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What Equipment and Accessories Are Required For Stud Welding?

The stud welding process requires four essential equipment components in order to weld fasteners, namely:, a power supply; a stud welding tool (gun); an extension cable; and a ground cable,. The consumable components of the process include the weld stud/fastener, and in the case of drawn arc weld studs, a ceramic ferrule. Read on to learn more about the equipment used for stud welding!

What Is Stud Welding?

Stud Welding is an electric arc process that rapidly joins a fastener to a base metal or substrate. The term “studs” referenced in stud welding are fasteners that are typically cylindrical shaped and are joined to flat workpieces. The two surfaces are joined with no filler material which is why the stud welding process is extra efficient.

Essential Components Of A Stud Welding System

There are seven essential components of a stud welding system: a power supply; a stud welding tool (gun); an extension cable; a ground cable; stud welding gun accessories; and weld studs.

Handheld Stud Welding Guns

For flexibility and versatility, it is hard to imagine a better option than our hand-held stud weld guns. We offer three standard models of Capacitor Discharge (CD) handheld weld guns and four standard models of Drawn Arc weld guns, each with several extension and ground cable connector options to best match your application.

Of course, our hand-held models work best with Image Industries power sources and cables, but we also offer connection adapters for use with competitors’ equipment. They are built to be precise, easy to operate and offer a quality of manufacturing that can stand up to any application.

Production Weld Heads

When it comes to Drawn Arc stud weld guns, the production weld heads are the most advanced. They are fully automated and can be integrated with your system. In addition, the production heads can be used in groups to speed up the stud welding process.

Different options in these production weld heads will allow for automatic positioning and manual loading or a fully automated positioning and feed system. Both are effective with the manual load options less costly but also requiring a human operator. As expected, the automated feed systems are fully programmable.

Hand Held vs Fixed Mount

With more production and fabrication moving to automated systems, it is important to know if you need the stud welding equipment for automated welding requirements (fixed mount) or if you need hand held welding tools for mobility and portability.

Image Industries offers nine different hand-held weld tools and three fixed-mount models. All are durable and reliable. The different models are each designed for different stud diameters and welding processes. We also recommend you consider your budget.

A Power Supply

Stud welding power supplies provide the energy to the weld tool. Our CD power sources are available in two capacitances; our CD66 power supply (66,000 microfarads) is designed to weld CD studs up to a ¼” maximum weld base, and our CD110 power supply (110,000 microfarads) welds CD studs up to a ⅜” max weld base. [Link each of our P/Ns to the web page.

Our family of Smart Weld™ Drawn Arc power sources are available in three different peak amperages: The 750 amp SW750 power supply is designed to weld drawn arc studs up to a ½” (13mm) diameter. Our 1,200A SW1200 welds up to ⅝” (16mm) diameter drawn arc studs. And our SW2000 power source is able to weld up to 1” (25mm) diameter studs.


A stud welding system requires three types of cables. Our Extension Cables include one cable that provides the welding current from the power source to the welding gun, and the mating Control Cable allows the two pieces of equipment to communicate with one another. The third necessary cable in the system is the Ground Cable, which safely grounds a system to prevent it from shorting.

Welding Equipment Systems

We offer our most common CD and Drawn Arc systems at a discount to purchasing each piece of equipment separately. Check them out here.

Weld Studs

Weld studs are cold headed and/or machined metal parts that are designed to be stud welded to similar metal substrates. Weld studs can be unthreaded to be used as a pin or a locator, or threaded to be used as a fastener.

They can be made from a variety of metals including stainless steels, aluminum, low-carbon steels, and even nickel-iron alloys. Their diameters can range from approximately .100” (4mm) up to 1” (25mm), with lengths ranging from .25” (6mm) and up. They can be straight, bent and even have flanges and collars. The flanged and collared studs can be used as stand-offs, and can be internally tapped. Image also offers weld studs, including headed anchors and shear connectors for the construction industry; insulation pins; hydraulic port studs; advanced process studs; hammer mode studs; and weldable cable management mounts.

There are several different versions of CD and Drawn Arc Weld Studs that are intended to match specific applications.

  • Full Thread
  • Partial Thread
  • No Thread
  • Collar Studs
  • Full Base
  • Reduced Base

Stud Welding Accessories

There are many accessories that can be used for stud welding. Below is a list of popular accessories and a short description of their function.

  • Ferrule Grip: these grips are meant to hold a certain ferrule diameter while welding. Morse Taper Chuck: This chuck is one of the most common and fits a wide variety of arc welding guns.
  • Foot Plate: These products make loading a welding ferrule easier.
  • Leg: A leg is used to attach a foot to a welding gun.
  • Collet: This holds CD and Drawn Arc weld studs in their tools during the welding process.
  • Spark Shield: This important product helps block sparks when welding.
  • Weld Connector: Our heavy duty weld connectors assist in fastening many materials together.

What To Consider Before Purchasing Stud Welding Equipment

Whether you are buying all new stud welding equipment or replacing old equipment as it gradually reaches the end of its lifecycle, getting the best product at a fair price is important.

It is well worth the time to do some online research. At Image Industries, we know you will find our stud welding machines, equipment and supplies to be competitively priced in the market. And, unlike some of our competitors, we offer value-added services to provide our customers with even more benefits.

The Welding Process Required

There are many different types of equipment used in stud welding. For example, certain applications require Drawn Arc stud welding and some are better suited for CD welding. The specific type of stud and the workpiece needed also play a big factor in the type of welding required.

Our advice? Contact us so we can understand what you need and help you anticipate what you may require in the future. This will help you select the right stud welder and equipment for your business or shop.

The Product’s Cost Comparisons

While cost is often an indication of the quality that you can expect with stud welding equipment, it can also be misleading. Different companies offer different standard and optional features, particularly with equipment, so being able to compare apples to apples and not just prices to prices is critical.

Take the time to make a side-by-side comparison, considering everything from when maintenance is scheduled to the features that come with the basic price.

Finally, don't forget to take a close look at the optional features as well. While they will add to the initial cost, they can make the operation much easier and more automated. The additional feature may even extend the life of the equipment, all which will be factored into the price.

Arc Welding vs Capacitor Discharge Welding

These two welding types have their advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn more about both these welding processes.

Capacitor Discharge (CD) 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.

Speed and appearance are the biggest benefits of CD welding, the process only takes 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.

Drawn Arc Welding

There are many different applications that use drawn arc stud welding. In general, this is the equipment and the process used for ¼ inch to 1 inch diameter studs. These studs are fast to install, vibration resistant and are strong and durable. The process of arc stud welding includes the use of a ceramic ferrule against the workpiece and around the stud. This ferrule is removed after the stud welding process.

Popular Arc Welding Applications

  • Construction & Bridges: This includes embed plates in precast concrete construction as well as when a composite construction is used in the decks of steel buildings and bridges.
  • Construction & Agriculture Equipment: Weld studs are often used in the manufacturing of all types of equipment where vibration and heavy duty operation is a factor. Threaded weld studs and tapped weld stud bosses are used to mount items to the structure as well as routing cables and hoses. Stud welding can also be used in the manufacturing of hydraulic cylinders used on such equipment.
  • Electrical: power distribution systems, electrical enclosures, and switchgear all benefit from drawn arc studs welding. Many of these applications require a leak proof joint. Stud welding fills that need perfectly.
  • Shipbuilding: Drawn arc welding is used widely in shipbuilding, specialized alloys such as Inconel and HY80 are often specified to boost corrosion resistance or to maintain hull integrity.

How Long Do Welding Systems Last?

Welding systems can last up to 25 years, however, there are costs associated with keeping and maintaining older welding equipment. Do you know if you are spending more money maintaining your old equipment? Read on to find out.

What Are The Signs Of Old Welding Equipment?

Below are some signs of old welding equipment:

  • Rising Repair Costs: If you notice that you need to service your machine more than once a year, and year over year the repair costs continue to increase, it is time to look into a new welder.
  • High Electric Bills: Older welders draw more power, if you make the switch to a newer, more energy efficient welder, you will see yearly electrical savings in your shop.
  • Difficulty Finding Spare Parts: While your older welder may still be going strong, it may be harder to find spare parts for it if a fix is needed. If you notice decreasing availability of parts, it may be time to consider a new machine.

When Does My Organization Need To Replace Its Equipment?

If you notice any of the above issues happening with your welding equipment it’s time to consider replacement. Using older welding equipment also presents safety risks because of a higher likelihood of a malfunction. For example, if your welder keeps getting shocked by the unit, it can be fixed, but the issue could be an inherent problem due to the system’s design. In this case, a replacement is necessary.

Speak With Image Industries About Stud Welding Equipment

If you are in need of stud welding equipment and accessories, or are unsure of what exactly you need, reach out to Image Industries. Our team of stud welding experts has years of experience providing manufacturers and welders with several products to meet their welding needs. For more information, call Image Industries at (866) 944-0335 or request a quote online today.

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