Understanding the Sanitary Properties of Effective Food-Grade Welding

Using stud-welding operations for fabrication in many industries provides several benefits to manufacturers. Not only is stud welding a quick fastening process that results in a powerful connection point, it also provides clean results without marking the other side of the weld surface or creating rough finishes. Stud welding is useful to many manufacturers working in large-scale construction, heavy-duty composite building, thin pin installation, and even food equipment production. For food equipment, in particular, capacitor discharge (CD) stud welding supports sanitation regulations and hygiene standards for the food production, packaging, and processing industries. If you’re using studs for food-grade welding operations, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies you need. We provide a broad range of tools for rent or purchase, studs in a complete range of dimensions with custom options available, and a full selection of stud welding accessories. Our team of expert welding technicians can also provide advice and information, and our tool repair services eliminate excess production downtime.


Via the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established many guidelines and requirements for every player in the food industry, from farms to food equipment manufacturers. Rules for food-grade welding were also outlined in this act. These rules set specific requirements for finished surfaces, connection points, materials, and all other aspects of manufactured food equipment.


Some basic requirements the FSMA sets for stud-welded food service equipment include:


  1. Sharps and burrs should be eliminated to prevent microscopic cavities that can house bacteria. When stud welds are performed correctly, there is no risk of micro burrs or sharps around the connection point. Too hot or too cold welds can, respectively, leave molten splatter and burrs, or create a slight ledge underneath the stud.
  2. Materials that are too dissimilar should not be used. While multiple kinds of materials can be welded together in other applications of stud welding, food-grade products should typically be limited to stainless steel or other treated metals that will hold up to corrosion.
  3. Internal corners and angles should be radiused. The FDA requires fabricators to manufacture designs that only use internal angles and corners so that exterior angles are softened and easy to fully sanitize. Sharper angles create crevices for bacteria and other cross-contamination to hide and be difficult to reach even when equipment is fully washed down.
  4. Surfaces should be manufactured without overstressing. When welding is not performed correctly, material surfaces can be overstressed, leading to corrosion, cracking, reduction of protective surfaces, and many other problems that compromise food safety. Accurately applied welds will protect food safety and prevent cross-contamination in the long term.


In addition to these requirements, stud welding also makes it possible for manufacturers to support the rule that frameworks should always be sealed and never bolted.


To learn more about food-grade welding and our supply of stud welding equipment, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.