Infrared (IR) Welding is the latest technique for welding thermoplastics in the industry, beating all the others with significant productivity and efficiency. After the initial success of Infrared welding machine with processing polymers; the whole idea of replicating the same for plastics came up.
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Infrared Welding Process
- In this technique, a Platen (a flat metal plate that exerts or receives external pressure) is heated to a temperature between 310°C and 510°C. The heat is actually the conversion of infrared radiations into heat energy.
- The temperature of the metal sheet depends upon the material of the thermoplastics to be joined and the area of the welding machine.
- After the metal sheet gets heated to the required/specified temperature , the 2 thermoplastic halves to be welded are brought in close proximity (0.2 mm-0.4 mm) to both sides of the platen.
- The heat radiations from the platen softens the surface of the plastic halves to be joined.
- The platen is removed and the two halves are joined together by putting pressure from both the sides.
Because of its high efficiency and accuracy, this technique has replaced the previously used thermoplastic welding.
Infrared Welding Advantages
- High accuracy and efficiency during welding.
- Lower welding and energy costs.
- Enhanced welding quality.
- Lower injection tool cost.
- High durability of the weld.
- More consistency in the welding for surfaces because the parts never touch the platen physically.
- Different temperatures for different types of thermoplastic surfaces.
- Zero complexity in welding Contoured surfaces.
- Instant On/Off feature saving time (warm-up) and energy.
- Simple, clean and affordable process.
- Particle free welding process. No chances of any impurity.
- Complete freedom of the designs to be welded.
- Precise heating leading to durable and clean joints.
- Airtight sealing of the thermoplastic halves.
Infrared Welding has replaced almost all the other welding techniques previously used for welding thermoplastics because of the extensive advantages it offers. Economic viability, productivity and energy efficiency of this welding process are being highly appreciated in the industry. It has been eminently successful with automotive sensors and control modules, electronic modules, irrigation systems and medical products.
IR Lamp Welding is another type of Infrared Welding which is used for welding thermoplastics on a large scale. It is much more complex than the above process. It uses high power density for joining objects without any time gap in between. It is meant for high-level commercial purposes.