Why laser welding? Every new technology must have strong arguments to replace established methods. Why use lasers for polymer welding? There are several decisive arguments: • Laser welded joints resist high mechanical loads they are gas tight and often achieve the same strength as the base material • With lasers almost any kind of seam weld contour can be realized and there is a solution for nearly every workpiece geometry • Minimal thermal and mechanical stress input is applied: What you weld is what you see. The welding is so precisely localized that even sensitive components very close to the weld remain unaffected • The results are surfaces with perfect quality no micro particles glue or roughness • Low reject rates and constantly high reproducibility • No additional mechanical load due to contact-free welding • Cost-efficiency with excellent precision and optical quality What can be laser welded? In summary all thermoplastics and almost all thermoplastic elastomers unfilled or filled can be welded. For example in current applications polymers with a glass fiber percentage of up to 30% are laser welded. Also different kinds of polymers can be joined without problems – provided they are chemically compatible and the two melting temperature ranges overlap sufficiently. Some examples of materials which can be welded: PE PP PVC PS ABS SAN PA6 PA6.6 PC PMMA PSU PES PEEK PET PBT … There is also a rule of thumb for natural materials: What you can weld ultrasonically can also be laser welded… and many more. CONTOUR & QUASI-SIMULTANEOUS WELDING These two processes show presently the best market presence. With contour welding the laser beam follows the welding seam similar to metal welding. The laser beam is often delivered via fiber optic to a robot-controlled focus head. Almost any workpiece size can be welded.
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