Arc Stud Welding vs CD Stud Welding: What’s the difference

by | Aug 21, 2019 | Weld Studs

               Arc Stud Weld CD Stud Weld






Arc Stud       vs       CD Stud

If you’ve ever wondered which application would best suit your stud welding needs when welding a metal stud to a metal surface, don’t worry the confusion is common and the solution is simple. There are 2 types of ways to weld a metal stud: Arc Stud Welding and CD Stud Welding.

The Main Differences in the 2 Types of Welding Studs are as follows:

CD Stud Welding:

*CD Stud Welding begins when the CD Stud is placed against the work piece.

*The Welding Process begins with the CD Stud pointed downwards.

*The CD Stud then gets forced into the molten metal.

*The CD Stud is welded using the Capacitor Discharge Method.

*The voltage necessary to produce a CD welded stud is 110 Volts.

Arc Stud Welding:

*Arc Stud Welding begins when the Arc Stud & Ceramic Ferrule are placed against the work piece.

*The Arc Stud is then “lifted” and an arc is drawn to begin the welding process.

*The Arc Stud gets forced into the metal work piece, thus finishing the welding process.

*The Arc Stud is welded using the Arc Stud Welding Method.

*The voltage necessary to produce an Arc Welded Stud can be 110 Volts or (480 Volts-3 Phase) depending on the power supply involved in the application.

 Arc Stud Welding

Arc Stud Welding, more correctly termed Drawn Arc Stud Welding, is an electric arc process that rapidly joins a fastener to a base metal or substrate.  The fastener can take many forms:  threaded, unthreaded, tapped, headed, etc.  Both the fastener and the substrate can be of various materials including: mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Arc Stud Welding is a process by which a metal stud is joined to a metal work piece by heating both parts with an Arc. A key factor that differentiates stud welding from other fastening processes is that the fastener is attached to the work piece without marring the other side.

The Arc Stud Welding method provides highly reliable fastening for a wide variety of applications. This method allows almost any size or configuration of a metal stud to be welded quickly to a workpiece, while providing maximum weld penetration and reliability.

Arc Stud Welding permits strong, one-sided welds on base metals with thicknesses starting at 0.048″ (1.2 mm). It produces welds in as little as 0.06 seconds.

Arc Stud Welding utilizes a DC power supply to create the Arc, a stud welding tool, metal fasteners, and in some cases, ferrules.

Arc Stud Welding Info Graphic

Every arc stud carried by PFS is manufactured to meet the standards of the most respected associations within the offshore, shipbuilding, and steel fabrication industries, including the American Welding Society, ASTM, the U.S. Navy, and the American Bureau of Shipbuilding, as well as the Department of Highways and Transportation in all fifty states.

Drawn Arc stud welding is a popular form of stud welding because of what it can offer. The ability to quickly and efficiently join a metal stud to one side of a metal work piece. Dependability and ease have made Drawn Arc Stud welding one of the most utilized methods of fastening on offshore platforms and shipyards across the globe. Some of the other industries in which you will find Arc Stud Welding are: Buildings and Bridges, Cable Management, Power Distribution, Food Service, Moving Vehicles, Ship Building and Military Applications.

Unlike the peripheral weld that would be used to weld a bolt in place, a stud weld is a full cross sectional weld. This means the full face of the fastener is welded in place providing a strong, worry-free weld. It is cosmetically superior. As a single sided fastener there are no indicators that a fastener is attached. It is welded and will not work free like a press-in fastener. It requires no special skills and little training to install.

Drawn Arc Stud Weld


This process is often confused with other processes including resistance welding and spot welding. Resistance welding and spot welding use electric current (not an arc) and high pressure to form a bond between two items. There is no high pressure requirement in drawn arc stud welding.

Production Fastening Systems (PFS) offers a variety of Arc Stud Welders to match your Arc Stud Welding needs.

Which particular stud welder you will need will depend on the diameter of the stud in which you are trying to fasten. The following link will allow you to search through a list of power supply’s to match your application:

 CD Stud Welding

CD stands for Capacitor Discharge. This particular stud welding technique utilizes a capacitor storage system to produce a rapid electrical discharge, resulting in fast, high-integrity welds, even on thin-gauge materials.   In contrast to arc welds, CD welds do not require ceramic ferrules or gas.  The direct-current arc creates a shorter weld time, renders oxidation and heat concentration provided by ferrules and fluxes unnecessary.

CD stud welding is used only for welding small-diameter studs to thin sheets of metal. Because this method makes it possible to create a weld without the burn showing on the opposite side of the sheet, CD welding is mostly used in areas where it is important to avoid marring the appearance of the base metal. Because CD welds are so shallow, metallurgical problems are not an issue—meaning that dissimilar metals can be welded together without complication.

CD weld studs range in diameter from 4-40 to 3/8, and are manufactured from AISI 1006-1020 low-carbon steel, 300 series stainless steel, copper alloy 260 and 268, and 1100, 5000, and 6061 series aluminum alloy. Any base metal with a thickness under 0.062 in. (1.6 mm) should be welded using CD studs—and even base metals as thin as 0.020 in. (0.5 mm) can be stud welded using capacitor discharge without melt-through occurring. To ensure time control and precision, our CD studs all have tip or projection on the weld end. The weld base itself can be flanged or non-flanged.

The following chart indicates the different types of studs:

CD Stud Types for Welding Info Graphic


 Visual Weld Chart describing the different types of welds.

Info Graphic Depicting Different Types of Welds

All of PFS’s CD weld studs are approved by the American Welding Society and ASTM. With our CD studs, every weld you make will be accurate, clean, and repeatable, even on thin-gauge materials. PFS offers a variety of CD Stud Welders to match your CD Stud Welding needs.

Which particular CD Welder you will need will depend on the diameter of the CD Stud in which you are trying to fasten. The following link will allow you to search through a list of power supply’s to match your application:

For more information regarding AWS Practices & Procedures for Stud Welding please visit the link below:



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