Application of Different Metals for Welding Studs

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

Uses for Stud Welding

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

Metals Used With Welding Studs

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

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

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

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


Building Railway Bridges with Construction Welding

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

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

Construction Welding

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

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

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

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

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

3 Types of Stud Welding Used as Fastening Systems

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

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

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

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

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

Using Stud Welding for Practical Design Aesthetics

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

Comparing DC and AC Stud Welding Machines

Within the welding industry, there are a broad range of different operations to achieve metal or polymer fusion. The first forms of welding were developed long ago in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Today, many other formats for welding exist, from thermochemical welding and resistance welding to laser welding and ultrasonic welding. In each of these types of welding, other variations of process and application occur. For example, within the category of stud welding, the primary operations are drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding. Whatever type of stud fastening or composite stud construction you’re working with, you can find the supplies and tools you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS provides a complete range of stud dimensions, welding accessories, technicians’ expertise, and a variety of stud welding machines.


Apart from the differences among each of the three primary stud welding operations—drawn arc, CD, and short cycle—there can be changes in the way a tool is calibrated for a job or even in the type of electrical current.


Like most other operations using an electrical power source, stud welding machines will either be built to handle direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC), both of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The appropriate current pattern for any welder simply depends on the welding circumstances.



DC welding units are lightweight and highly portable, making them ideal for job site operations. Because they can be hooked up to most power sources, they can be installed and removed easily between production environments.


Though they are a portable option, DC stud welding machines are less energy efficient, using only about 30% to 50% of a power source. They can also require more maintenance than AC welders because they are moved about often.


With a DC welder, any arc blown over 300 amp can be difficult to control. Comparatively, AC welders take no effect from an arc blow. Also, DC welders will have polarity in the arc, whereas AC welders have a neutral arc.



AC units source power cyclically from their main power supply. The power fluctuates between negative and positive around 50 times a second. This rapid shift creates an even energy flow that generates heat at the weld site.


AC stud welding machines tend to be larger than DC machines. They are not portable because they have to be hooked into a transformer for an accurate power source.


However, AC stud welding machines have between 70% to 90% energy efficiency, and they are less costly to run long term than DC tools. They also require less maintenance because they are static. Overall, they are cheaper to establish as a workhorse stud welder.


Whether you need the benefits of a portable DC unit or an in-house AC welding unit, NFS has a collection of both for rent or purchase. To learn more about our stud welding machines and other supplies, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Growing a Profitable Stud Welding Venture

At Northland Fastening Systems, our expert staff provides a comprehensive range of stud welding supplies to a variety of customers. Our clients range from single-person welding services to fully automated industrial facilities. We offer tools for rent or purchase, studs in a complete range of dimensions, welding accessories, and the skills and advice of our own technicians. All our supplies support quality stud welding practices, and NFS is dedicated to upholding the best industry standards proven globally. If you own a small welding company or are just starting out as a commercial welder, holding your work to these standards and utilizing high-quality tools can help you grow a profitable stud welding venture and gain a reputation as a reliable welder offering great results.


At NFS we love to see new companies growing and small businesses thriving. Our supplies help to support the growth of well-respected welding providers, but there are also a few things you can do to ensure positive growth and profit without compromising the quality of your services. For example:


  • Work as a customer-focused provider. Understanding customer needs and communicating throughout the process of any project will help you gain client trust and positive word-of-mouth advertising. Customer-focused practices will result in more repeat clients and growth of your customer base through referral.
  • Work as an employee-focused company. The most successful welding providers adopt both customer- and employee-focused practices. Supporting your workers with the best pay, benefits, training, and personal protection possible will help prevent costly turnover and promote workplace happiness. Better staff morale and education means your company will provide better services on the job.
  • Keep meticulous records. Using a software system that can tackle inventory management, job records, maintenance requirements, and any other schedule history is the best way to keep company records. If you don’t have access to a digital record system, paper files work just fine but can be more easily lost, generally contain less data, and are less professional. Keeping strict records will help you with future jobs, avoid unnecessary repair costs, maintain a correct schedule, and improve your client relations.
  • Spend time and money on an online presence. Every company in today’s internet-based world should have a quality website that’s easy for users to navigate. Once you have your website up, taking the time to generate a regularly published blog or news page will also help you gain a natural following of users interested in the information you put out. Additional resources like social media can also help establish your business in the contemporary industrial and commercial community.


Every company is different, and you’ll find your own ways to grow and become successful, but these are good standards to work by. As for finding the best supplies to get the job done, Northland Fastening Systems is your one-stop-shop for all the quality stud welding supplies you need.


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

Integrating an Automated Stud Welding Process

Stud welding operations are streamlined, quick processes that allow technicians to install a broad range of stud types in many applications with powerful connections and clean finishes. Even handheld welding guns and lightweight or portable units can increase production speed and improve results. However, with an automated stud welding process installed in your production line, you can greatly increase the speed and quality of your welding operations while eliminating unnecessary costs and material waste. At Northland Fastening Systems, we offer a complete range of supplies for any stud welding process, automated or not. We provide a large collection of studs in varying dimensions and materials, welding tools for rent or purchase, welding accessories, and the expertise of our own technicians for advice or tool services.


If your production schedules have expanded to the point of considering integrating an automated stud welding process into your facilities, there are a few things to consider to determine if a fully automated system is the right choice.


  • Production: The main thing to consider before automating is if your production output and operation types fit an automated rate and facility set up. When automating the stud welding process, you will also have to increase assembly speeds. Consider the bottle necks for assembly in your facility and workers. Analyze your current production cycle time and determine where parts of the assembly process that won’t be automated can be sped up.


  • Safety: Worker safety should always be considered before making changes to your facility. When installing an automated system into existing facilities, the effects of that integration should be diagnosed before moving forward. Consider ergonomics, torque, tool weight, operator fatigue, and more. Make sure everything fits together correctly, and provide extensive training and safety procedurals to workers whenever new equipment is introduced.


  • Quality: Finally, you need to ensure that installing an automated system for your stud welding process won’t compromise quality in any way. If an automated system will change products in any way, the assembly process must be altered to fit those changes. Stud installation should be done with perfect accuracy if your automated system is properly functioning. Collect data before and after installing an automated system and compare to see improvements, or lack thereof, in quality.


Working with highly rated, expert providers like Northland Fastening System will help you find the right automation options and install new equipment successfully. We offer user-friendly, effective automation options for drawn arc, CD, and short cycle welding. To learn more about our automated equipment for the stud welding process, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Part One: Shielding Gas and Its Role in the Stud Welding Process

In many manufacturing industries, stud welding is often relied upon for its ability to create powerful fastening systems quickly and cleanly. The industries that the stud welding process is utilized in range from food grade manufacturing to composite large-scale construction.


As a type of arc welding, the stud welding process is capable of forming connection points that are stronger than the stud or base material. There are several types of stud welding processes, including drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding.


At Northland Fastening Systems, we provide a comprehensive supply of tools, studs, and accessories for each stud welding process as well as the expert advice of our own technicians.


Compared to other types of arc welding, stud welding is a relatively straightforward process with few bells and whistles required to perform a strong weld. For example, technicians performing other welding processes require significant personal protective equipment and often shielding gas, slag, vapor, or other weld protective measures must be taken. The stud welding process is designed to be performed rapidly, easily portable in the field, and require only basic training for the welding technician.


CD and short cycle welding in particular are streamlined, fast operations compared to many other welding techniques. However, they are only suitable for a “lightweight” range of duties and are limited to smaller studs and overall moderate applications. Drawn arc welding, on the other hand, can be used in large-scale applications like composite construction for bridges and buildings. Because drawn arc welding utilizes additives like shielding gas and ceramic ferrules that other arc welding processes use for various operations, it’s capable of installing larger studs and heavy-duty manufacturing.


Typically, drawn arc welding uses a ceramic ferrule ring to contain the heat generated at the weld point and a flux tip to control the melt temperature. Using these additives in the stud welding process helps control the fusion and create a clean weld result. Welders can also use shielding gas in the place of a ferrule ring.


Shielding gases like argon, carbon dioxide, and helium are inert, and when applied during the welding process will protect the weld from air contaminants like water vapor and oxygen that would otherwise create a porous weld prone to cracking and corroding. When applied in a drawn arc stud welding process, shielding gas also helps control the arc, prevent splatter, vary penetration depth, and more.

NFS Welding Studs 101

Since 1987, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has supplied the stud welding industry with quality tools, welding studs, accessories, and our own expert advice. Our supply of welding studs and accessories covers a comprehensive range of dimensions, materials, and additional specifications. Welders working with drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle welding can find the welding studs they need with NFS, including any specifications from threaded studs used in an automated system to CD pins hand-installed in the field to shear connectors used in composite construction. As a specialty welding operation, manufacturers using stud welding take advantage of its speed and ability to form a connection stronger than the stud itself. When done correctly, stud welding is a highly clean and efficient operation that poses little physical danger to the welder. You can incorporate the benefits of stud welding onto your production floor with the help of NFS technicians, our tools—for rent or purchase—and our complete collection of welding studs and accessories.


The most common types of stud welding include drawn arc and CD. Studs suitable for each welding operation will vary, and depending on what your surface material, fastening system specifications, and dimension requirements are, the welding studs will vary within each category. All of the following studs are available in multiple diameters and lengths, and we offer custom stud-sizing options.


Drawn Arc Studs

Typically speaking, drawn arc welding studs are slightly more heavy-duty than CD welding studs. They fit in larger dimensions; are made from mild, low carbon, or stainless steel; and take longer to weld. NFS offers fully threaded or partially threaded arc welding studs, headed anchor welding studs for concrete connections, shear connectors for composite constructions, and deformed bar anchors for weld and bearing plates.


CD Studs and Pins 

CD stud welding is used as a rapid, lightweight, clean fastening operation for smaller studs and CD pins. We offer flanged and threaded CD studs in standard and small sizing and non-flanged and threaded studs in standard sizing. NFS CD studs are fabricated with aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, or brass. Mild steel CD insulator pins are also available in standard sizing.



For both drawn arc and CD welding, we have a range of accessories that are necessary to make adjustments to tools, work with ferrules, and more. We offer a variety of cable connectors, ferrule plates, split feet, closed feet, chucks, spark shields, collets inserts, tube adapters, B stops, and more.


Whether you’re working with drawn arc, CD, or short cycle welding operations, our goal is to provide you with all the stud welding supplies you need to help your job go smoothly. To learn more about our available welding studs and all our other welding supplies, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

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.