Manufacturing News

Plastic welding with lasers

THANKS to its specific advantages, laser plastics welding offers a far more efficient technique for joining applications of thermoplastics, opening up new opportunities in product development and new markets.

In addition to the higher flexibility and accuracy attained, this new alternative solves every major drawback in traditional plastic joining techniques: it is contact free, vibration free, clean [no adhe sives], minimal thermal stress on joined parts, handles 3D welds, there is no liquid or fumes to affect surface finish, nor are any consumables required.

Added to this are the benefits laser technology offers of opti cally perfect welding, exception al levels of process control, high precision and finished high tensile strength.

Laser plastics welding is a rela tively new process enabling the joining and effective clamping of two types of polymers, transpar ent and absorbent. During the process, relatively light clamping pressure is required, just enough to keep the parts in contact and stationary. One of the joined parts is transparent to the laser wavelength, but not necessarily to the eye, while the second part absorbs the laser energy in order to transform the laser light into heat. This leads to melting of both materials at their contact area (interface). After a matter of seconds the joint is cooled resulting in strong, hermetically sealed welds with minimal ther mal and mechanical stress.

Laser beams usually have gaussian profiles, meaning a high power at the centre of the beam, and a lower power around it. Lasea has developed a special optical system creating a ‘flat- top’ profile to avoid the creation of air bubbles or fumes at the centre while keeping an efficient weld on the sides.

Such precision makes Lasea lasers suitable for use in assem bling medical devices, vaccine vial sealing, making of plastic automotive parts, lab-on-chip, fuel cell technology, sensors, renewable energy devices, and even the manufacturing of radiotherapy masks.

Laser plastic welding brings economic advantages into the spotlight, not only offering high quality joins, but fast development and low total cost of ownership.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend