Plastic Welding

There are many technologies used today that can weld plastic. Choosing the right one for your application is key to quick cycle times and good part quality. Acrolab supports the Plastic Welding process with multiple products and consultation services. We work with you and your team on thermal management services and components for your plastic welding applications.

Plastic Welding Application Key Processes

  • Review Welding Application and the client requirements
  • Thermal Calculation for Heat Energy required to weld
  • Technology feasibility & concept design
  • Solution & Component Recommendations
  • Client Approval
  • Solution Design & Development
  • Execute: Design, Build, Test
  • Deliver & Support

What Can Acrolab Offer For Your Rubber Application?

We can make your project as turnkey as you want it to be, and choose one or all of the below to suit your needs;

  • Engineering: Engineering Design, Design Review, Engineered Solutions
  • Engineering: Thermal Solutions
  • Heaters: Cartridge Heaters, Strip Heaters, Split Heaters, Channel Heaters
  • Temperature Sensing: Thermocouples and RTDs
  • Isobar Heat Pipes: Isobars (moving heat in or out of targeted locations)
  • Temperature Uniformity: Isobar heat pipes (to create isothermal conditions)
  • Tool Insulation: Mold Insulation Board
  • Platens: Heated/Cooled platens or Heated/Cooled Isoplatens
  • Schematics: Electrical Tool Schematics and Layout
  • Electrical Box: Tool Junction Boxes
  • Temperature Control: Controllers of All Types
  • Install: Turn key installation of our components and system
Highly uniform temperature hot plate for plastic welding

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Thermal simulation showing the above tool with highly uniform temperature utilizing Acrolab technology

Plastic Welding Thermal Challenges

  • Calculating Actual Energy Requirements
  • Multiple Technologies Available
  • Electric Heat Wattage Requirements
  • Thermocouple Placement(s)
  • Material Selection
  • Complex Part Geometry
  • Part sizes
  • Dimensional Constraints For Heating
  • High Temperature Weld Requirements
  • Abrasion Causes Multiple Issues
  • Temperature uniformity

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Electric Heat Wattage Requirements

Thermal calculations are completed to calculate the exact wattage requirements each material will require to melt. It is important to include your cycle time in this calculation to ensure your thermal recovery times is enough to recover the wattage necessary for the next cycle.

  • When taking a look at using electric heat to weld your plastic part, it is important to note that many application require a very high wattage for a very small part area.
  • Some applications such as gas tank welding require small circular heat stakes to weld features on to the tank. These application typically require electric heaters and in most cases the heaters have very high wattage requirements. These electric heaters are typically mineral insulated heaters.
  • There are a few main points to note about these heaters.  The most important to note is that the build time for these is very long, typically five weeks.  Do not try to substitute a mica heater in place of a mineral insulated heater; you will not be able to generate enough heat or the heater will prematurely fail.

High-Temperature Welding Requirements

In some cases, the weld temperature for plastic welding is very high. There are a number of technologies that are utilized for this style of plastic welding. One of these such technologies is hot plate welding.  The key element about high-temperature hot plate welding is the choice of an electric heater (if you, in fact, do use electric heaters).  If you are using cartridge heaters in an application where temperatures are above 500F, it is recommended to use, what is called, a split cartridge heater.

  • Split cartridge heaters are designed to work in high temperature applications. They thermally expand when heater and contract when cooled to ambient temperatures. This is a large value add when you have standard cartridge heaters getting stuck constantly due to thermal expansion.  Trying to remove a lodged standard cartridge heater can sometimes take an exurbanite amount of time.
  • Whether you choose to use a standard cartridge heater or a split cartridge heater it is recommended that you use distributed wattage cartridge heaters to give you a thermal uniformity advantage. Distributed wattage heaters are specially designed to ensure a uniform heat signature on your heater.