Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials on the planet, being utilized in nearly every industry from automotive to aviation, shipping to construction.
Why? It’s cheap, versatile and can be made into any size or shape depending on the needs of the manufacturer.
The only downside is that plastic can become damaged quite easily, and when it does, people often throw it away and buy a replacement.
However, did you know that you can actually weld plastic?
What equipment do I need to weld plastic?
You can find a wide range of plastic welding kits online that can be used to repair plastic used in a variety of different industries.
- Flooring. Plastic welding kits can be used to fix gaps in flooring such as linoleum and vinyl.
- Fabric repair. Plastic welding kits can be used to repairs rips and cuts in the fabric.
- Automobile, motorcycles and ATVs. Plastic welding kits can repair broken grills, plastic radiators, bumpers and fenders.
- Boats & kayaks. Plastic welding kits can be used to mend cracks.
- Aviation & aerospace. Plastic welding kits can fix canopies and instrument panels, as well as many other aerospace parts.
What are the most common welding techniques?
- Friction welding
As the name suggests, friction welding involves using heat to fuse two pieces of plastic together. Typically used in the aviation and automotive industry, this type of welding is very effective at cleaning the surfaces that are joined together and works extremely quickly.
- Extruded bead sealing
This way of welding plastic involves applying a bead of very hot plastic between two sections of plastic and can be carried out with a welding rod and a plastic extruder.
Often used in industrial settings, this method is highly effective.
- High frequency welding
If you want to weld PVC or Polyurethane, then this is an excellent welding technique to use. This method uses high frequency waves to weld plastic together and requires applied pressure to facilitate the bonding process.
- Hot gas welding
You need a specially designed heat gun to use this technique to weld plastic that involves softening the plastic to successfully bond the pieces.
This method is often used to create small plumbing fittings and water tanks and also to repair small industrial components across a broader range of industries.
- Laser welding
One of the most innovative and latest ways of welding plastic, laser welding, somewhat unsurprisingly, involves using a laser beam to bond two pieces of plastic together.
This method is one of the fastest ones available, as well as being able to offer unparalleled precision.
Laser welding is often used for:
- Medical devices
- Automotive components
- Consumer products
- Electronic packages
- Hot plate welding
This method of welding plastic is one of the most simple and versatile. Using a heated metal plate to apply heat to two plastic surfaces, this technique can be used on small and large plastic, flat or contoured.
Once the two pieces of plastic have merged, they need to be held together until thoroughly cooled.