Monday, May 9, 2011

Advantages of Laser Welding → What is Laser Welding

Traditionally used for metals, laser welding is great for joining plastics such as acrylic, PC, PETG, SAN, PA, PSU, PP, PE, PVC, ABS and many more including exotic materials such as PVDF and PEEK. Laser welding can even be used to join dissimilar plastics.
From chemical tanks to infant incubators; isolators to bottles & containers; glove rings to fuel cells; manifolds to industrial batteries; micro fluidic ‘lab chips’ to lighting systems, laser welding is at the heart of plastic engineering and the precise control of manufacturing parameters that it offers means it is set to be a popular choice.
Laser welding works by using near-infrared (NIR) energy that passes through an IR transmissive substrate to an IR absorbing substrate, where energy is converted to heat to produce a weld between the two substrates.
When laser welding plastic, the top section of plastic must be transparent to the laser and the bottom section must absorb the laser. The laser passes through the top layer and is absorbed when it reaches the bottom layer. Heat is generated along the joint line where the laser is absorbed, which melts and fuses the plastic together, forming a strong, nearly invisible join.
It’s also possible to join 2 sections of plastic that are transparent to the laser by applying a coating of Clearweld to the joint before welding. Clearweld absorbs the laser so that the materials will join. This is particularly useful for applications where it is necessary to have a component made entirely from clear plastic


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