LASYS 2014 will take place on June 24th to 26th at the Stuttgart fairgrounds in Stuttgart, Germany. Each year, this international trade fair showcases the latest innovations in laser material processing. This year, expect to see laser plastic welding in the spotlight. Laser plastic welding is an emerging technology, still in its early stages. As such, the LASYS 2014 exhibition is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about it.
According to Coherent, diode lasers are used to weld thermoplastic materials. Using a laser beam, two plastic materials are joined through a heat transfer process. Laser plastic welding has a high degree of automation, process control, and product quality. Both the medical and automotive industries find laser plastic welding an attractive alternative to ultrasonic welding which often leaves undesirable particles behind.
In order for the plastics to bond properly, plastic welding has specific material and component design requirements. The thermoplastic materials used must be compatible with one another and have an overlapping melting range. In addition, the laser beam must be able to penetrate the top plastic component's transparent layer. The bottom layer must have good surface absorption properties.
Advantages of Laser Plastic Welding
Laser plastic welding offers several advantages. Naturally, one of its advantages involves the plastic itself which opens the door to more applications. Another advantage is that you can create concealed seams using plastic welding as well as minimize component interaction. Using traditional welding techniques, heat is used extensively and can harm the product's components.
Laser plastic welding also doesn't scatter particles of materials in the area, making it ideal for medical applications. Vibrations, which are common with other welding techniques, are not a problem with laser plastic welding nor is friction. In addition, less welding material is used at thinner thicknesses, which reduces material costs.
Laser plastic welding is also much cleaner than adhesive bonding. The weld is made using a laser beam rather than micro-nozzles, which can become clogged. In addition to generating much less heat than other techniques, laser plastic welding does not use liquid or expel fumes which could affect surrounding materials.
Many industry experts believe that laser plastic welding can help manufacturers meet rigorous design and safety requirements. For example, the aviation and automotive industries are using fiber reinforced plastics. Not only can these strong, lightweight components meet design and safety requirements, laser processing is a cost-effective solution.
Laser plastic welding has numerous benefits and applications. If you will be attending LASYS 2014, you'll have the opportunity to learn more as well as seek advice from various experts, exhibitors, and consultants. To learn more visit the sources below.
"Laser Applications", Coherent,
"Laser Plastic Welding Takes Root", Photonics Online, http://www.photonicsonline.com/doc/laser-plastic-welding-takes-root-0001