Welding with an electrically generated arcing current was first developed in the late 1800s by several British, Russian, and American inventors. In 1887, Russian inventor Nikolay Benardos presented the first arc welding system with a carbon electrode. The same year, another inventor, French Auguste de Méritens, also developed a carbon arc welder. Over the next 130 years, new technologies for welding would be invented and developed to the advanced state-of-the-art systems they are today. Modern metal welding hosts an umbrella of operations from gas metal arc welding (GMAW) to electron beam welding (EBW). Stud welding is also a commonplace welding operation that is used across industries. If you are working with a drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), or short cycle stud welding process, you can find all the supplies you need at Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). NFS provides a complete selection of welding equipment, including tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and even repairs for most models.
Stud Welding Process
Stud welding machines can utilize either AC or DC power supplies depending on the welding application and the facilities. The power source for any stud welding process can be one of three general designs: transformers, generators, or inverters.
Using electricity from main utilities, transformers convert moderate electrical currents and voltage into high current and low voltage. Generally that conversion takes 110–240 V supplies to around 17-45 V with anywhere between 55 and 590 amp. Transformers are less costly than other power supplies, but they can only be used within a facility because of their large size.
For job-site welding with portable welders, a generator is often the best choice for power conversion. These designs convert mechanical energy into electrical energy with an electric or internal combustion motor. Generators are also called alternators because they convert that energy from mechanical to electrical to reach the same voltage step-down that transformers provide.
Inverters In the Stud Welding Process
Inverters are a newer power source for welding units because they use high-power semiconductors that have only recently been adapted into wider technologies. These systems take main utility AC and change it to DC, then they invert that DC power to step-down the voltage and change the current to the calibrated weld requirements. The most significant feature of inverters is that they can be adjusted with software systems thanks to their use of semiconductor chips.
Within these categories of transformers, generators, and inverters, there are many variations that can be used as power supplies for stud welding. Each type of stud welding and welding overall will require different calibrations of voltage and current that can be achieved with these power supply designs.