All About Ceramic Ferrules for Drawn Arc Stud Welding

Northland Fastening Systems is a complete supplier of tools, studs, accessories, and operations knowledge for CD, short cycle, and drawn arc stud welding. Whether you need a stud welding tool for rent or purchase, studs in custom or standardized dimensions, or even guidance from our expert technicians, you can count on NFS.

Stud welding is an operation heavily used across industries, but each type of stud welding technique requires an understanding of how the weld is generated and what tools and accessories are necessary for a successful result. An ideal stud weld point will be much stronger than the stud itself. That result can be tested in various ways with visual, tensile, and bend diagnostics.

While weld operations that achieve the best results possible may seem generally straightforward, they still require knowledge of how the weld is generated depending on welding type, calibrations for materials used, and accessories. For drawn arc stud welding, the understanding of what, why, how, and when ceramic ferrules are used is a critical part of performing a successful weld.

What are they?

Stud welding ferrules are rings made from refractory ceramic materials. They are protective shields for many operations, including drawn arc stud welding. They are also sometimes called ceramic arc shields, and they are made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and ceramic material specifications.

Why use them?

As a protective shield, ceramic ferrules are an important part of forming a clean, strong weld with drawn arc currents. Ferrules applied at the weld point will contain the pool of molten metal formed on the stud tip and welding surface. This creates a neat connection point. Ferrules are also important because they protect the weld point from the surrounding environment, preventing porosity in the weld from exposure to air, dust, gases, and UV light.

How do I use them?

Ceramic ferrules are attached around the stud tip on the welding gun. Place the correctly sized ferrule around the gun tip/stud by following the instructions specific to your tool model. After you complete the drawn arc stud welding cycle and the connection point has cooled, chip the ceramic ferrule away from the finished weld. Ceramic ferrules can only be used one time because they are broken in the removal process.

When do I use them?

While there are some rare times when ceramic ferrules are not used in the drawn arc stud welding process, you can almost always expect them to be a requirement for a successful weld. Though ferrules are used in (almost) every drawn arc stud weld, they are not used in CD stud welding or short cycle welding operations. Instead of a ferrule, other welding operations use shielding gas to protect and contain the weld point or don’t require either a ferrule or gas due to the small weld point.

To learn more about ceramic ferrules and their use in the drawn arc stud welding process, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Resistance-Welded vs. Arc-Welded Fastening Systems

At Northland Fastening Systems, we provide a comprehensive supply of stud welding supplies, from tools for rent or purchase to studs in a complete range of dimensions with custom sizes available. Whether you need tools, studs, and accessories for drawn arc, CD, or short cycle stud welding, NFS has the products and the expertise of our stud welding technicians to help you get the job done.


In the industrial world, types of stud welding are typically grouped into a manufacturing category different from other welding operations. Other common welding types, such as resistance welding, can be used as fastening systems, but stud welding is generally considered the most effective method for installing fasteners and studs. Due to its unique ability to generate a connection point stronger than the fastener itself, stud welding is usually chosen over other fastening systems when manufacturing assemblies of any size that require studs, bars, anchors, and other fasteners.


While stud welding is the primary choice for fastening systems on the production floor or jobsite, resistance welding can sometimes have its uses when installing various fasteners.


Arc-Welded Fasteners

Stud welding connection points are created using an electrical arc generating enough heat at the base of the stud/fastener to put both stud tip and surface material into a molten state. In the stud welding process, the arc creates a true fusion of the two metals. Stud welding types include drawn arc, capacitor discharge, and short cycle. Arc-welded fasteners can be installed without leaving marks on the opposite side of the base material. They can also be rapidly installed, with some automated machines performing up to 60 welds per minute. Drawn arc welding can be done on angled or curved surfaces, and CD welding can be used to install fasteners on surfaces as thin as 0.016” for steel and 0.04” for aluminum without causing warping or discoloration. Stud welded fasteners are also leak-proof and pressure-tight.


Resistance-Welded Fasteners

Resistance welding includes spot and projection welding. These processes are used to install permanent fasteners with internal or external threading. To achieve an effective weld, both fastener and surface must be fit for resistance welding, which lessens the range of scenarios where resistance welding would be useful as fastening systems. Parts, equipment, and transportation costs of using resistance welding for fasteners are typically much higher than those of stud welding, so the recommended production volume to justify costs is over 1,000.


Overall, using arc/stud welding is lower cost, faster, and more effective than resistance welding for installing fasteners. To learn more about fastening systems and our stud welding supplies and services, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Four General Properties Every Drawn Arc Stud Welding Technician Should Know

Drawn arc stud welding is one of the most important manufacturing operations in large-scale steel and composite construction. From its first key uses in shipbuilding to its common uses today in bridge construction, roadwork, automotive fabrication, and more, drawn arc stud welding has a large role to play in manufacturing industries. Because it is so important to a range of industries, stud welding technicians need to have a deep understanding of what makes a strong weld and why. If you are working with stud welding for any project, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has stud welding tools for rent or purchase, studs in a comprehensive range of dimensions, stud welding accessories, and the expertise of its own stud welding technicians—all to help you get the job done correctly and efficiently.


Drawn arc stud welding has a large range of specifications, calibrations, and additional factors to take into account. Without delving into the numbers and precision often needed to provide a strong weld connection, every technician should know the four basic properties involved:


  • Surface Preparation: Drawn arc stud welding can vaporize thin layers of contaminants like paint, rust, or oils, but before welding, surfaces should still be prepared correctly to ensure a strong connection. Any thick coatings must be removed as metal-to-metal contact during the weld is critical to generate an arc. If thicker coats cannot be removed, you’ll need a mechanical punch to create a metal-to-metal connection.
  • Ferrules: Drawn arc stud welding uses ceramic ferrules around the weld point. These ferrules contain molten metal during the weld to prevent splatter and shield the arc as it is generated. These ferrules also prevent air flow into the weld to control oxidation, and they protect nonmetal materials around the weld point from charring. Ferrules are chipped away from the weld point when the stud and surface material cools.
  • Shielding Gases: Inert or semi-inert shielding gases are typically made up of 100% argon or a mixture of argon and helium. These gases protect a drawn arc stud weld point from oxygen and water vapor during the weld. Shielding gases can also be generated with a flux that outputs a semi-inert gas like carbon dioxide when heated in the weld.
  • Flash: Every stud weld creates a flashing of molten metal around the connection point. This flashing can be a sign of a good or bad weld depending on its condition. In a drawn arc stud weld, flashing should be within the ferrule containment and show complete fusion around the entire stud. If you were to take a cross section of the weld, that fusion would be around the base of the stud beneath the surface as well.


Drawn arc stud welding is a complicated process that is used in a broad range of applications. To learn more about drawn arc stud welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

The Use of Ceramic Ferrules in Drawn Arc Stud Welding

Stud welding is a widely used manufacturing operation for connecting various components, support structures, assemblies, and composite construction. While there are many applications for various types of stud welding, drawn arc stud welding in particular is used for heavy-duty construction using studs with dimensions typically larger than ¼”. Drawn arc welding studs also utilize a ceramic ferrule in the bonding process. This ferrule helps create a bond that is stronger than both the welding stud and the material being welded to. When you work with Northland Fastening Systems for all your drawn arc stud welding projects, you have access to all the high-quality studs, welding tools, and accessories you need.


Working with a ceramic ferrule to establish strong bonds using the drawn arc stud welding process requires specific tools and practices including a drawn arc gun and calibrated unit, drawn arc studs, ceramic ferrule sized correctly, and an adequate power source.


How it works: The ceramic ferrule works to surround and contain the welding stud during the weld. As the drawn arc current heats the tip of the stud and the metal becomes molten, the ring-shaped ferrule keeps the metal from spreading into a messy weld. The ceramic ferrule also protects the weld from exposure to oxygen in the air. Oxygen exposure can lead to porous or weakened welds. Additionally, the ferrule creates a protective barrier reducing UV exposure. Once the weld is complete, the ferrule is chipped away leaving a clean, perfectly formed weld.


Ceramic ferrules are required for drawn arc stud welding because the process is a longer weld time than other welds, the welding studs are typically thicker in diameter, and the weld will be required to hold greater weights than other welding formats.


Short cycle welding uses inert shielding gas instead of ceramic ferrules, and CD stud welding uses a different process entirely that doesn’t have the risk of molten metal spread. Instead, CD welding uses an exact combination of pressure and current frequency to heat the metal stud and bond it to the surface material.


If you’re working with drawn arc stud welding operations on your job site, Northland Fastening Systems can provide all the studs, accessories, and welding tools for rent or purchase you might need from the start of your project to the finish.


To learn more about drawn arc stud welding and the use of ceramic ferrules, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770, and feel free to explore our selection of drawn arc welding studs or other items online or request a quote.

General Applications of Drawn Arc and CD Stud Welding

Stud welding is one of the most versatile manufacturing operations for small to large scale construction. Though it was originally developed for use in shipbuilding of various types of vessels, it has grown in application to be used in many manufacturing industries worldwide. Its use in so many industries has helped to streamline and speed up the production process while improving the quality and long-term reliability of components and full assemblies.


If you are using stud welding in your fabrication processes, Northland Fastening Systems is your one-stop-shop for all the tools, studs, and accessories you need to get the job done. Our team of experts can guide you through the process of selecting the right specifications of studs, welding units, and any other items needed.


Because stud welding is such a versatile operation providing a connection point between two metals that is stronger than the metals themselves, it is used in an increasingly wide range of applications. Broadly speaking, these applications include the following:


  • Structural Construction: This includes buildings, bridges, water towers, elevators, mining structures, tunnels, overpasses, facades, highways, window frames, doors, and much more.
  • Automotive Construction: Stud welding is used extensively in the construction of all types of vehicles including passenger cars, trucks, SUVs, recreational vehicles, transport vehicles, fork trucks, military vehicles, motorcycles, aircraft, farm machinery, trains, cable cars, excavation vehicles, and much more.
  • Shipbuilding: Many components of ships of all types are fabricated using stud welding. This includes flooring, ceilings, walkways, kitchens, exterior hulling, lifeboats, insulation, food prep stations, and more.
  • Sheet Metal Construction: Various cabinets, enclosures, and other sheet metal products are made using stud welding for clean connection points with no reverse side marking. This includes electrical enclosures, signs, deposit boxes, mail containers, hinges, hand tools, grills, office products, and more.
  • Appliance Construction: Domestic and commercial appliances are also made using stud welding operations. This includes ovens, stoves, refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, dryers, stereos, financial processors, vending machines, freezers, ice machines, cookware, and much more.
  • Climate Control System Construction: Components of quality HVAC and other climate control systems are also fabricated using stud welding including ducts, vents, dehumidifiers, fans, insulation, and more.
  • Sound-Proofing Construction: The construction of soundproof rooms and systems with stud welding are key to a wide range of applications. This includes recording booths, equipment testing rooms, ducting, building facades, roads, and more.
  • Power Generator Construction: Any type of energy generator needs a specialized system to isolate and transmit that power. Stud welding is key in the fabrication of transformers, reactors, boilers, nuclear systems, steam generators, coal systems, refractories, incinerators, and more.


Stud welding is also useful in the installation of insulation against heat, cold, fire, weather, and other harsh elements for a wide range of structures and objects.


To learn more about the applications of stud welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 today. To get started on your next project, request a quote online or give us a call.

Determining Weld Strength for Drawn Arc Stud Welding

Many forms of welding have been used for centuries to build strong, long-lasting parts and countless buildings and other structures. Included in these forms of welding are the various types of stud welding, all of which provide one of the strongest connection points of any weld type. In fact, both capacitor discharge (CD) and drawn arc stud welding form a bond that is stronger than either the weld stud or the base material.


Because of the strength of these connections, stud welding is an operation that is key to many manufacturing industries. No matter what industry you work in, Northland Fastening Systems has the tools, supplies, and services you need for both drawn arc stud welding and CD stud welding.


We are committed to providing a comprehensive range of welding studs in multiple standard dimensions as well as custom made-to-order studs. In addition, we offer welding tools for rent and purchase and our own expert services.


When it comes to drawn arc stud welding in particular, determining the required stud specifications is critical for a strong, lasting weld that can hold the weight or other stresses it will bear. Typically, drawn arc stud weld points are used in heavier construction projects and require precise performance in the field. This performance depends on the strength of the weld point, which in turn depends on weld fusion and weld penetration.


Weld Fusion

Simply put, weld fusion is the point where the metal of the stud connects to the metal of the surface. This fusion is a chemical connection generated by the heat of the welding arc rendering both stud and surface metal and joining those points with an atomic bonding process. In order to have a strong, reliable weld point, the spread of the fusion must be as far up the stud, as deep into the surface, and wide enough in diameter to create the necessary connection.


Generating the correct level of fusion without using unneeded energy or compromising the stud requires a highly specific combination of time, power, and force. For the majority of drawn arc stud welding operations, these combinations are predetermined by industry engineers specializing in stud welding physics. These specifications can be applied to different welding projects within a varying range that gives the welder the information needed to apply the correct level of weld fusion and create a strong weld connection.


NFS welding technicians can help you determine the specifications you need to apply precise, high-quality drawn arc stud welding operations to your project. To learn more about weld connection points, our stud welding services, and the welding studs we provide, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 today or request a quote online. Learn more about welding fusion here.

Drawn Arc Stud Welding Highlights from Start to Finish

Drawn arc welding is a complex process made simple with today’s technology. Though welding has been around for centuries, beginning with the oldest forge welding to today’s capacitor discharge welding, it hadn’t begun development into the highly advanced process contemporary welders use until the late 1970s. Thanks to the advancement of welding techniques since then, we are able to utilize both drawn arc and capacitor discharge processes to perform stud welding operations. If you are working on a CD or drawn arc stud welding project, Northland Fastening Systems has everything you need from tools for rent and sale, studs of all shapes and sizes, stud welding accessories, and our own welding services.


When it comes to the traditional format of drawn arc stud welding, there are several stages of the procedure to take into consideration. First, the welding operation itself, which follows a simple step-by-step process:


  1. The welding gun is set onto the base material at the desired weld point and the operator compresses the main spring partially.
  2. The trigger is then compressed, and the stud is lifted magnetically from the base material to create an arc.
  3. The arc melts the stud tip and the base material while a ceramic ferrule shield concentrates the heat, containing it to one weld point.
  4. The stud is then compressed into the base material, melding the two molten metal components.
  5. The welding gun releases the stud, the ferrule is broken, and the welding process is complete.


A drawn arc stud welding process creates a bond that is stronger than the stud itself. As welding processes go, drawn arc welding is one of the most effective, fastest, and strongest operations for stud welding manufacturing. For even more effective, accurate drawn arc stud welding, templating is a highly useful procedure.


Templates improve the accuracy of a welding operation that uses a ceramic ferrule to contain the heat during the arc. Steel plates hold the ferrule in place, while spacers allow the gasses from the weld to escape through gaps underneath the template plates. Additional template options may allow tube templates with ventilation holes to hold the ferrule, or brushing templating can be applied.


Brushing templates allow for angled alignment of the stud in addition to an exact location. These templates use a tube adapter to sheath the stud and tilt it to the desired angle. The tube adapter is connected on one end to a foot component that can be attached to the welding gun and on the other to the ferrule. Template brushing components made from masonite or ebonite are stationed between the template and the tube adaptor. These components protect your template’s longevity and improve the accuracy of the weld. Virtually all drawn arc welding operations benefit from the use of a template.


To learn more about drawn arc stud welding and our additional services for stud welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 today.


Technical Specifications and the Engineering of Stud Welding

As one of the most versatile and widely used fastening systems, stud welding is an invaluable operation for a broad range of manufacturing industries. Because of its wide range of uses, stud welding has to meet a large number of engineering specifications, such as sizing, strength, materials, format, and process specifications. For any stud-welding project specifications, Northland Fastening Systems provides services and offers equipment, studs, accessories, and everything you need to get the job done.


Stud welding can be performed with drawn arc welding or CD welding units that vary in sizes, portability, and capability. Though both drawn arc and CD welding are rapid operations that provide a weld connection stronger than the stud and surface material combined, they differ in several ways when it comes to the engineering specifications.


Drawn Arc Stud Welding

  1. Materials used:
    1. Low-carbon steel with tensile strength of 60,000 psi minimum, a yield strength of 50,000 psi minimum, and a 20% minimum elongation in 2 inches. When annealed, the tensile strength becomes 50,000 psi, yield becomes 35,000 psi, and elongation becomes 25%.
    2. Stainless steel with tensile strength of 85,000 psi minimum, a yield strength of 40,000 psi minimum, and a 45% minimum elongation in 2 inches.
  2. Stud fastening torques:
    1. For low-carbon steel with studs ranging from 8-32 to 1”-8: between 17.8 and 2831 lbs per inch.
    2. For stainless steel with studs ranging from 8-32 to 1”-8: between 19.8 and 3440 lbs per inch.


CD Stud Welding

CD welding studs use a variety of materials from steel to brass. Each stud material provides a successful weld that is dependent on the base material. Some are more suited to a base material than others. For example:

  1. Mild steel:
    1. Excellent when welded to other mild steels, galvanized sheet materials, structural steel, stainless steel, and lead-free brass, rolled copper, and electrolytic copper
    2. Good when welded to medium-carbon steels and die-cast zinc alloys
    3. Cannot be welded to common aluminum alloys
  2. Stainless steel:
    1. Excellent when welded to mild steels, galvanized sheet materials, structural steel, stainless steel, and lead-free brass, rolled copper, and electrolytic copper
    2. Good when welded to medium-carbon steel and die-cast zinc alloys
    3. Cannot be welded to common aluminum alloys
  3. Aluminum:
    1. Excellent when welded to die-cast zinc alloys and common aluminum alloys
    2. Cannot be welded to mild steels, galvanized sheet materials, structural steel, stainless steel, and lead-free brass, rolled copper, or electrolytic copper
  4. Brass:
    1. Excellent when welded to mild steels, structural steel, stainless steel, and lead-free brass, rolled copper, and electrolytic copper
    2. Good when welded to medium-carbon steel and die-cast zinc alloys
    3. Cannot be welded to galvanized sheet materials and common aluminum alloys


Learn more about engineering specifications in the stud welding industry with Northland Fastening Systems. To get started with us today, call (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Building Better, Safer, and Longer-Lasting Water Towers with Quality Structural Steel Welding

For over twenty years, Northland Fastening Systems has provided stud welding services and expertise in addition to high-quality parts and accessories for a wide range of industries. From slender studs used in various food-grade stud welding projects to the strong connection points stud welding supports steel structures with, our team of experienced and highly knowledgeable welders can meet all our customers’ needs. Not only does performing structural steel welding with drawn arc studs save time and money because stud welding is such a rapid, low waste welding technique, it also creates connections points that are sturdier and longer-lasting than any other methods of building with structural sheet metal.


When you partner with NFS for stud welding services or products, you can expect the highest quality and most comprehensive welding possibilities for your structural steel project. Our team of expert welders has worked to complete a wide range of structural steel welding projects, from small units to large scale systems. One of the more unusual structures we’ve worked on is the manufacturing of sheet metal forms used in the construction of water towers.


Building Water Towers


Because water towers have to withstand the weight of thousands of gallons of water and the pressure that weight imposes without contaminating the water with rust and other corrosion, building water tower structures is highly specialized work. Stud welding is a key manufacturing technique for the building of several water tower components including:


  • Structural legs that support the tank
  • Interior tubing running from the tank to the ground
  • Structural supports placed strategically on the legs and tank
  • Access ladders, stands, railing, and panels for maintenance workers
  • Any additional sheet metal components unique to each tower ranging from cosmetic to structurally integral


Water towers have to be safe, sealed, and weather resistant. They are a vital part of many city plans and communities, providing clean, healthy water to the residents and businesses. The production of tight, durable, long-lasting components of water towers is something our stud welders take very seriously. With our stud welding capabilities, the production of sheet metal parts for many structures, including water towers, is a streamlined operation.


Not only does NFS offer sheet metal stud welding services for large structures, we also provide sheet metal stud welding for smaller components that don’t have to hold up to extreme conditions but require the clean look of stud welding.


To learn more about our stud welding services for sheet metal and our additional work in structural steel welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 today, or request a quote to get started in a partnership.

The History and Importance of the American Welding Society for CD and Drawn Arc Stud Welding Supplies

As a provider of stud welding supplies, welder rentals, and comprehensive stud welding services, Northland Fastening Systems is dedicated to continually promoting quality and best practices for stud welding in all industries. Two significantly positive impacts on our ability to offer the most reliable stud welding services and stud welding products are our own quality control systems and our goal to meet the standards of the American Welding Society (AWS). The AWS is the primary national outliner of the highest quality welding in all capacities. Our stud welding technicians offer services to a wide range of industries that follow AWS regulations, and NFS provides a wide range of quality stud welding supplies and accessories.


Since its foundation in 1919, the American Welding Society has worked as a nonprofit organization to improve, bolster, and establish best welding and related practices at an industrial level. NFS supports and strives to maintain AWS standards with our own work. As a part of this work to meet AWS standards, all our stud welding supplies, tools, accessories, and stud welding services meet the specifications of the welding society as well as our own in-house quality standards.


While the AWS offers a certification program for companies providing services including welding, soldering, thermal spraying, brazing, and other forms of cutting and allied joining processes, this is just a small portion of the important work they do. The AWS has helped to support unparalleled work in the welding industry, both in uniting welders and welding organizations across the country, and in expanding the scope of welding science from the small stud welding equipment we use at NFS to large-scale automated arc welding equipment at military, aerospace, and industrial levels.


Headquartered in Miami, FL, the AWS continues to establish welding codes that serve to advance welding operations and reach, from improving the practices used commonly in the industry to discovering and testing newer, potentially more effective welding processes. The AWS works to unite welders and welding industrial players across the country with the basis of three pillars of operations:


  1. Certification: The AWS has a quality welders certification program for companies in the welding industry that is offered for a variety of roles including welders, engineers, inspectors, supervisors, sales representatives, and more.
  2. Membership: There are over 70,000 members of the AWS across the globe, from individuals to corporations to students. Members of the AWS have access to a full range of benefits that vary depending on membership type.
  3. Research and Education: To continue the development of welding sciences, the AWS is committed to researching welding operations and educating those in the industry. This includes programs like SENSE, international seminars, widespread research labs, and much more.


When you partner with NFS, you can trust our stud welding technicians and stud welding supplies to meet AWS standards every step of the way. To learn more about our services and products, contact us at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote today.