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The Basics: Plastic Welding

SpecialChem / Nov 23, 2007

Plastic welding is a huge domain and certainly too large for the scope of this article. Therefore, I will limit my discussion to the types of plastic welds that are generally available to plastic fabricators. This article will give you the basics on plastic welding. It will assist you in your choices about the welding needs within your company. Some people think plastic welding is an easy operation. This might be so, but there are some things to consider if you want to make a quality weld. First, not all types of plastic are weldable. Thermoset plastics (which do not melt when heat is applied) are not weldable. Thermoplastics (which melt when heated) can be welded numerous ways. Second, only plastics of the same type are weldable. Each plastic type has it is own molecular structure and weld temperature. Therefore, you can not weld together different types of plastic (such as polyethylene and polypropylene). Before you start welding with most welding systems, surface preparation of the plastic is essential. This time-consuming work is necessary for a quality weld.

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