Stud welding is a metal fastening technique similar to flash welding. In stud welding, we weld a specially shaped nut or fastener onto another part, typically a substrate or base metal. These fasteners take a variety of forms, but fall under general categories of threaded, unthreaded or tapped. We also call this “drawn arc welding” because it joins the stud and other metal piece by heating two parts of an arc. Many industries use stud welding because it offers a wide range of benefits.
Industries that Use Stud Welding
There are many different applications for stud welding, so it is no surprise that the process is used in many industries. Here is just a sampling of the different applications for stud welding:
- Electrical. Stud welding is for mounting electrical components in cabinets and on panels, as well as for bonding panels and doors, and fixing wiring looms.
- Heating and ventilation. Stud welding is useful for attaching hatches, covers, and flanges, as well as for mounting fluid chambers and fixing pipes and insulating material.
- Mechanical. Stud welding is often used to fix fluid and air lines, mount handles or other mechanical components, or to attach machinery guards.
- Food service. Large containers (think of the salad bar in restaurants and grocery stores, restaurant cooking surfaces such as griddles, and industrial size coffee makers) use stud welding.
Many other industries also use stud welding, including the automotive, construction, cabinetmaking, fabricating, environmental engineering, electrical, insulation, machine construction, railroad, and shipbuilding industries.
Types of Stud Welding
There are two main processes that fall under the category of stud welding: capacitor discharge stud welding and arc stud welding. Both processes offer benefits, but it’s important to understand the differences so you can make an informed choice about which process to use.
- Shops that work with sheet metal commonly use capacitor discharge stud welding. It’s a semi-automatic process done with arc welding. However, its advantage is that you can weld studs of very small diameters to very thin material. Since making the weld cycle is incredibly fast, you can connect the studs to thin sheets of metal without showing distortion or discoloration. Another advantage is that you can more easily weld dissimilar metals.
- Arc stud welding is a process the fabricating and structural steel shops commonly use. Arc stud welding’s main benefit is that it allows almost any size or type of stud to be welded. For this process, studs must be of a weldable material and designed using a special arc stud tip. The arc process offers a full-fusion weld that magnifies the strength of the stud itself. One can apply arc stud welding to different material types, including mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Benefits of Stud Welding
Here is a deeper look at the many benefits offered to businesses and manufacturers through the use of stud welding:
- Convenience. The welder needs access to only one side of whatever is being worked on, which means the work can be done in areas where it would not be possible, or when it would be highly inconvenient or costly to perform other types of welding.
- Speed. This is one of the biggest benefits of stud welding over other processes. This type of weld takes milliseconds, so it vastly increases productivity. In contrast, traditional welding can take several minutes to accomplish the same task. The fast attachment this process offers could be the #1 reason it is used in so many industries.
- Strength. Stud welding is incredibly strong, with strength of the weld being greater than either the base metal or the stud. Welds made using this process have a longer life than the products they make, ensuring there will not be any faulty joints where the welds are made.
- Cost Efficiency. Stud welding does not have the maintenance costs that come with other types of welding. Additionally, since stud welding saves time, it also decreases associated costs.
- Safety. Other welding types have a tendency to splatter hot metal, which can present a serious danger to skin and eyes. Stud welding has no weld splatter due to a ceramic shield that covers the work area, so it is much safer to perform than other types of welding.
- Improved design. Stud welding provides an “invisible” fix for surfaces where final appearance, security, or hygiene is important – another advantage it offers over traditional welding methods.
Manufacturers are increasingly using stud welding. At Stud Welding and Fasteners, we pride ourselves on providing friendly and competent service for all your stud welding needs.