Plastic Welding

What is plastic welding?

Plastic welding is the process of heating two pieces of plastic and pressing them together until they fuse. There are several different types of plastic welding. Each technology differs in how they apply heat and pressure to the parts, but the basic steps are the same — add heat, apply pressure, and cool. Plastic welds are strong molecular bonds. Depending on which welding technology is used, the weld is hermetically sealed.

Download our Plastic Welding Decision Matrix

Choosing an assembly technology can be challenging.
Use this decision matrix to discover which plastic welding and staking processes may be options for your application.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog posts about plastic welding and plastic staking

The Guide to Switch from Adhesive Bonding to Plastic Welding

The Guide to Switch from Adhesive Bonding to Plastic Welding

In manufacturing and product assembly, choosing the proper joining method is critical to ensure the end product’s strength, durability, and efficiency. Adhesive bonding is a popular method for assembling plastic parts. But as product demand increases, the need for faster and more cost-effective joining methods arises. Plastic welding is a popular alternative to adhesive bonding that produces more durable, reliable, and cost-effective assemblies.

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The 4 Reliable Methods for Controlling & Predicting Laser Weld Quality

The 4 Reliable Methods for Controlling & Predicting Laser Weld Quality

Laser welding is a widely used method in plastic welding, particularly when precise and clean parts are required. But how can we be sure that the weld is of good quality? We utilize four reliable methods in our manufacturing process to ensure that we have achieved a high-quality laser weld. Through these methods, we can control and predict the quality of the weld, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

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The basics of hot plate welding plastic parts

The basics of hot plate welding plastic parts

Hot plate welding is a thermoplastic joining process that uses heat and pressure to form strong, reliable welds in parts. It’s an efficient and cost-effective method for manufacturing components from plastic materials such as PP, ABS, PC, TPE, and more. Hot plate welding offers numerous advantages over other plastic joining methods, such as stronger, particulate-free welds. This guide will cover the basics of hot plate welding, including its steps, benefits, and typical applications. We will also discuss tips for designing your parts for hot plate welding success and the equipment used in this process.

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Alternatives to Ultrasonic Welding

Alternatives to Ultrasonic Welding

If you’re familiar with plastic welding, you’ve probably encountered ultrasonic welding. It’s the most well-known plastic welding technology. But just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it is the best choice for every application. It has many benefits, but also some drawbacks. What do you do if ultrasonic welding isn’t your best option? And how do you know?

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Introducing LaserLock™ Plastic Weld Tooling

Introducing LaserLock™ Plastic Weld Tooling

Have you seen laser plastic welding applications that are tricky to tool? How do you make sure the parts align properly every time? We have a solution for you! Introducing LaserLock™ plastic weld tooling.
Ensure consistent, strong welds with Extol’s patent-pending LaserLock™ plastic weld tooling. LaserLock tooling repeatably locates and holds your plastic parts inside the laser welding machine, which is crucial for success. This solution makes process setup easy and allows for more flexibility in your part design.

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