If you’re using stud welding as one of your key production operations, you’re one of thousands of manufacturers with a powerful tool that is both efficient and cost effective. Stud welding is a highly utilized fastening system that developed out of its use in shipbuilding to be part of fabrication settings in many industries, from food grade to the construction of bridges and other large-scale structures. At Northland Fastening Systems (NFS), you can find everything you need for successful stud welding processes, including tools for rent or purchase, studs in a comprehensive range of dimensions, accessories, and our own technicians’ expertise. Whether you’re working with drawn arc, capacitor discharge, or short cycle stud welding, we have the supplies that will help you get the job done.
While many operators are able to work in indoors or in otherwise enclosed conditions, making the questions of weather and other elements irrelevant, many other stud welders work at outdoor sites with exposure to wind, rain, and temperature fluctuations. These worksite elements are factors that must be taken into consideration before attempting to use stud welding as an effective fastening system. Specifically, moisture and temperature are the elements that most directly affect the quality of a weld, no matter what metals or welding operations are being used.
Moisture: The stud welding process is most directly affected by moisture. Rain, snow, and even humidity can, at the least, damage the quality of a connection point, and at the most, compromise worker safety. If the worksite is exposed to heavy precipitation of any kind without cover, workers should never attempt to weld. With very light precipitation or some cover, welding technicians can perform successful welds safely, but even slight moisture can change the chemical makeup of the weld. The relative moisture and dew point must be measured and compared to the requirement of the specific metal being welded together. Metals like aluminum need very dry conditions for successful welds, and all surfaces must be properly cleaned and otherwise prepped for a weld. Both relative moisture and dew points can change with temperature variations in the worksite.
Temperature: Because temperature changes can impact the moisture and dew point, it’s important to monitor the air, the electrode, and the metal temperatures during the stud welding process. In addition to affecting the moisture, certain temperatures are too low or too high to allow for a successful connection point. Generally speaking, the temperature of the weld surface should not be lower than 0ºF to perform a successful weld.
No matter what the moisture or temperature of the worksite and the weld surface is when in a suitable range, the surface should always be properly prepped and the welding tool should be correctly calibrated. All of these factors will determine the quality of the weld and the standards of worker safety.