How Plastic Welding Shapes Your World
Although you’re probably not aware of it, the chances are high that at some point already today, you will have used or relied on products or tools that have only come to exist through a system known as plastic welding.
Plastic welding is a process by which two plastic shapes are joined together through some form of heating process. It’s commonly accepted there are three main stages to the plastic welding process – namely the pressing phase, a heating phase and the cooling down stage to allow the shapes to weld together. At the end of the process, the two thermoplastics will be joined together without the need for solvents, adhesives or traditional metal joints.
The main industries and products that rely on plastic welding
Although the process of plastic welding is used across a wide and diverse range of production and manufacturing, the practice is more common in some industries than in others.
The production of roofing materials: Plastic welding machines are very often used in roofing projects that rely on a plastic layer being applied to the top surface. In these types of jobs, a specialist welder will often rely on automatic welding machines to ensure a clean join between the materials.
Industrial fabrics and flooring: Large-scale projects which require the joining of two plastic materials will often turn to plastic welding specialists to complete the job.
The automotive industry: The car production industry was quick to jump on the benefits gained from plastic melding for many components including the production of interior instrument panels, door coverings, handles, remote keys and lighting covers. Indeed, if you look around the inside of most cars, you’ll see just how much plastic is used in the interior.
The medical industry: Due to its precision bonding and the fact that joints can be made airtight and waterproof, plastic bonding is in wide use across the production of medical tools and devices. The fact that bonds can be made with clean and sealed joints makes the process is perfectly suited to medical equipment – while the low production costs and fast turn-around times are also seen as a bonus.
General consumer products: Despite the world starting to try and move away from its reliance on plastics, you will still find thermoplastics in wide use across a massive range of consumer products.
The future of plastic welding
As industry increasingly embraces 3D printing technology, the need for plastic welding is only likely to increase. While 3D printers are great at producing solitary (mostly small) objects, they’re far less adept at making more complex shapes. Consequently, most industry experts agree we’ll probably see a greater demand for plastic welding in the future as the need increases to join these smaller, 3D-printed shapes together to make a larger whole.
Moreover, the nature of plastic welding makes the joints it produces much stronger, more durable and considerably cleaner than other traditional bonding methods such as the use of adhesives or mechanical fasteners – making plastic bonding the method of choice for many production projects.