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What are the different types of plastic welders and their applications?

Understanding Different Types of Plastic Welders and Their Applications

Plastic welding, otherwise known as thermoplastic welding, is an essential industrial process used to join two or more pieces of plastic together. It’s used in a wide range of applications, from chemical processing and aerospace to water treatment and pharmaceutical manufacturing. But with all the different types of plastic welders out there, how do you know which one is right for your project? This blog post will explore the different types of plastic welders available and their specific applications to help you choose the best one for your needs.

Hot Gas Welding

Hot gas welding is a popular method for joining thermoplastics and thermosets that requires specialized hot air equipment for optimal performance. The process involves melting both parts along their joint line using hot gas from a heated nozzle that can reach temperatures up to 800°F (427°C). Hot gas welding is often used in the automotive and aerospace industries for its high-strength bonds and can also be used to weld materials like nylon, polyethylene, PVC, ABS, acrylic, polypropylene, fluoropolymers, and some elastomers.

Ultrasonic Welding

Ultrasonic welding uses high-frequency vibrations – typically between 15kHz – 40kHz– applied at the joint line between two parts while under pressure. The vibrations cause friction which generates heat that melts both parts along the contact surface. This process is often used in medical device and consumer goods manufacturing due to its fast speed and low cost compared to other methods such as hot plate welding or solvent bonding. Ultrasonic welding is best suited for rigid plastics such as ABS, PC/ABS blends, PPO/PPE blends, Nylon 6/6 blends, PPSU/PEEK blends, PMMA/PC blends, PEI/PET blends, PA/PA6T blends, TPEs etc.

Solvent Welding

Solvent welding is another popular method that works by softening both parts with chemical solvents before applying pressure until they are bonded together. The solvents evaporate quickly on their own or can be aided by using a fan or hairdryer after assembly depending on the application requirements. Solvent welding has good adhesion strength but is limited in terms of temperature resistance so it’s most commonly used in non-critical automotive applications such as dashboards or interior trim components made from ABS or other thermoplastics. Solvent welding is also used for residential applications like joining pvc or cpvc together and results in a water-tight chemical seal.

Vibration Welding

Vibration welding is an advanced type of plastic welder that uses ultrasonic vibration combined with pressure to form strong bonds between thermoplastic components without relying on external heat sources or solvents. This method delivers higher drive force than traditional ultrasonic welders while still producing clean joints free from defects like flash lines due to its unique combination of heat energy created by friction during vibration cycles combined with a static load applied at regular intervals throughout the cycle time. Vibration welding offers excellent mechanical strength ideal for use in automotive and consumer goods industries where repeatability and reliability are paramount considerations.

Vibration welding differs from ultrasonic welding in that it operates at a much lower frequency, higher amplitudes, and much great clamping force. This combination of higher drive force and greater clamping force creates a powerful inter-strand bonding action that produces clean, repeatable results with reduced vibration. Additionally, the increased clamping forces reduce part movement during welding which helps to eliminate flash lines and other defects.

The process is also much faster than traditional ultrasonic welders due to its ability to create multiple bonds in a single pass. This can greatly reduce cycle times and increase throughput, making it an ideal choice for high-volume production applications. Additionally, due to its low-frequency operation, vibration welders are not as affected by thermal drift which can cause issues with ultrasonic welders.


In conclusion, each type of plastic welder offers distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on your project requirements so it’s important to understand them before making your decision. PlasTech Services Inc., provides professional industrial maintenance services specializing in plastic welding to ensure strong durable bonds between components regardless of application or industry need. Contact our team today if you have any questions about choosing the right type of plastic welder!

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