ARC Stud Welding Is the Future of Fastening

ARC stud welding offers a unique approach to joining metal components in industrial projects. It stands out due to its efficiency, versatility, and the strong connections it creates on a wide variety of surface types and material sizes. ARC welding is a preferred choice in industries where reliable and durable fastening is paramount—and Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) is proud to offer state of the art support for all of your ARC based industrial projects.

ARC Stud Welding Distinct Fusing Process

At the core of ARC welding lies its distinct fusing process. This technique involves melting the end of a metal stud and the surface it’s being fastened to using an electric arc. The molten metal is then quickly fused, creating a bond. What sets ARC welding apart is its speed and precision. Unlike other welding methods, which require additional materials like filler rods, ARC stud welding swiftly creates connections without the need for added materials, streamlining the process.

ARC Stud Welding for a Wide Range of Materials

The versatility of ARC stud welding adds to its uniqueness. It accommodates a wide range of materials. This adaptability is crucial in industries that work with diverse materials, as it provides a consistent and reliable fastening solution regardless of the material being used. Plus, the connections created by ARC welding exhibit exceptional strength. The fusion of the stud and the surface forms a joint that is robust and durable. This strength makes ARC stud welding a preferred choice in industries where the integrity of fastened components is vital.

ARC welding is not only known for its efficient process but also its minimal impact on the surrounding environment. The technique produces minimal fumes, sparks, and splatter, contributing to a cleaner and safer work environment. This characteristic makes it suitable for applications where maintaining a clean workspace and adhering to environmental standards are critical.

Technology Advances

As technology advances, so does the world of fastening equipment. ARC welding remains a prominent player due to its unique combination of speed, versatility, and reliability. Its ability to quickly create strong connections across various materials while minimizing environmental impact sets it apart as a practical and efficient solution in industries where secure fastening is essential. And at NFS, our materials are the perfect answer to your industrial projects.


If you’re working on an industrial project in need of a highly versatile fastening solution, ARC stud welding may be exactly what you need. Contact NFS today at 651-730-7770, or visit our website to find out more information.



Drawn Arc Stud Welding Using a Standard Stud Gun

Many factors go into completing a high-quality stud welding operation. Attention must be paid to the surface preparation, stud type, materials, local contaminants, and the welding gun setup. Each welding scenario has slight differences in process, but most follow the same basic rules. Technicians who learn the process of setting up a gun, calibrating power correctly, and attaching a stud with the correct time and penetration will be able to successfully perform most types of stud welding operations, including drawn arc and capacitor discharge (CD). No matter what kind of stud welding you’re working with, you can find the supplies and technical support you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We offer a complete range of tools, studs, and accessories for CD, short cycle, and drawn arc stud welding.

Drawn Arc Stud Welding

When it comes to setting up a handheld gun for drawn arc stud welding, there may be some differences between certain tools, but for the most part, the assembly will follow these steps.

  1. Select the correct chuck adapter.
  2. Screw adapter into gun.
  3. Seat arc chuck into adapter—ensure it is tightly placed.
  4. Select the correct arc foot size, depending on the stud diameter being used.
    1. Small Foot for studs with a ⅛” to ½” diameter
    2. Medium Foot for studs with a ⅝” to ¾” diameter
    3. Large Foot for studs with a ⅞” to 1″ diameter
  5. Select the correct arc foot type, depending on the stud length being used.
    1. Closed Foot for studs 2″ or shorter
    2. Split Foot for studs longer than 2″
  6. Screw arc legs into the foot with the recess facing outward. Screws should be loose until final adjustments are made.
  7. Insert the assembled foot system into the gun with chuck protruding farther than the arc foot.
  8. Insert the stud into the arc chuck.
  9. Select the correct ferrule grip, depending on the stud length being used.
    1. Closed Ferrule Grip for studs 2″ or shorter
    2. Split Ferrule Grip for studs longer than 2″
  10. Insert the ferrule grip over the stud so it meets the arc foot.
  11. Tighten set screws.
  12. Adjust foot assembly to ensure the stud is in the center of the ferrule grip.
  13. Tighten leg screws.
  14. Place the ferrule at the end of the stud.
  15. Adjust leg screws for plunge, depending on the stud diameter being used.
  16. Re-tighten leg screws when plunge is accurate.
  17. Stud gun is ready for a weld.
  18. Double check the power supply, grounding clamp, and surface condition before performing the weld.


The correct setup of a stud gun for any job is a critical part of the welding cycle. To learn more about drawn arc stud welding and our supplies, 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.

History of Sheet Metal and Arc Stud Welding

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

ARC Stud Welding

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

Arc Stud Welding Uses

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

Uses for Sheet Metal

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

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


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




Heavy-Duty Construction Equipment Built with Arc Stud Welding

Stud welding is used to build ships, infrastructure, commercial, residential, and industrial buildings, electrical equipment, food production equipment, and much more. Another industry where drawn arc and capacitor discharge stud welding operations are used extensively is vehicle manufacturing. Personal cars, commercial vehicles, and many types of industrial vehicles are all built with stud welding at multiple points on production lines. No matter what type of vehicle or other equipment you’re manufacturing, Northland Fastening Systems has the tools, studs, accessories, and any other equipment you may need. We also offer a repair and service program for most tool models and the advice of our own expert technicians. Both capacitor discharge (CD) and drawn arc stud welding operations have their use in vehicle production, and we offer a comprehensive range of supplies for both.

Arc Stud Welding

Heavy-duty vehicles for the construction industry in particular utilize arc stud welding more prevalently than any other stud operation. Drawn arc studs have larger dimensions, use stronger materials, and are, overall, more powerful than the lightweight applications of CD welding. For the high-stress loads that construction equipment and vehicles handle, drawn arc fastening systems are ideal.

Main Categories

Some main categories of heavy-duty construction vehicles that are built with drawn arc welding operations include:


There are many kinds of excavators built with stud welding connections. For the construction industry, excavator vehicles are critical. Trenchers, dredgers, power shovels, reclaimers, dragline excavators, long-reach excavators, and even mini excavators like backhoes and front loaders all have stud-welded connection points on multiple areas of their bodies, booms, housing, and other components.


Similar to excavators, construction loaders are key in the removal of demolition debris, earth, and other building materials. Generally, loaders are smaller vehicles than excavators, built with stud welding to move materials quickly between construction sites and secondary removal systems.


For infrastructure purposes, paving vehicles are very important systems. They build roads, expressways, parking lots, driveways, and even bridges. Some pavers that are made with arc studs include asphalt layers and pavers, compactors, rollers, milling and planing equipment, curing rigs, and more.


Lifting, reaching, moving, and controlling heavy materials in various ways is done with construction handlers. These vehicles range in format, but some common types include cranes, forklifts, truck-mounted boom loaders, cherry pickers, lifts, and straddle carriers.


Trucks are ubiquitous in the construction world, from pickups to dump trucks. All modern trucks of any size are built with drawn arc stud fastening systems, and many also use CD fasteners in computer systems and other electronics.

While there are many high-powered, earth-moving vehicles used in the construction industry, these are just a few of the industrial tools built with arc stud welding operations. To learn more about stud welding for construction equipment, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online

Types of Ferrules and Their Applications with Drawn Arc Welding

As a broad category of manufacturing operations, stud welding has many applications. Even within the stud welding classification, there are various kinds of operations with specific applications and capabilities. Capacitor discharge stud welding, for example, is a rapid, lightweight weld best for studs with diameters under 3/8”. However, CD welding is extremely useful for quick, clean, and strong welds of smaller studs for a greater range of materials than other types of stud welding. Drawn arc welding, on the other hand, uses larger diameter studs for heavy industrial purposes and composite construction. No matter what kind of studs and applications you work with, Northland Fastening Systems has the tools, studs, accessories, and any other supplies you need. We also provide tool repair and maintenance for most models, and our own stud welding technicians offer expert advice for any project.

Drawn Arc Welding

If you’re working with drawn arc welding operations, you’re likely using ceramic ferrules. Ferrules are attached around the tip of the stud and control the flow of molten metal as the weld is performed. When a successful weld is completed, ferrules are quickly and cleanly removed with a hammer.


These ferrules are critical components of drawn arc stud fastening systems. Some common types of ferrules include:

  • Flat ferrule: These ferrules are some of the most commonly used standard ferrule types. They are used when welding to a horizontal, flat surface such as sheet metal and beams. Standard flat ferrules come in a range of diameters, thread specifications, profiles, and fillets.
  • Vertical ferrule: Vertical ferrules are another standard ferrule type with specifications that are similar to flat ferrules. The main difference is that these are used when welding on a vertical surface. A vertical ferrule has a ring of half-teeth and half-solid ceramics to prevent molten metal from spilling through the teeth on the bottom while the weld is being performed.
  • Inside angle ferrule: Angled ferrules are used to install studs at varying angles, determined by the ferrule shape. Standard inside angle ferrules are typically used to install studs at a 90º angle.
  • Outside angle ferrule: These ferrules are used to contain molten metal and install studs on the opposite side of inside angle ferrules.
  • Side angle ferrule: Like inside angle ferrules, side angle ferrules are used to install studs at specific degrees. Side angles are almost always used to install studs at 45º.
  • Thru-hole decking ferrule: Studs that will be installed through decking to a steel beam use thru-hole decking ferrules with teeth wider than most standard ferrules. The wider space between ferrule teeth allows for more shielding gas and atmospheric exposure to create a hotter weld.
  • Specialty ferrules: There are many types of specialty ferrules, from aluminum welding ferrules to hydraulic port ferrules. A variety of more frequently-used specialty ferrules include radius, reduced base, thru-bore, rectangular, and square ferrules.

To learn more about ferrules and drawn arc welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online to get started with us today.

Commercial and Industrial Projects Built with Drawn Arc Welding

Northland Fastening Systems supplies a complete range of products for stud welding manufacturers working at all sizes for drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle operations. Not only do we offer tools for rent or purchase, studs in all dimensions, and welding accessories; we also provide repair services for most models and the advice of our expert technicians. NFS was founded in 1987 and started providing stud welding supplies to the industrial and commercial construction industries. While the majority of the market for our supplies in the 1980s to the early 2000s was dedicated to the construction industry, today it’s a little different. After the major construction work in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester that built up the cities into the 2000s was completed, the industrial market had room to grow. Today, about 80% of our supply chain goes to the industrial market, while the remaining 20% goes to commercial construction. For both the industrial industry and the commercial construction market, there are many applications of stud welding. In particular, drawn arc welding for shear connectors, bar anchors, threaded studs, and many other formats are utilized heavily throughout industrial and building construction.

Drawn Arc Welding

Some industrial and commercial projects made with drawn arc welding include the following.

Industrial Projects

  • Ladders and railings: For many purposes, secure ladders and railings made with structural steel are critical for industrial settings. Scaffolding, catwalks, safety bars, and egress ladders all serve significant roles in manufacturing. In addition to ladders and railings, structural steel welding is also used for beams of all shapes and sizes.
  • Chutes: Whether they are made for ducting, ventilation, turbines, or material transfer, chutes are often built with stud welding operations. Stud welding chutes are also critical in hydroelectric energy production.
  • Pipe shoes: Our plumbing, irrigation, oil, and power infrastructure is made possible with hundreds of underground and aboveground pipelines. These pipes need to be installed on top of thousands of pipe shoes that run along the length of the systems. Pipe shoes are built with stud welding fastening systems.
  • Modular fabrication: Many buildings and other structures are made with modular fabrications. Beam structures built into sectional modules can be shipped and fitted together more easily than large single pieces. These beams are fastened with stud welding operations.

Commercial Projects

  • Schools and universities: Campus buildings and grade schools have many components built with stud welding to ensure the safety of students and meet the requirements of an educational space.
  • Churches: Many churches are incorporating structural steel design elements, including steeples, clock towers, fencing, and more.
  • Municipal buildings: Stud welding is also key in building safety systems into municipal buildings, including police and fire stations, court houses, and prisons.
  • Minneapolis Skyway System: The Minneapolis Skyway is the largest enclosed second-level bridge in the world. It’s made up of 9.5 miles of pathways installed with welding studs.

To learn more about our supplies and drawn arc welding operations, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770, or request a quote online.

Technical Details: Drawn Arc Welding

Stud welding operations today are highly standardized manufacturing processes. They are widespread across multiple industries as fastening systems, in composite construction, for large-scale construction, food-grade fabrication, and more. If you’re manufacturing in the automotive, building construction, sheet metal fabrication, electronics, food service equipment, fabrication equipment, structural steel, or many other industries, you’ll likely use stud welding systems at some point in the production process. For any drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding operations, Northland Fastening Systems has the tools for rent or purchase, studs in a complete range of dimensions, welding accessories, and other supplies welders need to get the job done. For drawn arc welding, NFS provides supplies meeting all technical requirements and weld specifications necessary for a variety of applications.

Drawn Arc Welding

Drawn arc processes are a type of resistance welding, and for stud welding operations, they often utilize ceramic ferrules, fluxes, and shielding gas. From stud specifications to tensile load strengths, some standard drawn arc welding technical details include:


Drawn arc studs can be threaded or unthreaded, including various kinds of internal and external threads. Stud lengths are indicated as L in terms of BW (before weld) and AW (after weld). AW lengths will be shorter to various degrees depending on stud dimensions. Dimensions range depending on the type of stud, including threaded connectors, bar anchors, shear connectors, and headed anchors.


Ceramic ferrules are used to contain molten stud and surface materials at the point of the weld vary in dimensions. The ferrules you pair with your studs should match sizing and meet ISO ferrule standards. A ferrule should be able to be cracked off and removed from the weld point when it has cooled.


Drawn arc stud welding materials are generally grades of low carbon steel and stainless-steel meeting AWS and ASTM Some studs are plated in zinc, nickel, or copper. Drawn arc studs can also be annealed to Rockwell B Hardness of 75-85.

Shielding gas and flux:

Semi-inert gases like argon, helium, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen in various compositions protect the weld point from exposure to oxygen and water vapor that can contaminate the weld. Fluxes can also be used to generate carbon dioxide shielding gas and regulate melt temperatures.

Tensile and torque strengths:

Standard arc weld stud tensile load and torque strength ranges are based on stud diameter, threads per inch, mean effective thread area (META), tensile load pounds, tensile stress in pounds per square inch, and torque in inch pounds. In practical applications, studs shouldn’t be installed at their maximum yield load. Instead, a safety range of no more than 60% of a yield strength should be utilized.


In addition to flux, ferrules, and shielding gas, drawn arc accessories include adjustable chucks, cable connectors, headed chucks, ferrule foot plates, and cable lugs.

To learn more about the technical specifications of drawn arc welding for stud installation, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770, or request a quote online to get started with us.

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.