One of the main reasons why composite construction holds the strength it does for applications like road, bridge, and building fabrication is because of stud welding. Stud welding with shear connectors and bar anchors allows workers to connect concrete to steel beams and other girders. For most large-scale construction projects, composite construction is a key component of building with accurate, durable, and long-lasting designs. For any stud construction welding needs, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies to get the job done. From studs in a complete range of dimensions and custom options available to welding tools for rent or purchase, NFS is a comprehensive resource for stud-welding supplies. In addition to a full range of tools, studs, and accessories, our welding technicians can provide tool repairs and give guidance for best practices in whatever you’re working on.
Stud Welding in Construction
Stud welding in composite construction is performed with drawn arc operations to install fasteners that form structural connections between steel beams and concrete slabs. Most applications can hold loads up to 1,000 kg/m², which is much higher than composite applications that don’t rely on stud welding.
Shear connectors are the most critical component of a composite construction when bonding concrete and steel beams. They completely impact the effectiveness, ergonomics, speed, stability, and safety of a composite construction. In hindsight of examining bridge collapses, severe road damage, and other failures, we’ve determined that the correct application or use of shear connectors often could have prevented the incident.
When using shear connector studs in construction welding, drawn arc currents range from 240 to 3,000 amps and a ceramic ferrule is used to prevent issues like splatter, burring, slagging, and brittle welds. Shear studs are typically low-carbon steel, but they can be applied in stainless steel when protection from corrosion is necessary. When welded, the length of a shear connector is reduced by about 5 mm.
Stud Welding in Composite Construction
The reason why the incorporation of stud-welding techniques in composite construction is so effective is because the installed studs resist shear force. Shear force runs parallel to the cross section of a road, bridge, or other composite structure. That impact creates significant strain on inflexible construction, but longitudinal shear connectors allow the concrete and beam composite to bend and resonate with the stress, increasing durability.
Installation of Shear Connectors
The correct installation of shear connectors prevents the concrete slab from separating from the steel beam as they both bend from stress. Shear connectors should be installed on a clean deck surface free of paint, dust, oil, and water. Ceramic ferrules can be left to be covered by the concrete pour, but the pour should significantly cover the tops of the studs. Some beam areas may require additional reinforcing depending on the shallowness of the decking and the region along the composite construction.