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May 23rd

More About Laser Plastic Welding

The pharmaceutical, automotive, and chemical industries, as well as medical institutions, are demanding compact, effortless to use, and hermetically sealed plastic portions in huge volumes. Owing to the availability of high-power diode-based fibre merged laser sources, plastic welding is speedily conquering all these sectors. Besides higher throughput and tinier welding details, clients are also yearning for less tint sensitivity and clear-to-clear joints.

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What is laser plastic welding?
Laser plastic welding can be defined as an approach of joining two plastics by successive transmission and absorption of laser energy. While laser plastic welding is not a new technology, it is still not as popular or broadly adopted as the legacy of merging solutions for plastic elements, for example, ultrasonic welding, glueing, snap fits, and fasteners. It’s interesting to know that the German automotive field was the first to adopt the technology, approximately 19 years ago. In today’s market, consumer electronics companies, and medical device manufacturers stand to benefit the most from adopting laser plastic welding.

How does laser plastic welding work?
When two plastics are fastened tightly, a laser beam in the 1000nm range enters the upper coat and gets absorbed by the lower film that is then heated by the laser energy and conveys this heat to the top coat resulting in the two plastics melting and merging to create a bond that’s as robust as the bottom material.

What are the benefits of laser plastic welding?
Laser plastic welding offers some outstanding advantages over other welding methods. Most of these benefits are related to the reality that with laser soldering, a ‘keyhole’ can be made. The keyhole permits heat input not only at the peak surface but through the width of the materials. Here are the main benefits of laser plastic welding.
Speed and flexibility
Laser welding is an extremely fast method. Depending on the kind and power of laser utilized, thin-section materials can get welded at a speed of several meters every minute. Therefore, lasers are much suited to operating in high-yield automated settings. For thicker portions, productivity benefits can also be realized as the keyhole fusing process can finish a joint within one pass, which would otherwise need many passes with other methods. Laser welding is almost always executed as a computerized process, with the optical fibre conveyed beams for diode, disk lasers, and fibre, in particular, being effortlessly remotely manipulated with multi-axis computerized delivery systems, leading to a geometrically flexible manufacturing process.
Precise weld location
The laser’s focused spot ascertains accurate heat control. Spot size, laser setting, and focus depth can be adjusted to lower heat-affected zones. This is especially beneficial when welding minute portions that need detailed welding zones. It’s also advantageous in instances where welding portions with channels of other vital functional features can’t be melted during the fusing process.
Seam quality
Depending on the materials being soldered, laser welding usually attains smooth, visually attractive weld seams that don’t need any post-processing. Strong weld strengths and hermetic seals are also possible when lasers are used to weld plastic polymers.
Non-contact welding
The laser-welding plastic method is contactless. The laser energy gets absorbed and heat is channelled to the needed spots. Other methods need direct contact with a heated component and utilize only heat transmission to weld the polymer. Inversely, laser welding doesn’t need replacement parts and it places less mechanical stress on elements than other methods.

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