The non-contact welding of plastics using high-power infra-red heaters is being developed at The Welding Institute. Results show that the ends of polypropylene pipes can be melted and welded within five seconds.
Using new high-power short-wave infra-red emitters from Heraeus Noblelight, the institute has designed a rig of six 1.5kW emitters clamped to a movable platform, which passes over the area to be welded.
The welding process, as well as being quick, works on almost all plastic materials and does not suffer the disadvantages of contact methods, such as the need for frequent tool cleaning.
Infra-red heaters can be custom-built to match the exact geometry of the product to be welded. They can also emit energy in various frequencies to match the absorption properties of different plastics.
Using shortwave infra-red emitters, energy transfer to the weld is more efficient than with conventional halogen emitters, and the welding unit requires less energy because welding lasts for shorter periods.
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