Advantages of Stud Welding over Other Fastening Systems

Throughout manufacturing history, many methods of fastening one component to another have been implemented, ranging from the most rudimentary nails to the most advanced industrial adhesives. The best fastening systems in any given situation depend on several factors, such as materials, dimensions, function, and finish. When it comes to fastening steel, aluminum, copper, bronze, and many other metal components, stud welding is often the superior choice. When properly applied, welded studs have a connection point that is quickly applied, mark-free, and powerful. In addition to stud welding’s use for metal fasteners, it’s also a key part of composite construction for steel and concrete builds. Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) is a supplier of all the necessary tools, studs, and accessories for drawn arc, CD, and short cycle stud welding operations. We offer customers a complete selection of welding materials and equipment, including our own technicians’ expert advice and guidance.

Fastening Systems

While stud welding is just one of many fastening systems for multiple applications, there are several ways it outperforms other techniques and provides greater advantages in comparison. Some of the most common fastening techniques that stud welding outperforms include:

  • Bolting: Conventional bolting is a frequently used fastener because it’s highly accessible and generally cost effective. In comparison, stud welding installation costs are actually lower and faster. Two-sided access is not required to install studs, and they can be installed without a visible head. Stud welding is also resistant to leaks and vibration, and does not require through-hole preparations.
  • Boring, drilling, and tapping: Stud welding is a faster process than any boring, drilling, and tapping operations. It has a lower install cost, does not require through-hole preparation, and has better resistance to resonance and leakage. Most important, stud welding doesn’t leave marks on the reverse side of the installation surface.

More Uses

  • Soldering: Unlike soldering, stud welding can be applied to painted surfaces and it generally calls for less training time. Stud welding is faster than soldering and has lower installation expenses.
  • Clinch fastening: Clinch fastening requires high-pressure application and two-sided access to the connection surface. Stud welding needs neither of these for a successful connection, and it doesn’t leave marks or a visible head. Stud welding requires no preparation for a through-hole, and it resists leaks and vibration. Also, clinch fastening equipment is not portable, whereas many stud welding units can be easily moved throughout a job site.

In almost every instance in which one of these common fasteners can be used, stud welding can replace it for faster, stronger, cheaper, and better-looking results. If you’re working with any of these fastening systems, consider replacing those operations with stud welding. For more information, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.

Comparing Stud Welding to Other Fastening Systems

Many kinds of fasteners are utilized across industries, from bolt systems to rivets, and different types of stud welding are among those hundreds of fastening systems. Stud welding is implemented in many different fabrication instances for a fast, clean, and strong connection. If you’re working with drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding, you can find everything you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a comprehensive supply of tools for rent or purchase, studs in a complete range of dimensions with custom sizing available, and accessories. We also have an expert staff that can give technical guidance, advice, and support. Stud welding fastening systems are more effective, stronger, longer lasting, and more advantageous than several other connection techniques for a variety of reasons.

Other Fastening Systems

If we look at some of the following other fastening systems, we can determine their disadvantages and see why stud welding might be a better solution depending on the application.

  1. Back welding: Back welding requires holes to be punched through the surface and deburred for a cleaner finish. When the weld is complete, the result needs to be sanded and smoothed further for a flat connection point. This process is much slower than stud welding, and the punched holes weaken the surface material. On the other hand, stud welding doesn’t need any prior hole punch, and creates a clean finish by default.


  1. Drilling and tapping: This process only works effectively on thick surface materials with longer studs. Because the drilling and tapping process requires several preparatory and finishing steps, it’s also slower and more constrained in application than stud welding.


  1. Inserts: The main issue with inserts is that they begin to loosen over time. They are also prone to crack paint-finished surfaces and leave stains as they corrode. Inserts require punched holes that weaken the parent material and require a deburring step before inserts are installed, and the reverse side of the connection point is often not clean. Stud welded points are not only faster and cleaner than inserts, but also they will never loosen. In fact, either the stud will bend or the surface material will crack long before a stud welded connection point loses stability.


  1. Bolting: While through bolting can create a strong connection, it also requires hole punches through the surface material and deburring of those holes. Technicians installing a bolting system need access to both sides of a surface for two-handed assembly. Installed bolt heads are bulky and often leave stains on the parent surface. A bolting assembly can leak when exposed to liquids, and the punched holes weaken the surface material.

Stud Welding

For the majority of applications where stud welding can be used in place of these other fastening methods, it will be to your advantage to implement a drawn arc, CD, or short cycle process. Stud welding is faster, cleaner, less invasive, stronger, cost-effective, and flexible than many other fastening methods.

To learn more about using stud weld fastening systems, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.

Riveting vs. Welding: Why Stud Welding Is Still Used in Shipbuilding

Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has provided comprehensive stud welding supplies for over 30 years to customers working with capacitor discharge, drawn arc, and short cycle welding. From large-scale construction to fine food-grade stud welding, we offer the right tools for rent or purchase, studs in various dimensions, custom stud options, welding accessories, and the expertise of our own stud welding technicians. Since our start in 1987, NFS has seen the many changes in welding operations, developments in technology, and advancements of technique. Today, stud welding is a highly precise process that can be fully automated for rapid, exact production applications. Even from the 1980s, significant and positive changes have come into the industry around safety, quality, and capabilities. However, some things in the welding industry haven’t changed much since the beginnings of stud welding. These applications were used in shipbuilding during World War I and the early 20th century.

In the shipbuilding industry, in particular, both stud welding and riveting operations have a notable place in the manufacturing repertoire. Stud welding is a newer manufacturing tool that developed as a technique for the type of shipbuilding that arose from the turn of the century, the Industrial Revolution, and the requirements of the U.S. Navy during both world wars.

Stud welding was key to the shipbuilding process because it could create a strong connection that was watertight, resistant to corrosion, cosmetically clean, and flexible. In addition to stud welding developments during the early 20th century, metal riveting continued to be used heavily in the manufacturing of many types of ships.

Riveting is a fabrication technique that dates back as far as the Bronze Age. Modern riveting is a very versatile operation in many industries, and it’s used in shipbuilding for several reasons. Not only is riveting fast and cost-effective, but it can also form connection points between many different types of materials, including most metals, plastics, and even wood.

Although riveting is used extensively in many kinds of shipbuilding, stud welding is still an important operation that offers results that can’t be achieved through any other types of rivet fastening systems. In particular, stud welding provides a much stronger connection point than riveting. A properly performed stud weld will have a connection point to the surface material that is stronger than the stud itself. This alone differentiates stud welding as a key operation for structural integrity in ships of all sizes.

In addition to forming a powerful, long-lasting connection, stud welding provides a very specific, clean aesthetic in an industrial setting. Stud welding generates the strength needed in a mark-free result that doesn’t require further finishing work. While riveting may be faster than stud welding overall, the majority of stud work done in shipbuilding is still considered a rapid operation.

Thanks to its speed, strength, and aesthetics, stud welding is still used in shipbuilding and other industries. To learn more about the stud welding services we provide, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.


Building Improved Electric Cars with Aluminum Fastening Systems

In the automotive industry, stud welding operations are heavily utilized in many applications. From exhaust systems to electrical wire routing, multiple types of stud welding operations are used as fastening systems in various sections of most automotive construction. If you’re working in the automotive industry or any other business that uses stud welding, you can find everything you need to get the job done with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide stud weld tools for rent or purchase, a complete range of stud types and dimensions, stud welding accessories, and the expert advice of our staff of experienced technicians. For capacitor discharge (CD), drawn arc, and short cycle weld fastening systems, NFS is a one-stop shop.

Stud welding today is used largely for attaching types of steel in composite construction, fasteners, food-grade welding, and more. When it comes to cars and other vehicles, steel is used in many parts of gas-powered combustion engines, chassis, and frames. However, with electric-powered vehicles becoming more and more prevalent, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make the end product lighter and powered with less energy while still being safe for drivers.

Using stud welding for fastening systems is a highly efficient technique, so instead of swapping it for an operation that uses lighter materials, more commonly, automotive manufacturers are utilizing aluminum stud welding systems, and broadening and improving the capabilities of those methods. When it comes to selecting a welding operation to calibrate for aluminum, manufacturers usually choose CD over drawn arc resistance welding because of the conductivity of aluminum compared to steel.

CD Welding for Aluminum

CD stud welding forms a connection point by generating a burst of energy from low-voltage electrostatic capacitors with direct current. That burst of energy heats the stud tip, vaporizing it and creating an ionization path that allows complete flow of current through an arc that, in turn, heats the stud and connection point. Applying pressure of the stud to the surface then completes the weld.

The conductivity of aluminum makes CD stud fastening systems more effective than drawn arc welding because the electrical current can move more easily. The arc current in drawn arc welding requires a great deal more energy to weld aluminum, making it less useful for lightweight, rapid welding. CD welds are performed within milliseconds and they leave no marking on the opposite surface. Because of this and the conductivity of aluminum, they are the primary choice in automotive manufacturing for electric cars.

CD stud welding for aluminum can be used extensively in nonstructural automotive construction. For example, CD studs are applied in cosmetic aluminum paneling for the framework, electrical routing, insulation, power-steering columns, heat shields, exhaust systems, lighting, and more.

To learn more about the use of stud welding for aluminum in electric cars and other applications, or about other stud welding fastening systems, call Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.



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

In the first part of this two-part blog, we covered the use of shielding gas in arc stud welding and the role it plays in helping to form a strong weld. Shielding gas essentially protects a weld point from exposure to potential contaminants like oxygen and moisture. With shielding gas, welders can eliminate potentially porous welds prone to corrosion. In the stud welding industry, shielding gas is typically used with drawn arc welding to replace the need for a flux and ferrule ring system. If you’re working with the stud welding process for any project, Northland Fastening Systems can provide any tools, studs, and welding accessories you might need, in addition to the expert advice of our own staff of stud welding technicians. As a comprehensive supplier for the stud welding process NFS has what you need for drawn arc, CD, and short cycle welding.


There are several types of shielding gas available to the welding industry, varying in price, production capabilities, and overall effectiveness. Choosing the right shielding gas for your stud welding process depends on your budget, desired finished properties of your weld, welding materials, pre- and post-weld cleanup abilities, and production schedule.


There are four common shielding gas types used in most welding processes: carbon dioxide, argon, oxygen, and helium.


  1. Carbon dioxide: The most common and least expensive shielding gas on the market, CO2 is the only gas that can be used in pure form without inert gas added. CO2 also helps to achieve a deep weld on thicker materials. However, it can create a low stability arc resulting in spatter when other gases are added, and it’s only useful in short circuit operations.
  2. Argon: The results of using an argon shielding gas are generally considered the best quality, both cosmetically and functionally. A mix of 75 to 95% argon with 25 to 5% CO2 is an ideal ratio for arc stability, minimal spatter, and a controlled puddle. Argon can also increase production rates with a spray transfer technique. Although argon is an abundant resource, it’s slightly more expensive than other shielding gases because of the difficult containment process.
  3. Oxygen: When used in small ratios, oxygen can help control fluidity of weld puddles, penetration, and arc balance. Oxygen is useful for mild carbon and stainless steel, but it can cause oxidation in aluminum, magnesium, copper, and other metals.
  4. Helium: Used with argon in similar ratios as argon/CO2 mixes (25% helium to 75% argon), helium provides deep penetration. Ratio adjustments offer control of arc heat/travel speed and increased productivity. Helium is also generally used in a mix of argon and CO2. Overall, helium is on the pricey side so it’s often added in as small amounts as possible.


Choosing the right type of shielding gas will go a long way in supporting quality weld results and increasing your production schedule. To learn more about the stud welding process and the complete line of supplies we offer, contact Northland Fastening Systems today at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.


Creating Seismic Ties and Enclosures with Stud Weld Fastening Systems

Northland Fastening Systems provides a complete range of tools, studs, and accessories used in a broad variety of stud welding applications. From food-grade welding to large-scale construction, different types of stud welding are used across many industries.


For numerous engineering purposes, stud welding is a critical tool for incorporating seismic fastening systems into a construction. From structures as small as electrical enclosures to as large as suspension bridges, stud welding is a key component in forming reliable designs that can hold up to movements caused by shifting ground and weather patterns.


If you’re working on a project that requires the use of stud welding as powerful fastening systems, Northland Fastening Systems has tools for rent or purchase, welding studs in a comprehensive range of dimensions, stud welding accessories, and the expertise of our skilled technicians.


Seismic ties and seismic grade enclosures are highly critical for strong, stable engineering with long-term reliability. The natural shifting of tectonic plates causes micro to macro movements on the earth’s surface, and gradual erosion creates moving topsoil and runoff. In addition to these ground movements, structures also face weather patterns that can include severe winds and temperature changes. These elements create conditions that often require seismic ties and other support systems to be built into a structure using stud weld fastening systems.


Seismic Ties: Any structure in an area with seismic activity needs seismic ties and other support systems to maintain stability. In addition to structural ties, straps, guy-wires, rods, and eye bars, many other seismic design aspects are installed with stud welding operations. These seismic ties and other components allow structures more flexibility in addition to strengthening the stability of inflexible building parts. Because of this, seismic components engineered into a structure and installed with stud welding techniques are critical for integrity in the face of seismic activity and severe weather.


Seismic Enclosures: Stud welding is critical in fabricating clean, reliable electrical enclosures. Because electrical enclosures are widespread in many industrial, commercial, and residential settings, it’s important they meet safety standards and can hold up against any elements they’ll be exposed to. For many areas of the U.S. this means electrical enclosures must be seismic rated. Seismic rated electrical enclosures must meet the following requirements:


  • Full welding in addition to stud welded fastening points is necessary for any seismic enclosure.
  • Heavy-duty enclosure doors are also required in place of the typical single latch door. Powerful stud welding tools can fasten heavy-duty doors with three latches and high-quality hinges that hold up to seismic resonance.
  • Seismic grade mounting hardware should be installed at the enclosure location. If possible, enclosures should be welded to their mount point for long-term strength through repeated seismic exposure.


To learn more about how stud welding supports seismic grade fastening systems, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770, or Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Breaking Down the Process of Quality CD Stud Welding

Northland Fastening Systems provides high-quality stud welding services, stud welding tools for sale and rent, and every stud welding accessory you need to get the job done. From food-grade welding to structure-strength sheet metal welding using both drawn arc and capacitor discharge (CD) welding, NFS has the right equipment for the job.


Because stud welding is such an efficient, effective, and powerful tool in a wide range of industries, it’s one of the most critical operations in many fabrication projects. Both drawn arc stud welding and CD stud welding have a foundational use in different types of welding projects, but more and more technicians are utilizing state-of-the-art CD welding units for rapid welding purposes.


CD stud welding is, for all intents and purposes, a form of arc welding. In comparison to drawn arc stud welding, however, it’s much faster, performing a pre-calibrated weld in milliseconds that leaves little-to-no mark on the opposite side of the weld surface.


CD Stud Welding Step by Step

With the right tools, performing CD stud welding is a straightforward process for welders of all skill levels. Most CD welding units offer pre-programmed settings for a weld cycle, or simplistic ways of calibrating a preset voltage depending on the stud materials and size as well as the material of the weld surface. The process goes as follows:


  1. The stud welding unit is calibrated to suit the situation.
  2. A stud is loaded onto the gun tip.
  3. The stud welding gun is positioned at the desired weld point.
  4. The welding operation is triggered, sending energy stored in the capacitors to be discharged onto the stud in a semi-automatic arc.
  5. The heat of this energy essentially vaporizes the tip of the stud and creates an ionization path.
  6. The path opens up a full flow of current arcing across the stud and melting the metal of the stud tip.
  7. Pressure from the welder then forces the molten tip of the stud onto the weld surface.
  8. This pressure and the cooling metal forms a strong bond between the stud and the weld surface.


CD stud welding doesn’t use a ferrule like its cousin, drawn arc stud welding. This means the weld is performed much more quickly, but the nature of the weld limits the size of the stud. CD welding is suited to stud diameters from 14 gauge up to 3/8”, there are no limitations on stud length. Materials that can be welded using CD stud units include stainless steel, mild steel, brass, and aluminum. Although CD stud welding is not the best choice for heavy-duty purposes, it has a prevalent use in smaller scale, rapid, efficient production. Its weld connection is stronger than the stud material itself, and it can be more easily automated than other types of welding.


To learn more about CD stud welding  and the services or products we provide that are fitted to that operation or others, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote today.

Stud Welder Profile: The HBS CDi502

No matter what stud welding project you’re working on, there’s a welder and the accessories that will fit your needs, and all those tools can be found at Northland Fastening Systems. NFS provides stud welding services, tools for rent and sale, and every type of stud, pin, bar anchor, and accessory you could ask for. We are your one-stop-shop for all things stud welding, and we only stock the most highly-rated welding tools and the best-made stud accessories.

If you’re in need of a stud welder for faster, more efficient, higher quality, and cost-effective production, NFS is here to help. With a variety of HBS and TRUWELD brand stud welders for sale, you’re sure to find a welder that meets the specifications you need. For beginner stud welders, we can work with you to find a few options that will be good fits. For example, the HBS CDi502 stud welder is an easy-to-use, quality unit for entry level CD stud welding.

The CDi502 is one of the best welders for those with minimal expertise in the application of CD stud welding on any given project. Its pre-programmed settings make it perfect for beginners, but it’s also a great option for welders of all skill levels.



  1. Lightweight and portable
  2. Easy to use
  3. Quick recharges thanks to its inverter capacitor charging technology
  4. Extended performance cycle
  5. Compact casing sized at 10.12” x 6.42” x 14.29”
  6. Spring force welding gun that does not requires adjustments
  7. Suitable for a range of materials



  1. Welds aluminum, stainless steel, and mild steel
  2. Performs rapid 1 to 3 millisecond capacitor discharge welds
  3. 100v to 240v
  4. Single phase
  5. 50/60 Hz
  6. 500ws
  7. Welds steel at #4 to ¼”
  8. Welds aluminum at #4 to #8
  9. Weighs 21.83 lbs.
  10. Temperature-controlled fan
  11. Welds 10 studs per minute
  12. Outputs 100,000 μF capacitance
  13. Recharges at 50v to100v


The German-made HBS CDi502 is a versatile, compact, and easy-to-use stud welder perfect for movement between job sites. If you think this welding unit is right for your projects, we can give you the guidance and direct information you need to get started with it today. Simply request a quote online, or contact us at (651) 730-7770 to learn more.


If you’re looking for a drawn arc welding unit or another type of CD welder, NFS has tool options meeting a wide range of specifications. Find out more about the stud welder you need through our online store, or by contacting us directly.


Understanding the Process and Benefits of Short Cycle Stud Welding

The various types of stud welding can be utilized in a broad range of manufacturing applications, and they cover quite a comprehensive amount of parts and components. From electrical enclosures and small-scale food industry equipment to construction equipment and sheet metal manufacturing, stud welding has an essential production use. When you partner with Northland Fastening Systems, you have access to our complete stud welding services as well as the tools, equipment, and accessories we provide. For both drawn arc stud welding and CD stud welding, you can trust NFS to meet all your needs with quality service and products.


When it comes to differentiating and understanding the types of stud welding we provide services and equipment for, there are a few points to take into consideration:


  1. Drawn arc stud welding utilizes a different welding process than CD stud welding. Learn more about the differences from this NFS blog post.
  2. CD stud welding is often more suited for welding thinner materials without leaving a mark on the reverse side of the weld spot.
  3. Drawn arc stud welding is more suited to welding heavier materials with wider weld spots allowing structural strength.
  4. CD welding is faster and requires less energy than drawn arc stud welding.
  5. Drawn arc welding is stronger than CD stud welding, and it can be used in large-scale construction applications.


NFS offers studs and other accessories for all types of stud welding including a variant of drawn arc stud welding called short cycle welding. Short cycle welding is a kind of drawn arc stud welding that can be performed faster than the standard process and is somewhat of a compromise between drawn arc and CD stud welding.


Here’s how it works:


Unlike typical drawn arc stud welding, short cycle welding does not use a ceramic ferrule to contain the molten metal at the weld point. Short cycle welding is performed by creating a pilot arc that melts the end of the stud and then connects the stud to the base material using pressure between the base and stud alone. This weld occurs in 10-100 milliseconds and can use CD studs depending on the welding circumstances. Basic necessities for the application of short cycle welding include:


  1. Three-phase and 480-volt power supply
  2. Threaded CD studs like those offered in the NFS store
  3. A base material thicker than 1.7 mm at minimum


The benefits of short cycle stud welding are many when used in the correct application. Short cycle welding is faster, uses lower-cost equipment, provides a higher tolerance weld point on irregular or coated base materials, and is often more convenient than typical drawn arc or CD stud welding. Short cycle stud welding is also more easily automated than other stud welding operations.


To learn more about short cycle stud welding and other stud welding processes, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770, or request a quote to get started in a partnership with us today.



Why Food-Grade Welding is Widespread Throughout the Common Commercial Kitchen

From restaurants to hospitals to food trucks and beyond, every commercial kitchen utilizes a wide range of stainless-steel products. Because stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion, acid damage, and other concentrated substances that often show up in kitchens, it’s the most logical choice of material for many components in commercial settings. The production of these stainless-steel kitchen products is most efficiently completed with stud welding processes. At Northland Fastening Systems, food-grade welding capabilities are just a click away with our stud welding services, tool rentals, and available equipment and accessories.


The efficiency and practicality of stud welding stainless steel for food-grade welding products is the primary reason why the demand for such a wide range of these kitchen components is so prevalent. Many other materials will rust, allow mold growth, start to degrade, and otherwise pose unhealthy working conditions and food production sanitation.


With the rapid welding process and strong connection points stud welding gives manufacturers of food-grade products, it’s not uncommon to see a variety of kitchen components in a commercial setting including:


  1. Stove units made with stud welded stainless-steel sheeting that holds up to the flames, grease, and other stresses in a commercial kitchen.
  2. Stainless-steel cased ovens that hold up to constant heat throughout the day and long-term use of that daily capacity.
  3. Shelving units that must support up to 2,000 lbs. regularly while exposed to temperatures ranging from walk-in freezers to heat from adjacent stoves and ovens, in addition to grease and moisture exposure.
  4. Tables and counters that hold up against continual exposure to acidic foods and liquids, knives, abrasive cleaning fluids, pounding, heavy weights, grease, heat, and cold.
  5. Heavy-duty kitchen ventilation systems and stove hoods that filter out highly acidic smoke, heavy-duty grease, and moisture constantly throughout the working day while often withstanding high heat from stovetops.
  6. Sinks and plumbing systems that take on grease, food, hair, dirt, and more in the day-to-day business of a commercial kitchen.
  7. Coolers and refrigerators that are subjected to constant opening and closing, food spills, moisture collection, freezing water, and abrasive cleaning.
  8. Commercial dishwasher units that are continually exposed to water at high sanitary temperatures, grease, acidic foods, and harsh chemical soaps.


In addition to these common systems, there are many more components of a standard commercial kitchen made with stud welded stainless steel, including some more specialized products involved in food production (such as the beer and wine making processes) that are designed to hold up to severe daily conditions.


With the use of quality stainless steel and well-made stud welding studs like those offered at Northland Fastening Systems, you can create your own commercial kitchen components that hold up to harsh environments. Contact us at (651) 730-7770 to learn more about food-grade welding and the equipment and services we provide.