Within the stud welding world, technicians can utilize several different types of operations, depending on materials and other specifications. While stud welding is one of the older branches of electrical welding, dating back as far as the early 1900s in the shipbuilding industry, the operations and technology have developed greatly beyond their original purposes. Today, welders can use drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short-cycle welding for anything from composite construction to electrical enclosures. The supplies required for stud welding can be equally wide-ranging in dimensions, materials, and function. No matter what kind of stud welding process you’re using or how big or small your project, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) provides a comprehensive range of tools for rent or purchase, studs, welding accessories, repairs, and technical guidance.
The short-cycle stud welding process can sometimes be considered a combination of drawn arc operations and CD studs. While this is partially true, short-cycle welding as a complete operation is much more complex and multifaceted than simply that.
Stud Welding Process
The welding sequence of a short-cycle operation follows the same pattern as drawn arc welding, but it uses higher currents and shorter welding times (about 10-100 milliseconds). Overall, short-cycle welding is also best suited for installing studs with no greater than ½″ diameters on thin metal sheets. Most welding technicians will use shielding gas to improve the weld result of a short cycle process.
Compared to drawn arc or CD operations, short-cycle welding is useful for installing studs that are not in a vertical position. Due to the quick weld time, molten metal at the weld point doesn’t have time for gravity to create drips and runs. With the fast weld, technicians don’t need to use ceramic ferrules, and in controlled environments they may even be able to eliminate shielding gas requirements.
Dimensions best suited to a short-cycle weld operation range from 1.7mm to 2mm for welding surfaces and thinnest CD studs to ½″ drawn arc studs. Three phase power supplies of 415 volts are recommended. Keep in mind how extension cables may affect your power.
Short-cycle welding can have risks of porous connection points if not performed correctly and with the right stud dimensions and welding surface materials. When done correctly, short-cycle stud welding has lower equipment costs, can be done with greater tolerances, and can even be worked into automated systems. For the right application, short-cycle welding is a convenient process that requires fewer accessories and additional tools than CD or drawn arc operations.