welding process if workers do not have proper ventilation. Welding outdoors offers enough ventilation in most cases, but indoor work must have supplemental ventilation, especially when welding through paint and other surface coatings.


If these basic safety guidelines are followed at every construction welding site, workers are protected and quality results can continue on your job site. For more information about supplies and services, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online today.

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.

Function of Insulation Installed with CD Weld Studs

Different insulations have countless uses throughout buildings, vehicles, machinery, and more. Insulation is a critical component in residences, commercial operations, municipal properties, infrastructure, and of course, industrial facilities. Modern insulation technologies are advanced solutions for a broad range of heat, fire, and cold exposures. The insulation systems used in every application are also improving quickly to meet growing demand for passive buildings and net-zero energy operations throughout industries. While insulation can be installed in many ways, from spraying insulation foam to adhering sheeting, a large number of residential, commercial, and industrial insulations are installed with stud welding. CD weld studs and CD welding pins, in particular, are highly useful for fast, clean, and strong installation of various types of insulative materials. If you’re installing insulation with welding pins, you can find all the supplies you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), including tools for rent and purchase, CD studs and pins, and welding accessories. We also offer repairs for most welding models and the advice of our own expert technicians.

CD Weld Studs

Insulation serves multiple purposes, all generally around the control of heat and cold conduction from one area to another. In buildings, insulation is the main component in atmosphere control, preventing indoor temperatures from becoming difficult to regulate. In more complex applications, however, insulation can act as an extreme heat shield for temperatures up to 1,220ºF.

Insulation Function Overview:

  1. Fire proofing: Not only is insulation capable of fire proofing in working environments where sparks, flammable liquids, gasses, dust that could combust, and other high risks of fire are present, it’s also important for home and businesses in general.
  2. Fire stopping: Insulative materials that can withstand temperatures between 300ºF and 1,200ºF are critical fire-stopping solutions. These insulations are made from noncombustible materials and are typically applied between rooms and around building skeletal structures to keep fire from spreading through a building.
  3. Heat containment: For building insulation and general heat containment in large spaces, insulation installed with CD weld studs can cover the environmental control for an entire building.
  4. Heat shield: Smaller insulative heat shields are installed in cars, trucks, planes, trains, and other vehicles operating with combustion engines. These heat shields are also used in most industrial settings where machinery operates at high temperatures.
  5. Cool containment: Like heat containment insulation for a whole building, insulative materials also contain cool air generated by air conditioning. This is especially important for buildings in continually hot climates.
  6. Cool shield: Industrial facilities also often use extremely cold systems like liquid nitrogen. These low-temperature materials can be dangerous to workers and equipment exposed. The use of cool shield panels to insulate against these systems is important.


In many cases, these insulation systems are installed with stud welding. To learn more about insulation fasteners and other CD weld studs, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.



Technical Aspects of Successful CD Stud Welding

As a fastening system, stud welding has a versatile range of applications across industries. Not only can larger diameter studs be used in heavy-duty construction, such as the building of infrastructure and skyscrapers, smaller welding pins are important in the role of food safe equipment and insulation. In many regards, the application of stud welding is endless. Compared to other techniques like riveting and bolting, stud welding also has many benefits. However, these weld connection points are only as good as the knowledge and skill of the technicians performing them. If a weld is calibrated incorrectly or positioned at the wrong angle, a connection point can become brittle, too cold for full fusion, or result in unsightly splatter of molten metal. If you’re working with stud weld fastening systems for any application, you can find the tools, studs, and accessories you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS also provides repair services for most models, and we offer expert advice to help you achieve successful welds from drawn arc to CD stud welding.

CD Stud Welding

CD welding is a type of fastening system that typically uses smaller diameter studs. It’s used to install insulation, build electrical enclosures, construct food safe equipment, and even jewelry, signage, and other super small diameter pin fasteners.

Whenever you are installing CD studs and pins, several technical aspects should be taken into account to achieve a successful weld.

  1. Time: In general, CD stud welding is a rapid operation. Welds can be completed as quickly as 0.01 seconds and on welding surfaces as thin as 0.020″ (0.5mm) This fast welding time is one of the many benefits stud fastening systems provide, but if the welding time is done too quickly or with too long of a hold, it can result in an incorrect weld. The time of the weld goes hand in hand with stud penetration.
  2. Penetration: The longer or shorter the time of a weld, the deeper or shallower the penetration. If a weld is done too quickly, the weld penetration will be too shallow. A shallow weld often creates a brittle, easily cracked connection point. Welds that penetrate too deeply can spatter molten metal and provide an unattractive, potentially porous weld.
  3. Temperature: Penetration also intersects with temperature. If a welding tool is calibrated to the wrong power supply, it can result in a weld that is either too hot or too cold. Welds that are too cold will also have inadequate penetration, while a weld that is too hot will result in over-penetration. Both cases are weaker, low-quality, fastening systems.


Like any other manufacturing operations, stud welding must fall into the correct technical parameters for success. To learn more about the CD stud welding supplies and other stud welding information, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Advantages of Automated Welding Equipment on a Downstream Production Line

For fastening sheet metal and other steel parts, no better choice can be made than stud welding. Stud welding operations can quickly install studs in a wide range of diameters and lengths, resulting in connection points stronger than the stud and base material put together. Stud welding also only requires access to one side of a work surface and does not require cutting a hole. Compared to other fastening systems, stud welding is leak proof, making it more resistant to corrosion, and offers a sleeker appearance. In addition to these factors, stud welding has many advantages over other fastening systems, whether it’s used by a welding technician to manually install studs or on an automated downstream production floor. For both manual work and automated applications, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has a complete supply of welding equipment, from tools and studs to efficient automation technology.

Welding Equipment

Any downstream production line that already utilizes stud welding or a comparable fastening system that could easily be replaced by studs will find multiple benefits with an automated system. This is especially true for fabricators working with sheet metal and steel parts.

Advantages of Welding Equipment

Some of the many advantages that automated stud welding equipment could offer your production line include:

  • Energy efficiency: Automated systems are programmable to exact tolerances so they can work within the lowest energy parameters possible. Our automated equipment can reduce industrial energy consumption, saving you money and lowering your facility’s carbon footprint.
  • Speed: With a programmable automated system, you will see increased production speeds in two ways. First, because it is controlled to exact degrees, the automated equipment itself will move over a part quickly, some as fast as 60 meters per minute. Second, stud welding operations can be completed as rapidly as 0.01 seconds, making them one of the fastest connector techniques.
  • Reliability: With an automated system, stud welding results have an accuracy of around ± 0.15 mm for steel and ± 0.2 mm for aluminum in most cases. This makes it the most reliable system you can integrate into your production line for fastening techniques.
  • Low maintenance: Most stud welders require little to no rigorous maintenance. Even automated systems that routinely install hundreds of studs only need minimal upkeep. High-quality automated designs will save you time and money, thanks to their low demand for maintenance.
  • Safety: One of the biggest advantages to incorporating an automated system on your downstream production line is worker safety. With a completely self-sufficient operating system running on a controllable software program, workers avoid injury, fatigue, and other risks on the job.


These are just a few of the many benefits you’ll see when you integrate an automated stud welding system into your production line. To learn more about the automated welding equipment and other tools, studs, and accessories we provide, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

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.