Staking

What is staking?

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

Need design help?

Check out our staking design guidelines.

There are many types of plastic staking technologies. They vary in their application of heat and pressure, but the general concept is the same, form a plastic boss or stud into a stake to retain a mating component. Here are a few of the different staking technologies available.

nanoSTAKE

Revolutionary new staking process that uses Smart Respond™ heating technology to rapidly heat and cool a punch to stake plastic.

InfraStake

Focused infrared light radially heats the plastic boss and a non-heated punch forms the stake.

Hot Air Cold Punch

Heated air softens the plastic boss and a non-heated punch forms the stake.

Ultrasonic

Metal tool (sonotrode) vibrates against the plastic boss generating frictional heat to melt it and form a stake.

Thermal Punch

Heated metal forming tool melts and forms the plastic boss into a stake.

The InfraStake Process

Clamp

Module is positioned over the molded boss. The face of the concentrator clamps the part directly at the stake point.

Heat

Infrared (IR) lamp is illuminated. Light is focused radially on the plastic boss.

Form

IR lamp is switched off and the non-heated punch forms the semi-molten boss into a stake.

Retract

After the plastic has re-solidified, the punch retracts and the module retracts from the part.

Read our blog posts about InfraStake.

How to determine the strength of a plastic staking joint

Design engineers often ask us, “How strong will my staked joint be?” Usually, they’re designing a plastic assembly that needs to be staked, and they need to know how to design the part so that it will be strong enough for their application. They just want a number, like 450 N. If they know how strong one stake point will be, they can plan how many stake points they need and where to locate them. The good news is that we can estimate the answer…

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New Enhanced Lamp Improves Performance of ISM20 InfraStake

Extol has recently introduced a new lamp for the ISM20 InfraStake module. This lamp is 35 W, like its predecessor, but the output is enhanced to provide shorter heat times for a faster InfraStake process. Comparison testing of the new lamp showed a notable reduction in the heat time required to stake a variety of plastic materials and colors.

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Service beyond the machine

About two years ago, Mark, a manufacturing engineer at AutoTrim, was researching equipment to assemble a new, high-volume door panel they were hoping to win from an OEM. 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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Learn more about InfraStake.

The nanoSTAKE Process

Heat

The Smart Respond™ heating technology heats the punch to a programmed melt temperature in seconds.

Form

The low-current, high-performance heater maintains melt temperature as the punch forms the boss into a stake.

Cool

Once the punch reaches the correct height, it rapidly cools to a programmed release temperature.

Retract

The cooled module retracts with no sticking.

Read our blog posts about nanoSTAKE.

We are doing it again…

We are doing it again… We are redesigning nanoSTAKE. What? Why?!
Well, this is what we do. Rather than wasting a lot of time trying to develop the perfect product and coming up short or missing the mark entirely, we work hard to get a viable product in your hands fast. We want you to see it, touch it, play with it, and tell us what should improve. That way we can make it better.

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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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A staking process for lighting and electronics

How many times have you stared at a plastic staking machine and wondered how long of a cool time is necessary to prevent the material from sticking to the forming tool when it retracts? Will the settings need to be adjusted after the machine has been running for a while? You need to make good parts, but you also want to optimize the machine cycle time. And naturally, the staking modules need to be small enough to fit your application. Automotive lighting and electronics manufacturers especially need a staking process that fits in tight spaces, keeps up with production, and is simple to set up and operate. Enter nanoSTAKE®, a patent-pending, revolutionary new staking technology that fits the bill.

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Learn more about nanoSTAKE.

The Hot Air Cold Punch Process

Heat

Air passes through a heater and is directed at the boss.

Form

Hot air shuts off and a non-heated forming tool forms the semi-molten boss into a stake. Cooling air passes through the module to cool the stake.

Retract

After the plastic has re-solidified, the forming tool retracts.

The Ultrasonic Staking Process

Heat

A metal tool (sonotrode) vibrates against the boss generating frictional heat.

Form

As the plastic melts, the sonotrode forms the boss into a stake.

Cool

Vibration stops and the sonotrode continues to apply pressure to the stake while it cools.

Retract

After the plastic has re-solidified, the sonotrode retracts.

The Thermal Punch Process

Heat

A hot metal forming tool applies pressure and conducts heat into the boss.

Form

As the plastic melts the hot tool forms the boss into a stake.

Cool

Cooling air is directed at the forming tool, lowering its temperature.

Retract

After the plastic has re-solidified, the forming tool retracts.

Ready to get started?

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