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The use of plastics has exponentially increased over the past few years because of the many benefits that come with this material. Plastics are lightweight, flexible, and colorful just to mention a few advantages and reasons why their use has ballooned over the last two decades. Nonetheless, with their lightweight and flexibility, plastics are prone to get damaged and broken, making them more fragile than materials like wood and metal.
This is why you need to invest in a plastic welder to repair minor cracks and damages. In order for you to be well equipped when buying the best plastic welder from the market, below is helpful information that you need. The article explores types of plastic welders, why you should choose plastic welders, safety tips when using one, and ease of use and maintenance tips for using a plastic welder. Let’s get started;
Type of Plastic Welders
Plastic welders differ depending on the type of heating that they use to repair plastics. Depending on this criterion, types of plastic welders can be divided into two categories; external and internal heating. Below are the types of plastic welders you need to be aware of as you shop for one.
This one involves the use of high-frequency acoustic vibration to create heat that you use to repair plastics. Additionally, the plastic welder creates high-frequency mechanical motion from high-frequency electrical energy to complete its function.
The combination of the applied force and mechanical motion produces frictional heat, which helps to join thermoplastics. As a matter of fact, the two joining points create a molecular bond, which is extremely strong. It takes a tenth to two seconds to complete the welding process with this plastic welder.
This plastic welding type repairs plastics through friction generated by one moving part while the other one remains stationary. The friction causes heat that melts and fuses two plastic pieces to create a strong bond. The process takes a half to five seconds to complete repair process.
- Hot air
This is also referred to as hot gas welding because it uses heat from the hot gas to repair plastics. The welder passes air over electric heating elements, which are then directed and released through a feed. The heated air melts two plastic pieces together to create a strong bond.
This welding type involves pressing two plastic pieces together, then passing a laser beam along the joint. A permanent bond is created once the joining line solidifies. This process takes between 3 and 5 seconds.
- Contact welding
Thermal conduction generates the heat to repair a broken or damaged plastic. The two plastic pieces are pressed together and using hot tips, you pinch the two pieces for melting. After cooling. This creates a strong bond.
- Radio frequency
This one functions similarly to ultrasonic welding. The only difference is that instead of generating heat from acoustic vibration, it uses radio waves. This is suitable for repairing thin plastics and it takes 2 to 5 seconds to complete the welding process.
This is also referred to as friction welding. It involves rubbing together two plastic pieces at a specific amplitude and frequency to create heat through friction. From the heat produced the two plastic pieces’ edges melt and fuse to create a strong bond. The process takes 1 to 5 seconds to complete repair process.
- Hot plate
You can refer to this type of welding as butt welding. A hot aluminum alloy plate is used between two plastic pieces to repair the damage. The hot plate is pressed against the two surfaces that need to bond for a while. It takes 10 to 20 seconds to complete the process.
Why Should You Choose a Plastic Welder?
A plastic welder is more economical than buying brand new plastic for your home or office. If the damage can be repaired in seconds, you will save the time, effort, and money of getting a new item.
Safety Tips for Welding Plastics
- Ensure that your working area has adequate air circulation because thermoplastics generate hazardous fumes once heated. It is therefore important to make sure that the area is well-ventilated if you are repairing plastics indoors
- Wear protective gear like heat-resistant gloves, eyewear, long sleeve shirt, and pants. This minimizes your exposure to heated surfaces and air.
- Go through the safety instructions of the plastic welder you are about to use.
- Familiarize yourself with the material safety data sheet of the thermoplastic you are about to repair
- When taking breaks between welding tasks, place the plastic welder on a stand or in an area where it cannot roll.
- Always make sure that the nozzle or hot air stream does not point on body parts, and flammable materials to prevent burns and fire hazards
- Only work on clutter-free surfaces to get free movement this way, you will not have to knock down anything that might need immediate cleanup, damage your plastic item or catch fire.
- Make sure the plastic welder is well maintained. Get rid of melted plastic on the plastic welder after every use. Additionally, clean up contaminants and dust from air filters to maintain adequate air supply in the machine. This will prevent overheating and heat back up. Furthermore, make sure that any sliced and frayed electrical cords are properly replaced to eliminate the risk of experiencing an electric shock.
- The plastic surfaces you are repairing should be clean from dirt and contaminants. This is because these substances may accelerate fire risk. Besides, they might make the plastic hard for the welding process, provoking you to adjust the temperatures to unsafe levels.
- Never overload the tool with excess energy that it can handle. The recommended maximum circuit amperage rating is 80%. This prevents heat buildup in the tool, preventing damage and keeping you safe.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
- Store the plastic welder in a dust-free and moisture-free environment as this can interfere with the function of the plastic welder
- The plastic welder should have a great ground terminal
- Get rid of melted plastic on the tool with every use
- Do not place the plastic welder next to a gadget that produces a lot of heat. Additionally, avoid using it under direct solar heat. These practices will interfere with its heat dissipation capacity.
- Always clean the fan before use to enhance adequate air circulation and prevent damage
- Never use a plastic welder on plastic that has contaminants and dirt on it.
- Preheat the tool for a couple of minutes before using it
Plastic welders give you optimum control as you repair damaged plastics. The products have adjustable settings to customize their function to match your needs. Hopefully, the above information helps you make an informed decision when buying a plastic welder to ensure that you get great value for your money.