How did UltraSonic Welding Revolutionized Plastic Welds?
Plastic welding, or any process that allows thermoplastic to be joined together seamlessly, has been around for quite some time. Of the many methods created for this purpose, one of the most revolutionary has been sonic welding. Ultrasonic welding makes use of sound waves instead of heat or electricity to weld together two different components, allowing for a weld that does not require soldering materials, binders or adhesives to hold two materials together.
Ultrasonic welding uses a “low power friction” welding process in which little heat is generated and better control can be applied. The basic idea is to scrub workpieces across each other while clamped under pressure to create a bond. Workpieces are placed on an anvil that is knurled with fine ridges that bite into the material, holding it in place during the welding process. The ultrasonic tool is then lowered onto the pieces, clamping them under pressure and creating the needed scrubbing action. This tool vibrates at a frequency of twenty kilohertz for most welding operations and around forty kilohertz for low power applications.
The process was originally discovered in 1963 when the founder of Sonics & Materials Inc. Robert Soloff began experiments with an ultrasonic probe. Through his experiments, Soloff discovered that sound waves were not restricted the way other plastic welds were.
Instead of requiring that the material is in direct contact with the applicator, an ultrasonic welder may have sound waves travel around corners and along the sides of a rigid plastic. This allowed sound waves to find the contacting joint that needed to be welded, allowing an ultrasonic weld to access much smaller and tighter areas than other forms of heat sealing.
Upon this discovery, Soloff went on to create the first ultrasonic welder for the engineers at Ideal Toy Co. You can find out more about Soloff, sonic welding and other types of welding advancements in this article at Assembly.
User Friendly Uses For Ultrasonic Welding
Ultrasonic welding has found use in heat sealing and plastic welding applications all across the world.In fact, many cell phones, consumer electronics, and toys make use of this automated alternative to adhesives or screws. As sonic welding does not make use of a soldering material, or give off any heat or fumes, it makes it a very friendly and efficient method of thermoplastic welding. Ultrasonic welds, like many plastic welding methods, can be done in a second.
This allows materials to be joined just as quickly but ultimately saves money over other methods of heat sealing. Ultrasonic welders are also easily modified to work with very specific products, allowing it to weld many items that larger and bulkier processes would be too expensive to redesign to suit.
What is the UltraSonic Methodology?
The method of using sound overheat or chemical bonding also saves companies from having to use exhaust systems or other expensive forms of protection to clear out any heat or fumes the welding process gives off. And given the lack of any foreign material needing to be applied, it allows a sonic welder to be used in computer and medical applications where foreign debris can have disastrous consequence. This sort of versatility and speed has made the ultrasonic weld one of the most commonly used methods of plastic bonding used today.
How Does Ultrasonic Welding Work?
Ultrasonic welding is explained as the high-frequency waves of vibration for an ultrasound of the piece that is being welded. The parts are placed together under a lot of pressure which creates the solidity of the weld. Plastic materials are the pieces that are usually used for this type of welding.
The ultrasonic vibrations allow the welder to weld the materials together without having to use nails and bolts or other materials to bond the parts together. The vibrations are used on the thermoplastics as they melt and the vibration is like a magnet that pulls the parts together to jolt them. Ultrasonic welding is used on various types of materials; one of the main materials it is used on is metal.
For metal, the welding process is known as friction welding. A welding sonotrode is a type of horn that the welding vibrations come from. The sonotrode allows the plastic cause the thermoplastic to get softer so that it can be lined up to be joined together. Every type of material that is used for welding has a different type of strength; metal will have the strongest bond from being welded with ultrasonic waves.
Ultrasonic welding is used under circumstances when there are several jobs that need to be performed. This form of welding will get the job done the quickest and it is a very successful method to use. Automotive industries and electronic companies often use this method for welding their products since they have lots of inventory involved. Metals, hard plastic, and soft plastic are all materials that can be used with the ultrasonic welding method.
Nowadays since the ultrasonic welding has been so successful in welding the above-mentioned materials, the process is being studied to determine how well it will work with other types of materials as well. Ultrasonic has been in high demand for other products which is the reason why it must be studied. For example, there are some underwater welding schools, where everything is explained in details.
What is theUltrasonic welding working principle?
The basic principals to Ultrasonic welding is that, there have to be two pieces of materials that can be bonded together under lots of pressure.
An anvil is used to place the parts where they need to go so that it can hit them for bonding. An ultrasonic stack is also needed for the sonotrode horn so that it can be set to the correct tune for the vibration. Next, an ultrasonic generator is needed with high AC power to match the stack resonance. Further, A controller is also needed to maintain the movement of the press and the way it delivers the ultrasonic energy.
In the future, you can expect ultrasonic energy to be used for various other bonding projects since it has grown very popular and the ultrasonic welding techniques are used in different industrial sectors such as pharmaceutical, medical, food, cosmetic, and household and personal care manufacturing. They have enabled the ironing out of minor flaws in products during the production process, which if left unchecked, can damage the brand value of a product or company.
Top 5 Ultrasonic Welding Tools
1| Welding Goggles- Uvex Ultrasonic Flip-Up Lens Safety Goggles- Shade 5 by Uvex
If you are searching for a welding goggle with a good UV and IR radiation protection. Then this product is for you. A new generation of welding protection eye-wear available with different grey-tint lenses and various protection classes. The innovative technology affords protection from UV and infrared light while maintaining enhanced colour recognition in accordance with EN 172.
The special infradur AF coating of the uvex ultrasonic flip-up 9302 safety goggle has anti-fog properties which prevents the inside of the lenses fogging up and the extreme scratch-resistance on the outside keeps damage from welding sparks to an absolute minimum. The new welding safety goggle uvex ultrasonic flip-up 9302 fits the face perfectly and is extremely comfortable – enhancing the wearer’s experience.
2| QUPPA Ultrasonic Plastic Container Stapler
You can easily weld plastic packaging and plastic material at a point like a stapler, but with no staples. The hand piece generates ultrasonic waves and spot-welds by heat in two seconds or less.
• Easy to pack, easy to open
• Easily and efficiently seals by inserting packaging in the handset and lightly pressing it together. Packages open easily without the nuisance of tape.
• Presents packaged goods in an attractive way
• Films, wrap, staples, rubber bands and cellophane tapes disrupt product appeal. But using QUPPA helps to maintain that appeal with small inconspicuous spot-welds.
• Ideal for food safety measures
• You are able to prevent unwanted materials such as staples, rubber bands, etc., from entering packages sealed by QUPPA.
• Added level of safety
QUPPA can be used to create a type of tamper proof seal easily at low cost, and can also seal any plastic containers that you may already have. With QUPPA, you can be more confident that your snap-on and clam shell packages will be securely and reliably sealed. Ideal for food safety measures. Prevents food contamination;Easy to pack. Light, easily used like a stapler, and clear visible weld points;Environment friendly. No need for staples, rubber band, or any other materials;Easy to open. Without any nuisance of materials;Cost efficiency. No expendables, cheap price, and little electric power.
3| Brulin 815 GD ™,2 1/2 Gal, Immersion & Ultrasonic Cleaner
The Cleaning Standard in Immersion & Ultrasonic Detergents Unsurpassed Cleanability – Recognized as the Standard In Immersion & Ultrasonic Detergents. One-product parts cleaner – Cleans virtually all metals including steels, aluminum & titanium. An unrivaled combination of cleanability, broad material compatibility, extensive industry approvals and recyclability produced in a safe formulation. Formula 815 GD is the product of choice in most immersion and ultrasonic cleaning applications.
Due to its free rinsing, this makes it ideal for cleaning sensitive metals, plastics, elastomers and electronics. Quickly splits most oils out of solution slowly for longer tank life without parts contamination, and contains an in-process rust preventative. It can be filtered, hot or cold, down to a 0.5 micron filter for longer tank life and works well with an oil skimmer or coalexcer for cleaner parts. Meets aerospace and military specifications.
This product provides exceptional ultrasonic cleaning at all temperatures and effective cleaning in all types of immersion tanks. Excellent degreaser that can be used in immersion, ultrasonic, stem cleaning, and pressure spray applications. An immersion/ultrasonic detergent that is safe for use with ferrous, aluminum, and most soft metals and plastics. Free rinsing with no residue. Biodegradable with no chelants for easy disposal. Contains no hazardous material.
4| Honda Electronics ultrasonic cutter USW-334
The Introduction Of The Petite Series-Based Model Usw334 Has made ultrasonic cutting an affordable solution to multiple applications with its compact design, especially targeted for small-medium enterprises (Smes). High-speed vibration of 40,000/Sec smooth cutting compact & lightweight application examples cutting the gate of resin products burring and cutting pattern of Pcb cutting films, sheets, cloth, Etc
Ultrasonic cutter using 40,000 ultrasonic vibrations per second with non-audible sound to assist in reducing the friction during the cutting process. Most improved version of Honda Electronics model USW-333. The new USW-334 includes the following improvement: Use of titanium for the horn oscillator, improvement in the screw blade clamp, change of the blade design to a generic product to provide low cost on blade replacements, increase on the speed vibration (about 20% higher than USW-333).
5|Polyvance 5700HT Mini Weld Model 7 Airless Plastic Welder
Polyvance’s Mini-Weld Model 7 Airless Plastic Welder is the next generation in plastic welding technology. The temperature control can be taken out of the carrying case for more mobility. It even has a belt clip attached. The Mini-Weld Model 7 Airless Plastic Welder is a complete kit that you can use to repair all kinds of plastic.
This welder is NOT some stripped down kit. It’s a complete, ready-to-use kit that is jam packed with benefits. Things like an easy-to-understand instructional video lets you learn how to weld in no time. You will be able to weld high-melting-point plastics (like nylon radiator tanks) quickly and easily with the 200 watt ceramic core element. With seven types of standard welding rod, you will be able to match virtually any type of automotive plastic.
Problem plastics like TEO, TPO, and Polypropylene are no problem to repair with the included FiberFlex universal rod. The kit also includes two different, easy-to-swap welder tips for applying all of the included welding rod. Finally, the temperature control box allows you to dial in the perfect temperature for welding whatever type of plastic you are working on.
Conclusion in understanding Ultrasonic
The Ultrasonic welding process is one of the solid state joining process where little heat is generated at the interface by friction. There is no melting or fusion or filler metal. The metal surfaces are brought together , and using the ultrasonic vibratory energy the joint is made the local plastic deformation at the interface so very small heat is generated (35-50% of the melting point temperature ). This heat helps to soften the metal at the interface. The sonotrode tip tranfers the vibratory energy to the parts being joined. The transducer supplies the ultrasonic vibrations. Through the reed the load is applied onto the workpieces. So, the frequency will be high and inturn this creates lateral movement(sheer force). The tip applies both a combination of the compressive force (clamping force, static) and sheer force (dynamic). These forces flush out the impurities from the components which then leads to direct metal to metal contact.