For over 100 years, stud welding has been a mainstay of the marine industry and for a wide variety of naval vessels. The first uses of stud welding to build seaworthy ships began in the early 1900s after World War I. Since then, stud welding technology has continued to prove itself to be extremely valuable for improved efficiency, cost, and safety in the construction of steel ships. Both drawn arc operations with large dimension studs and capacitor discharge (CD) operations with thinner studs and pins are used extensively across modern ships. From the internal and external skeletons of mammoth freighters to the thin insulation fasteners used in living quarters, stud welding is a critical component of marine fabrication. If you’re working with ship construction of any size, you can find a complete range of supplies for any stud welding process with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We offer a comprehensive range of studs, welding tools, accessories, and technical support for any project, big or small.
Stud Welding Process
The stud welding process is such an important part of shipbuilding because it offers a quick, clean connection point that is stronger than the surface material and stud put together. Stud installation also only requires access to a single side of the work surface, and it provides a complete seal unlike riveting and bolting.
Stud Welding in the Marine Industry and Navy
History: Two of the earliest examples of all-welded ships were the Fullagar and the MS Carolinian. The Fullagar is considered to be the first fully welded ship that was worthy of coastal sea travel. It was completed in 1920 in Birkenhead, Great Britain. Even after collisions that would have sunk a rivet-built ship, the Fullagar operated under several names for over 15 years.
The MS Carolinian was the first all-welded American motor ship, completed in South Carolina in 1930. An internal combustion engine, 226-ton tanker storage, and fully welded body allowed the Carolinian to be one of the first modern merchant freighter vessels.
Vessels: Since those first all-welded vessels were constructed, thousands of other designs and ship specifications were made possible through the use of stud welding, among other advancements. Today, there are hundreds of applications of stud welding throughout a vessel. Heat shields, power steering, exhaust systems, and multiple other mechanical systems of a ship are built with studs. Additionally, the decking and many parts of a ship’s exterior are fortified with steel stud connectors.
Shipboard: Onboard a naval vessel, freighter, or other mid- to large-size ship, stud welding is also heavily used. It’s a manufacturing operation that can install insulation throughout crew quarters and other living spaces, in food grade equipment in kitchens, on technical equipment, electrical enclosures, and even furniture. The list goes on and on for shipboard equipment built with stud welding operations.
A single freighter or naval vessel can have upward of one million welded studs. To learn more about those applications and how the stud welding process is used across industries, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.