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Joining: The Heat Is On

SpecialChem / Apr 2, 2007

As the use of plastic parts increases in various segments of the appliance and electronics industries, specifying the optimal method for joining molded plastic parts has become more challenging and important than ever. This is due to the expanding range of polymer formulations available, along with the increasing number of additive options for reinforcing or modifying the material. The ease of re-forming thermoplastics creates numerous options for joining plastic parts. Two of the more commonly used methods are ultrasonic welding and heat staking. Where greater joint strength is desired, a threaded metal insert can be embedded into a plastic part, allowing it to be assembled with a threaded fastener. The most important point to understand up front is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that is best for everybody. Choosing the proper process depends on many tangible (and intangible) factors that make every case different. Typically, a feasibility study must be performed for a specific application to determine the best method.

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