Stud Welding Systems: Efficiency Of Capacitor Discharge Systems

Efficiency is key to improving overall productivity, which is why most welding companies rely on the high-speed fastening process of stud welding system where a welding arc is used to apply a fastener onto a base metal. There are numerous systems that rely on unique processes. Arc stud welding is the most traditional system out there, and used by many welders; however, it may be time to switch over to capacitor discharge systems, as they can handle different types of workloads – like smaller diameter fasteners.   

How Do Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding Systems Work?

Capacitor discharge welding systems are typically recommended for welding various shapes of smaller diameter fasteners to thinner base metals. The fasteners are loaded to the welding gun and placed against the work surface of the base metal. When the welding gun is activated, an electric current is discharged through the fastener. This melts the tip of the base and a portion of the base metal.

The spring loading of the capacitor discharge welding systems forces the molten fastener into the base metal and the gun holds the merger together, as the melted metal cools and solidifies creating a high quality and extremely secure fusion weld. The electric current is completely discharged by this point, and no ferrules or flux are needed in this type of system.

What Are the Advantages of This Type of System?

Capacitor discharge stud welding systems stand out from the competition because they have the capacity to handle different workloads like smaller diameter fasteners. They also offer unique advantages that other systems cannot achieve. Some common advantages that make capacitor discharge stud welding systems so popular include:

  • The ability to form high quality fusion welds between smaller diameter fasteners and thinner base metals. Most of the other stud welding systems target larger diameter fasteners and thicker base metals. Capacitor discharge systems are much more delicate in comparison.
  • No pronounced discoloration, burns or distortion on the reverse side of the base metal used for a flawless finish. This improves the appearance of the reverse side. Most welders appreciate the minimal effect that capacitor discharge stud welding systems have on the reverse side because the reverse side can be painted or altered without affecting the quality of the weld.
  • Efficiency. It takes less than 0.01 seconds for the fasteners to be welded to the base metal, and less than 3 seconds to charge the welding gun.
  • The capability of welding dissimilar metals. Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper and titanium are among some of the most common metals used. Capacitor discharge stud welding systems are capable of handling dissimilar metals because the weld penetration is so slight that problems associated with metallurgy are effectively prevented.
  • Improved strength for lightweight applications. Using other fastening process systems will compromise the structural integrity and strength of the weld.
  • Ease of application, as there are fewer assembly steps. With capacitor discharge stud welding systems, there will be no need for punching, drilling, riveting or tapping. In addition, through-hole preparation procedures are eliminated as well as any downtime brought on by heat buildup. The welding procedure is simple and can be performed by just about anyone.


Stud welding is an important process used in the manufacturing of numerous products. Instead of going about the process manually and using through-hole procedures to drill fasteners onto a base metal, capacitor discharge stud welding machines from companies like Northland Fastening Systems helps to minimize any dangers that are involved, improves the quality of the weld and quickens and simplifies the entire welding process making the welding guns a worthwhile investment. Capacitor discharge welding systems are commonly preferred when the appearance of the product feature is critical.