The Future is Laser Plastic Welding
Laser Plastic Welding is a superior joining technology because the joint strength enables miniaturized designs and improved variable costs due to reduced part count and labor. Because the two parts become one, they flex as one. They will not separate when subjected to environmental testing—be it chemical, extensive hot or cold situations, or physical abuse. The parts have to be destroyed to be separated.
Laser Plastic Welding has the potential to replace ultrasonic welding, vibration welding, gluing, and snap features, and provides extensive cost reduction opportunities on many of your existing and future products.
The Key Benefits You Would Expect to See by Adopting Laser Plastic Welding Technology
The implementation of Laser Plastic Welding technology will lead to further design and assembly analysis, resulting in cost reductions from improved design methodology and automation, in addition to; improving manufacturing processes and techniques and reforming and enhancing your new product development systems.
Laser Plastic Welding joins parts without introducing particulates, chemicals or solvents to the process. It is a clean and environmentally safe process.
Laser Plastic Welding protects sensitive electronics, sensors and components in the package. No high energy vibrations or massive heat soaks are applied to the parts, assuring the electronic components are not affected by the joining process
Laser Plastic Welding produces a clean, asthestic joining surface that is often incorporated into the design of the part. The process gives designers a way to join class “A” surfaces without affecting the look of the material. Edges are clean and chaff-free. They look amazing.
Laser Plastic Welding allows for the miniaturization of design and components, eliminating the extra room designed in for ultrasonic and vibration welding features, snap features and glue wells. Post and Boss assembly will become an assembly method of the past.
Laser Plastic Welding creates a complete hermetic seal, by melting material from both mating parts—preventing ESD issues and allowing for an extremely durable design with a very high quality “feel” and asesthetically pleasing look to the assembly.
The Laser Plastic Welding process provides an assembly solution that ultimately reduces assembly cycle time and the number of operators needed to perform the assembly.
Compared to gluing techniques, there is no set-up or “cure time”. The laser weld process is instantaneous. Cycle times are fast and easily calculated for new designs.
“Out gassing” or “burning” issues, caused by glue processes are non-existant providing a cleaner method to assemble mating parts, leading to much higher manufacturing yields, reducing the amount of waste caused by excess glue in the glue channel, sloppy gluing technqiues and the maintenance of the gluing apparatus.
Laser Plastic Welding provides a more accurate, controllable, manufacturing method to join and assemble parts with the the ablity to control the width, depth and length of the “melt” produced by the laser beam.
There is no localized heat transfer to affect other sensitive components. Laser Plastic Welding is a more controllable manufacturing method with the ability to control the length of time, the temperature, and the size of the weld joint.
The weld path is predetermined by design and extremely accurate—welding only where you want to. Laser Plastic Welding opens a whole new world of assembly possibilities—allowing the mechanical designer the freedom to join parts wherever they may touch. You have the option to spot weld, contour weld, or curtain weld—all during the same fixtured operation. This cannot be done this with sonic welding or gluing.
Use different finishing techniques like Non-Conductive Vacuum Metalization (NCVM) or paint, on materials that you currently cannot. For example, Polyethylenes and Polypropylenes cannot be painted or NCVM’d. Parts joined by Laser Plastic Welding may have the surface tension changed using a plasma treatment process, allowing the surface of the part to accept paint or other basecoat materials.
Laser Plastic Welding has the ability to weld two different materials together, such as, TPE to a PC, or ABS, TPE to Nylon or TPE to TPE, at high yields. LPKF will help you investigate welding materials of interest.