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Plastic Welding Processes

Plastic welding is the process of heating up two plastic parts and bonding them together by applying pressure. There are several different welding technologies that differ in their application of heat and pressure, but the basic steps are heat, apply pressure (force), and cool. The weld created between the parts is a strong molecular bond and depending on the welding technology, is hermetically sealed. Learn more about specific joining processes below.

Staking

Plastic staking is a method of joining components together using a molded stud or boss to mechanically retain a mating component. Heat is applied to the boss, softening it, and a forming tool is used to reshape the material into a cap or stake.

Technology Examples:

  • nanoSTAKE
  • InfraStake
  • Ultrasonic Staking
  • Hot-Air Staking

Hot-Plate Welding

Hot-plate welding is the process of welding two plastic parts together using a heated tooling plate. A weld rib or bead on each component is brought into contact with the hot plate. Heat conducts into the weld rib causing it to melt. The heated tool is then removed and the parts are pushed together until they bond to one another.

Technology Examples:

  • Rapid Conductor
  • Compact FUSION

Laser Plastic Welding

Laser welding uses a precise IR laser beam that is directed through a transmissive material and penetrated into an absorptive material. The two materials are held in tight contact with each other and the joint between them heats up and melts as energy from the laser is absorbed. The result is a clean weld with minimal flash.

Technology Examples:

  • Extol configures laser welding machines around the application

Spin Welding

Spin welding is a method of joining plastic components together with surface friction concentrated in a circular weld joint. One part is spun relative to another and force is applied, causing the material to heat and melt. The spinning process stops and the parts continue to be pressed together while they bond together.

Technology Example:

  • Vortex PRECEDENCE

IR Welding

IR welding is the non-contact welding process that joins two plastic parts together with IR energy. IR emitters heat a weld rib or bead on each component. The IR source is removed and the parts are pushed together until they are welded.

Technology Examples:

  • InfraGuide
  • Quartz IR
  • Metal Foil IR

Through-Transmission IR Welding

Innovative through-transmission infrared welding in a compact package. This technology uses focused IR light energy to replace adhesives. Useful in both linear and spot welding applications.

Technology Examples:

  • InfraWeld

Hybrid Vibration Welding

Two components are vibrated in shear against each other, generating heat from friction. Vibration stops and pressure is maintained while the components bond to one another. Hybrid vibration welding adds an IR preheat at the beginning of the cycle to soften the rib and reduce the amount of particulate flash generated from the vibration cycle.

Technology Examples:

  • CEMAS Vibration Welders

Ultrasonic Welding

Ultrasonic welding uses high-frequency vibration to melt and weld plastic. A tool vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies and causes concentrated molecular vibration in the weld joint. The friction between the molecules heats and melts the plastic. Once the vibration is stopped, the tool maintains a holding pressure on the joint to create a bond.

Technology Examples:

  • Dukane Ultrasonics
  • Branson Ultrasonics
  • Herrmann Ultrasonics
Getting nanoSTAKE on your next project

Getting nanoSTAKE on your next project

So, you’ve seen the new revolutionary nanoSTAKE technology and you are wondering how you can get it on your next plastic staking application. There are two great ways to do that. You can purchase a turnkey nanoSTAKE machine directly from Extol, or you can purchase nanoSTAKE through your preferred integrator. Either way, you get expert technology service from our knowledgeable team. Let’s talk more about what is included in a nanoSTAKE integration package and how they work.

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Start Monitoring Melt Force to Improve Your Hot-Plate Welding Process

Start Monitoring Melt Force to Improve Your Hot-Plate Welding Process

If you do any hot-plate welding, you should start monitoring melt force to improve your weld consistency and quality. Extol’s Rapid Conductor hot-plate welder is equipped standard with three servo-driven platens: the upper and lower press platens, and the heated platen. Servo control eliminates the need for hard stops and ensures that all the pressure applied by the welder goes directly into the components being welded.

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New Enhanced Lamp Improves Performance of ISM20 InfraStake

New Enhanced Lamp Improves Performance of ISM20 InfraStake

In the InfraStake process, infrared energy comes from a tungsten halogen lamp inside the module. Reflective surfaces inside the module focus the IR energy from the lamp onto a plastic boss to heat it prior to staking. So, the output of the lamp is an important factor in the InfraStake process.

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3 spin welding design mistakes to avoid

3 spin welding design mistakes to avoid

Spin welding is a pretty straightforward process. You spin one plastic component against another and the friction between them causes the material in the weld joint to melt. Even with a welding process this simple, it’s easy to make design mistakes that will cause headaches later. Here are three common mistakes that you should always avoid.

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Service beyond the machine

Service beyond the machine

Mark recalled seeing a demo of Extol’s InfraStake technology a few months prior and was drawn to InfraStake’s built-in clamping feature that ensures tight stakes. Mark was hopeful that InfraStake would be a good fit for the door panel line, but wanted confirmation that the technology could meet the cycle time, strength, and assembly tightness requirements. That’s when our Applications Lab, the first of Extol’s wide array of customer-supporting service groups, stepped in to help.

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