Stud welding is a constantly evolving process that balances the need for structural integrity with aesthetic appeal. Consider the impact of pre-drilling, punching or riveting on a steel surface: while it firmly fastens two objects together it can also weaken the overall structural integrity and be an eye-sore.
Advantages of Drawn Arc Stud Welding
Drawn arc stud welding offers the advantages of durable, long-lasting fastening with the clear advantage that only one side of the initial surface is visibly impacted. It also has the advantage over methods such as resistance welding, hand welding or clinch fastening by being both faster to implement and require fewer steps in the process.
This method involves joining a metal stud to a workpiece after heating both parts with an electric arc. It can be completed within a fraction of a second and be used on any base metals that are thicker than 1.2mm, so it has clear practical advantages over other practices.
How Drawn Arc Stud Welding works
The drawn arc technique looks simple in practice but is the combination of a series of complex electrical, chemical and molecular reactions all taking place in quick succession. First, the stud is loaded into the chamber of a welding gun, which is connected to a DC electrical power supply and also contains a shielded pellet of molten metal. A small, disposable ceramic ferrule is placed over the end. The welding gun is then placed against the metal workpiece at the desired angle, typically 90 degrees.
When the operator presses the gun’s internal lift mechanism lifts the stud and draws a pilot arc through the Direct Current. The pilot arc is followed by the weld current which connects the two surfaces for the appropriate amount of time to form a solid bond. The molten metal is then pushed into by the stud, tempered by the ferrule to minimise splash. The molten metal combines with the stud and base metal and rapidly cools and solidifies, creating the final weld. After that, the ferrule is broken and discarded, revealing the finished product.
This process results in a full cross-sectional weld with a bond that holds strong in any condition. They are not prone to breaking, loosening or weakening and are also vibration-proof. Using only one side of the surface for fastening also offers engineers greater scope to create and use shapes that would have been marred by conventional processes.
At ShapeCUT, we are always looking at the latest innovations in the world of steel and the ever-increasing ways it can be cut, shaped and used. Contact ShapeCUT today to talk about the many services we offer including Arc Stud Welding.