Plastic is one of the most common materials on the planet and as such it is frequently incorporated into the creation of multiple products, including electronic appliances, toys, mechanical parts and food containers.
It is incredibly popular due to its low cost and versatility which allows it to be bought easily and formed into virtually any shape you could think of. That being said, some plastics (specifically hard plastics) can also be incredibly easy to damage. Said damage can take place before, during and after the welding process.
There are many steps that need to be taken to ensure the plastic is not damaged in the welding process. The first is to make sure you are using the right material. When welding, the welding rod used has to be the same as that of your material. There is more information about different material and a variety of different rods branded and sold on Hot Air Tools, which is a great resource for all your welding needs.
Another incredibly important element to get right is the method of welding you are using. There are many options available and so below is a list of some of the most popular plastic welding techniques and methods.
The clue is in the name, but this type of welding uses friction to generate heat and fuse two pieces together. The process essentially puts two pieces in motion relative to one another and then a lateral force is applied which displaces the materials, joining them together as a result. It is usually used in the automotive and aviation industries.
Friction welding comes with a number of advantages, including but not limited to the fact it is very efficient at cleaning the surfaces prior to them being joined and is also a very speedy process.
Hot Gas Welding
By using a specially designed heat gun, this method softens two pieces that are set to be joined together, as well as filler rod. Once softened the pieces are joined together and allowed to cool, which in turn makes them properly connect. Hot Gas Welding is common practice when creating small plumbing fittings, water tanks and various other pieces of popular industrial equipment.
Whilst this method is incredibly high tech, it also comes with an array of advantages, such as speed and precision. Here, a laser beam heats the join line of two pieces of plastic that are being held together. The plastic in this instance must be absorbent to the laser beam, alternatively, another absorbent material must be placed on the join line instead.
In this process a solvent softens pieces of plastic so that they can be joined together and merged. The solvent remains in place for a period of time before eventually evaporating, which then allows the other two pieces of plastic to harden once again. This process is frequently used as a method to join PV or ABS pipes that are found in household plumbing.
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