Our Market Today for Industrial and Construction Welding

Northland Fastening Systems started in 1987 with the goal of bringing stud welding into the future and committing to excellence in service and products. Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen many changes in the stud welding industry, from new products and technologies to differences in the market itself. Today, stud welding is used across industries, including the construction of buildings and infrastructure, installing insulation, building electronics, and much more. In many ways, stud welding is a superior fastening system. Stud welding quickly provides a powerful, clean connection point, requires access to only one side of a work surface, is leak and corrosion resistant, and is cost-effective. For any manufacturers and contractors working with stud welding, Northland Fastening Systems has the supplies and services needed to get the job done. We provide a comprehensive supply of studs, accessories, tools, and other support for industrial and construction welding.

Construction Welding

In our past 30 plus years of operation, the biggest market change we’ve seen is the shift in demand for construction vs. industrial stud welding supplies. In the early days of NFS, many parts of the Twin Cities were still being built to become the metropolises they are today. The greatest demand for supplies came from the construction welding industry.

Now that metro area growth has slowed, a large increase in industrial demand has grown, shifting the majority of our market supply from construction to industrial.

80% Industrial

Today, about 80% of our business is with the industrial market. This includes customers manufacturing parts and assemblies of all kinds. We supply to the automotive, electronics, food service, sheet metal, agricultural equipment, robotics, and even furniture industries. The largest use of industrial stud welding supplies includes electrical enclosures and enclosures in general, commercial and industrial food service equipment, and the fabrication of multiple parts with sheet metal. Factory equipment is also largely built with studs and other types of industrial welding systems.

20% Construction

While demand for construction welding supplies has decreased, the construction market still makes up about 20% of our business. Many different types of multi-story buildings and other structures are built with stud welding. The use of shear connectors in composite construction is critical for bridges and other infrastructure, and thru-deck welding is a prevalent operation in modern building. In addition to thru-deck welding and shear connectors that fasten concrete to steel beams, bar anchors are also used in composite construction, and CD studs are key in the installation of insulation for most building types.

Stud welding continues to be one of the most versatile and reliable fastening systems today for both the industrial and construction markets. For more information about our supplies for industrial and construction welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Strength of Complete Fusion in the Stud Welding Process

Since its invention in the early 1900s, stud welding has proven to be an exceptionally useful tool for a wide range of industries. From construction to electronics, stud welding offers a fastening system that connects metals with strong, rapid, and clean operations. When applied correctly, stud welded connections are stronger than the stud and base material put together. In fact, one of the quickest ways to test the accuracy of a weld is by seeing if the stud will fail in a bend test before the connection point fails. If you are working with stud welding, you know the benefits it provides to many manufacturing processes. Stud welding is quick, cost-effective, and powerful. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), we provide a complete range of supplies for the drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle stud welding process. This includes studs for each type of welding, tools for rent and purchase, welding accessories, and even repairs for most welding equipment.

Stud Welding Process

One of the reasons why the stud welding process is advantageous for so many industries is because of the strength a full fusion weld point provides. Stud welding operations completely fuse stud materials to surface materials. This fusion can be done with a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, and even copper.

What Is Complete Fusion?

Complete fusion requires both metals to reach melting temperatures. Molten metals will fuse together at the weld point and create a complete connection between parts. All layers of stud and surface material should be molten in order to create complete fusion. Because of this requirement for deep penetration, stud lengths will shorten a specified amount when installed, depending on material and weld types.

A homogenous weld point that is completely fused will be clean with no spatter or puddles. Complete fusion eliminates the risk of a cold or porous weld that will likely fail. Any incorrect applications that have incomplete fusion can be revealed with testing. Incomplete fusion issues can be prevented by accurately calibrating welding equipment, using the right power, and performing a weld in the correct duration and positioning. With drawn arc welding, ceramic ferrules and shielding gas also help technicians achieve complete fusion in the welds.


For complete fusion through paint, annealing, and other surface treatments, technicians should adjust accordingly and use grounding clamps on the job site. In facilities where automated stud welding systems are integrated into a production line, complete fusion results are often built into the equipment. Automation parameters for complete fusion can be adjusted when stud dimensions, materials, and other specifications are changed.

If you are working with any kind of stud welding process in any industry, and are looking for supplies, equipment, and more, we can help. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Power Supply Classifications for the Stud Welding Process

Welding with an electrically generated arcing current was first developed in the late 1800s by several British, Russian, and American inventors. In 1887, Russian inventor Nikolay Benardos presented the first arc welding system with a carbon electrode. The same year, another inventor, French Auguste de Méritens, also developed a carbon arc welder. Over the next 130 years, new technologies for welding would be invented and developed to the advanced state-of-the-art systems they are today. Modern metal welding hosts an umbrella of operations from gas metal arc welding (GMAW) to electron beam welding (EBW). Stud welding is also a commonplace welding operation that is used across industries. If you are working with a drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding process, you can find all the supplies you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS provides a complete selection of welding equipment, including tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and even repairs for most models.

Stud Welding Process

Stud welding machines can utilize either AC or DC power supplies depending on the welding application and the facilities. The power source for any stud welding process can be one of three general designs: transformers, generators, or inverters.


Using electricity from main utilities, transformers convert moderate electrical currents and voltage into high current and low voltage. Generally that conversion takes 110–240 V supplies to around 17-45 V with anywhere between 55 and 590 amp. Transformers are less costly than other power supplies, but they can only be used within a facility because of their large size.


For job-site welding with portable welders, a generator is often the best choice for power conversion. These designs convert mechanical energy into electrical energy with an electric or internal combustion motor. Generators are also called alternators because they convert that energy from mechanical to electrical to reach the same voltage step-down that transformers provide.

Inverters In the Stud Welding Process

Inverters are a newer power source for welding units because they use high-power semiconductors that have only recently been adapted into wider technologies. These systems take main utility AC and change it to DC, then they invert that DC power to step-down the voltage and change the current to the calibrated weld requirements. The most significant feature of inverters is that they can be adjusted with software systems thanks to their use of semiconductor chips.

Within these categories of transformers, generators, and inverters, there are many variations that can be used as power supplies for stud welding. Each type of stud welding and welding overall will require different calibrations of voltage and current that can be achieved with these power supply designs.

If you are in need of any supplies for your stud welding process, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Freight Shipping Statistics Made Possible with Steel Weld Studs

Since the first usage of stud welding in the early 1900s for the shipbuilding of freight, naval, and other large vessels, stud welding operations have become a mainstay for the maritime industry. Over the next 120 years, stud welding grew to be used in a broad range of industries in addition to shipbuilding, including the construction, electrical, and food equipment industries. While stud welding is widespread across the industrial world today, it continues to be a key operation for the maritime and, by extension, freight shipping industries. Because it is such a heavily used manufacturing operation for freighters, stud welding and steel weld studs in particular make container shipping possible and allow a trading economic system to exist on a global level. For any stud welding projects, Northland Fastening Systems supplies welding units for rent or purchase, CD and drawn arc studs, welding accessories, and more.

The Impact of Steel Weld Studs on the Shipping Industry

As we’ve said, freighters and other shipping vessels could not be made as efficiently and safely without the use of stud welding. The steel weld studs used to construct these vessels are what make container shipping a significant part of the global economy.

Container Shipping

Let’s look at some basic statistics from the container shipping industry made possible with stud welding (published as of 2022):

  • 80% of all products traded worldwide are shipped by sea.
  • In 2020, around 1.85 billion metric tons of goods were shipped around the world by freight.
  • In the past 40 years, cargo ship tonnages have increased in capacity from about 11 million metric tons to around 275 million metric tons.
  • Around 54,700 merchant ships operate globally.
  • Some of those types of merchant vessels include general cargo, crude oil tankers, chemical tankers, container ships, and passenger ships.
  • Shanghai handled 47 million tons of cargo in 2020, making it the leading global port for container shipping.
  • New general cargo ship designs may produce 40% less CO2 emissions by 2040.
  • The first standardized intermodal freight containers were developed in the 1950s.
  • The first refrigerated freighters were introduced in the 1970s.
  • The world’s largest cargo ship, the Ever Ace, measures 1,300 feet and has a holding capacity of 23,992 standard freight containers.

Steel Weld Studs to Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow

Modern freight shipping has reached massive proportions to meet the demands of a growing population and an increasingly capitalistic economy. Despite the futuristic systems and designs of today’s freighters, they still all rely on the use of stud welding and steel weld studs for construction.


To learn more about the abilities and uses of stud welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with our team today.


Material Specifications for the Drawn Arc and Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding Process

Because stud welding is used so prevalently throughout different industries, it shows its versatility in terms of applications and materials. Stud welding operations also have great flexibility when it comes to sizing, such as stud diameters and lengths. With stud welding, you can perform food-grade fastening systems, composite construction, large-scale thru-decking, and much more. If you are taking advantage of the wide range of the stud welding process for any project, big or small, you can find all the supplies you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a complete supply of welding tools for rent or purchase, drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding studs, welding accessories, and repair services for most models. Our own welding technicians are also available to provide support and advice from their own expertise and knowledge.

Stud Welding

For the majority of stud welding, steel is a mainstay material for drawn arc and CD operations, but there are many other materials that are critical parts of the stud welding process as well as materials that can improve and alter the properties of a weld.

Stud Welding Process

Let’s look at the material specifications for different components of the many steps that may be included in a full welding operation:

Studs and surfaces:

As mentioned, steel is a primary material for most stud welding scenarios. Low carbon steel and 302/304/305 stainless steel grades are common for drawn arc welding. However, for drawn arc operations, aluminum, other stainless steel grades, monel, and inconel can also be used for studs and surfaces. CD stud welding uses similar materials, including low carbon and stainless steel, but 1100, 6061, and 5000 aluminum alloys, brass, and other steels can also be used.


For drawn arc welding, cadmium and zinc alloys can be used as plating. CD welding can use copper, cadmium, nickel, zinc, and many other plating metals. If nonweldable plating is already on a surface, that should be removed to prevent weld contamination.


Generally speaking, all low carbon and stainless steels can be annealed for both the stud and surface. Annealing can be done to a maximum of 75 Rockwell B for low carbon steel and 90 Rockwell B for stainless steel.


An important nonmetal material used in stud welding comes in the form of a ceramic ferrule. Ceramic ferrules are a part of the drawn arc process. Ferrules are installed at the point of the weld around the stud tip to contain and control molten metal while the weld is performed. They can then be chipped off when the weld is cooled.


If you are looking for materials used in any part of the stud welding process, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

The History of Catering and How Food Grade Welding Plays a Role in Catering Today

Welding has been a part of many metalworking industries for centuries, with the earliest forge welding dating back to the Bronze Age (3300-1200 BCE). Stud welding as one of many newer kinds of welding was developed in the early 20th century in the shipbuilding industry. Since its first advancements, stud welding has grown to be a part of almost every metal manufacturing industry from construction to food service. If you are working with stud welding operations, you can find all the supplies you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS is a comprehensive supplier of all stud welding equipment, tools, studs, and other accessories. We also provide repairs for tools and the advice of our own expert technicians. One application of stud welding that is sometimes overlooked is its use in food grade welding for restaurant, catering, and other commercial food service industries. Stud welding is a quick, clean operation that can create strong connections between stainless steel studs and other equipment components. Not only is stud welding effective for well-made equipment, it’s also sanitary. Equipment made with stud welding operations meets strict standards for food safety and hygiene.

Food Grade Welding

From commercial kitchens to residential appliances, food grade welding is a heavily relied-on operation that allows manufacturers to quickly build components and full assemblies that won’t have potential issues with hygiene. Food grade stud welding prevents harborage, creates strong connections, and uses stainless steel that won’t corrode or allow spaces for bacteria and other pathogens to grow.

A large part of the food service industry that utilizes equipment manufactured with stud welding is catering. Many kinds of equipment used in the catering industry are fabricated with CD stud welding, thanks to the strong, clean connections points it offers.

Catering Chronology

Catering in the world dates back to 4000 BCE in China, but catering in the United States has a much shorter history. Let’s look at a brief timeline based on an article on Medium.com website, “A Brief History of Catering.”

  • 1778: One of the first large catered events was held in Philadelphia at a ball. The event was catered by Caesar Cranshell.
  • 1820: By this time, catering was a respectable business that was largely operated by African Americans in the free northern United States.
  • 1840: Robert Bogle, the “Originator of Catering,” expanded and diversified the catering industry.
  • 1930-1960: The catering industry survived through World War I and World War II rationing by simplifying menus and partnering with restaurants.
  • 1970-2000: During this time, as more and more women started working in the food service industry, new styles of cooking passed down in different communities became a part of catering menus.
  • 2000-present: Catering is a dedicated department for many restaurants today. Catering has also changed to adapt to new concerns and rules after the COVID-19 pandemic. Current restrictions for sanitation and preventing pathogen transmission make it more important than ever for catering equipment to be hygienic.

To learn more about how catering equipment is made today with CD food grade welding and our supplies, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Inspection and Testing of Thru-Deck Welding with NFS Fastening Systems

Thru-deck stud welding is an important operation for the construction industry and is utilized in a wide range of composite building processes, including attaching metal deck sheeting to steel beams. Decking and steel beams have widespread use in the construction of many kinds of buildings, infrastructure, and other large structures. Because thru-deck welding is such a critical part of many fabrication projects, it’s important for welds to be performed correctly, and for testing and inspections to follow international standards for quality. If you’re working with thru-deck welding processes, we can help. Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) supplies a comprehensive range of tools for rent or purchase, studs, accessories, repairs for most welding models, and the guidance and knowledge of our own skilled technicians.

Thru-Deck Welding

With thru-deck welding, you’re likely operating on an active job site, which means safety is key. Check your cables, equipment, and power source for safety and to ensure you’re receiving enough power through extended cords; make sure your welding surfaces are grounded to a clean spot on a beam; and check your welding surface for dirt, water, and other contaminants.

Once you’ve made sure your conditions are appropriate for thru-deck weld fastening systems and you’ve performed your weld, you should also test and inspect the weld results before continuing on to complete a series of welds.


Ideally, you will perform tests on pre-production and production weld results. All testing should follow the American Welding Society Structural Welding Code D1.1. This means accounting for the material and design, fabrication, qualification, and inspection. Many details need to be taken into account with your testing, including not performing a test in cold weather unless the stud has cooled to be warm to the touch. If a stud is hot or cooled completely in temperatures below freezing, it will compromise the results. Learn more about AWS testing standards and more about basic testing of stud welds.

Visual Inspections

Visual inspections are just as important as following the AWS code for thru-deck welding specifications. In your visual inspection, you should be able to see the weld point completely around the stud. Any undercuts, spattering, or other abnormalities at the weld point is a sign of a poor weld. If you can’t see 360 degrees around the weld, you may need to use destructive testing methods. This can be done with a hammer hit or by bending the stud to a 15-degree angle. In most cases, bending will be a more effective test. If the weld fails with either test, you need to recalibrate your conditions and test and inspect a new result.

Thru-deck welding is one of many useful stud weld fastening systems for the construction industry. For more information about our supplies for thru-deck and other welding operations, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online

Tallest Buildings in the World Made Possible with the Stud Welding Process

Stud welding is a versatile manufacturing operation that can be utilized for a broad range of fastening systems. Because of the many uses of stud welding, various stud weld operations are used throughout industries. From automotive to medical industries, many manufacturers rely on stud welding for safe, long-lasting connections. Another important function stud welding provides is in composite construction for infrastructure and large-scale building. If you are using the stud welding process for any kind of composite construction or other structural building, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies, tools, and technical support you need. We provide a comprehensive selection of drawn arc and capacitor discharge (CD) studs, welding tools for rent or purchase, welding accessories, and repair services for a range of welding models.

Stud welding process using composite construction:

Composite construction is a key part of building with materials like concrete and steel, both of which are significant factors of road and bridge infrastructure, multistory buildings, and other large-scale constructions. In fact, without the stud welding process, some of the world’s tallest buildings today wouldn’t be possible.

Tallest buildings made with the stud welding process:

Burj Khalifa:

Built in 2010 in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa still holds the title of tallest in the world. It reaches 2,717 feet with 163 floors and one additional floor below ground. The Burj Khalifa is built in a neo-futuristic style and relies on a structural skeleton of reinforced concrete, steel, and aluminum.

Merdeka 118:

One of the newest of the world’s tall buildings, the Merdeka 118 was completed in 2022 in the capital city of Malaysia. The Merdeka (meaning “independence” in Indonesian) Tower is a combination of neo-futuristic style and a Malay traditional songket pattern. The tower stands 2,227 feet with 118 floors and five others below ground.

Shanghai Tower:

Until the construction of the Merdeka 118 tower, the Shanghai Tower held the title of second tallest. It was built in Shanghai in 2015 and stands 2,073 feet tall. It has 128 floors, with five additional floors below ground.

Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower:

Constructed in 2012 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower stands 1,972 feet tall. It has 120 floors, with three others below ground. The tower is built in a postmodern, neo-classical style, featuring an ornate (and enormous) atomic clock and golden spire.

Ping An International Finance Center:

The Ping An tower was constructed in 2017 in Shenzhen, China. It stands 1,966 feet (to its tip) and has 115 floors, with five additional below ground. It currently has the world’s highest observation deck at 1,844 feet.

Composite construction using stud welding process:

These are just some of the hundreds of super tall buildings in the world built with composite construction using steel and concrete. The stud welding process makes it possible to form powerful connections and shear force absorbers with those materials to construct taller and taller buildings.

To learn more about our stud welding supplies, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.


Sheet Metal Fabrication for Construction Welding with Studs

Metal working and, in particular, constructing tools and equipment with metals is a practice dating back to the Bronze and Iron Ages. The Bronze Age began in about 3300 BCE and led into the Iron Age around 1200 BCE. Over thousands of years, our understanding of metals and the application of different metal objects expanded greatly. Even in the last 50 years, scientific research and development of high-performance metal alloys has advanced significantly, including improvements to sheet metal. Today, many industries are reliant on sheet metal for the fabrication of countless tools and equipment. Some of our largest global industries completely rely on the production of high-quality, specialized sheet metals for manufacturing. For example, the automotive, aerospace, railroad, oil, electronics, food, medical, computer, military, agricultural, and construction industries would be unable to operate without access to sheet metals. Within the majority of those industries, construction welding is used to apply studs and build with sheet metals for strong, clean fastening systems. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), one of the main industries we supply with studs, tools, accessories, and other equipment is the sheet metal welding industry.

Studs Attached With Construction Welding

Structural steel building with sheet metals includes several steps on the production line, including cutting, bending, assembling, and more. Stud welding fasteners are an important part of the fabrication process. Studs attached with construction welding have a strong bond to sheet metal surfaces; they offer a clean, mark-free finish, and they are an affordable, efficient fastener option.

Grades of Sheet Metal

Stud welding can be used in all kinds of applications with any grade of sheet metal. While there are many kinds of sheet metals available today three main categories of all sheeting still remain: commercial, industrial, and structural.

  1. Commercial metal sheeting is used to build a wide range of products marketed to individual consumers and businesses. Common examples of products made with commercial metal sheeting include appliances, electronics, and cars. Commercial metal sheeting is so prevalent across industries that almost every household and business will use a product made with stud welding sheeting daily.
  2. Industrial metal sheeting is used to manufacture parts that can be integrated into other products down the line. Manufacturers are the main purchasers of industrial sheeting, and they typically use that material to make parts for tools like bandsaws, drill presses, hydraulic systems, and more.
  3. Structural steel sheeting is used in the construction welding industry. Sheeting installed in buildings and infrastructure like skyscrapers, bridges, water towers, shops, factories, and even homes are all structural metals. Stud welding is used throughout many construction welding processes.

For more information on our supplies and how we support sheet metal fabrication industries, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

The Great Range of Stud Welding Process Applications

Stud welding is one of the most valuable operations as a fastening system for the manufacturing and industrial world. Various types of stud welding have hundreds of applications, from large-scale infrastructure to tiny insulation pins. The stud welding process is versatile, quick, and when performed correctly, provides a powerful connection point with greater benefits than other fastening systems. Stud welding operations began in the early 1900s in the shipbuilding industry, but since then, have spread to many other applications and sectors of industry. No matter what you’re utilizing stud welding for, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) can help you get the job done with our comprehensive selection of tools, studs, and other supplies. We provide tools for rent or purchase, studs in a broad range of dimensions with custom options available, stud welding accessories, repairs of most tool models, and the expert support of our own welding technicians.

Stud Welding Process

The three types of stud welding—drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle— each has its own range of applications throughout different industries. Drawn arc welding is typically used in “heavy duty” applications like shear connectors in composite construction and headed anchor studs in concrete embedments. CD and short cycle welding are often used for rapid, lightweight connection points with smaller diameter studs and pins, such as the installment of insulation.

Three Types of the Stud Welding Process

All three types of stud welding have important uses that fall into the great range of stud welding applications, including the following.


Composite construction with concrete and steel, beams, sewage and plumbing system pipes, roads, bridges, and many other applications use stud welding as a fastening system. Strength, flexibility, and other properties of studs make these construction techniques possible.


Stud welding is highly prevalent throughout the automotive industry. Cars, trucks, and other vehicles rely on the precision and strength of welding studs for fastening sheet metals, exhaust systems, heat shields, insulation, power steering, electrical wiring, and more.


In the restaurant, catering, food processing, packaging, and even home kitchen appliance industries, stud welding is a critical tool for building food-safe equipment. Hygiene and sanitation are the most important features of food production equipment, and stud welding allows systems to be built with the least risk of contamination.


Stud welding is still important in its root industry. Stud application was largely relied on for building naval and freight ships during wartime throughout the 20th century, but today stud welding is used on all kinds of vessels, from battleships and submarines to small motor boats and yachts.

There are many other industries that utilize stud welding operations. Manufacturers fabricating heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; furniture; agricultural equipment; electronics; signs; and even decorative items all use various forms of stud welding.

To learn more about the stud welding process and our supplies, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.