Part 1: Attaching Welding Studs to Advanced High-Strength Steel Automotive Surfaces

The earliest forms of welding, dating as far back as 1,800 BCE, forged basic bronze and irons into various weapons and tools. Over the centuries, more sophisticated uses of metal developed, such as the pattern welding used to make Damascus steel and Japanese swords. When electricity was harnessed in the 1800s, resistance-welding technology was quick to advance. Today, we have many resistance-welding techniques and other arc-welding operations that utilize electricity to heat metals. Stud welding is one of many modern operations that use specifically calibrated electrical currents to fuse metals. While it’s implemented extensively throughout multiple industries, stud welding is also a frequently used fastening technique in the automotive industry. In the past 10 years, car companies have replaced a large number of other steel and aluminum stud welded parts with advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) due to its weight and crash resistance. If you’re working with AHSS and welding studs, you can find all the supplies and technical support you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS).

Welding Studs

NFS offers a complete supply of drawn arc and CD studs, welding tools for rent and purchase, accessories, and the advice of our own welding technicians. We also provide repair services for the majority of stud welding models.

Because one of the most prevalent uses of AHSS is for automotive parts, the different types of those materials are often discussed and classified as automotive steels with a minimum tensile strength of 440 MPa.

Welding Studs with AHSS Materials

There are two generations of AHSS materials. The first generation of AHSS includes ferrite and martensite-based steels, while the second-generation group are steels based on austenitic microstructures. Attaching welding studs of any dimensions to an AHSS work surface requires an understanding of the steel itself.

  • DP Steel: Dual-phase (DP) steel is a first-generation ferrite-based steel category. DP’s high-strength steel grades have low-yield strength to tensile strength ratios, high-fatigue resistance, and uniform elongation properties.
  • MS Steel: Martensitic (MS) steel is a first-generation stainless steel alloy. It can be tempered and hardened with heat treatments to become highly durable, wear-resistant, and strong in mechanical applications.
  • CP Steel: Complex-phase (CP) steels are extremely fine-grained with micro ferrite structures. They have high work-hardening properties, high-fatigue strengths, wear-resistance, and can absorb high energy resonance.
  • TRIP steel: Similar to CP steel, transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) steel has a high-yield strength for first-generation steels. Their microstructures of austenite can be transformed to martensite structures when bearing load or being deformed.


In the second part of this two-part blog, we discuss second-generation AHSS steels and all AHSS applications in the automotive industry. If you’re working with welding studs on an AHSS work surface or any other materials, you can find the supplies you need with NFS. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online.