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Choosing CD Stud Welding

Background of Capacitive Discharge Stud Welding

Capacitive Discharge (CD) stud welding is a mature technology that has been in use for over 50 years. The broad range of use and applications is appealing to those looking for a fast, easy and versatile process. The equipment is generally small and operates off of low voltage (110V North America, 220V Europe).

The Process of CD Stud Welding

CD Welding uses an ignition tip, formed on the end of the CD stud, to create the arc. The stud welder stores energy in capacitors… hence the name… and when the weld is initiated, this stored energy passes through the ignition tip, onto the end of the weld stud. Like the old glass fuses in your Grandma’s house, the ignition tip burns away from too much current, allowing an arc to form as a result.

This arcing process melts the weld end of the fastener and a local spot on the metal on which you are welding. Then molten surfaces are pushed together by springs in the stud-welding gun.

The Benefits of CD Stud Welding: Speed and Appearance

Surprisingly, this entire process takes only between .006 and .012 seconds!

It is because of this short weld time that makes this fast process of capacitive discharge stud welding so invaluable. Aside from the actual material handling (loading new studs, moving locations, etc.) which tends to be the slowest part, this process also lends well to automation, increasing the predictability of quality.

Adding to the benefits of the short weld times is that the penetration into the base material is roughly .0002 to .006 inches. This incredibly shallow depth means that welding can be done with very little distortion to the reverse side of the workpiece. Finally, due to the speed of the CD stud welding, minimal heat is used on the weld zone, causing no damage to coatings and finishes on the reverse side of the workpiece. This blemish-free application is crucial when cosmetic appearances are paramount.

Common Applications of Capacitive Discharge Stud Welding


  • Control Panels – As a prime example of minimal damage to the reverse side, elevator buttons are typically held on with CD weld studs. From the front of the finished plate, we only see buttons, unaware of the attachments and welding on the other side.
  • Food Service Equipment – Sneeze Shields, a blessing on salad bars, are typically secured to the framework with CD studs. After these studs are welded to the structures, Plexiglas is then placed over the studs and secured with decorative nuts.
  • Signs – Finally, CD studs are welded to the backside of letters or the total sign to secure the sign to the building.

All of the applications above have chosen CD stud welding for aesthetic purposes. Next time you have an application that is cosmetically sensitive, consider using the fast, reliable process of capacitive discharge welding with Image Industries. It is our honor and privilege to provide you with all of your CD welding needs, from equipment to accessories and weld studs.

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