When you need to join two molded plastic parts, it’s highly possible ultrasonic welding is the best choice for your application. Ultrasonic welding is an efficient means of fusing thermoplastic parts using the energy from high-frequency, low-amplitude acoustic vibrations. Unlike friction or vibration welding processes in which one of the two parts is moved to create friction, ultrasonic welding produces friction from acoustic energy that creates heat and joins the two parts together on a molecular level. The entire process can take just seconds.
Ultrasonic welding can be used to join dissimilar materials, including hard and soft plastics. It also works with softer metals such as aluminum or copper, and in fact is better than traditional welding for materials that have high thermal conductivity, as there is less distortion.
What Ultrasonic Welding Offers that Other Processes Can’t
Ultrasonic welding offers some key advantages over other forms of welding:
- It saves time. It is much faster than traditional welding methods, as virtually no time is needed for drying or curing. It is a highly automated process, which also saves on manpower and helps you get the parts you need faster.
- It saves production costs. This process joins materials without the need for glue or other adhesives, fasteners such as screws or soldering materials. It also offers the benefit of low energy consumption. Lower production costs translate to lower costs to your business.
- It produces a high-quality bond and a clean, tight seal. No filler materials and no excessive heat means that there is no potential introduction of contaminates or thermal distortion. There are no visible seams where the parts are joined, creating a smooth, visually appealing finish. The result is a durable bond, superior to many other methods of joining parts. The sanitary, reliable sealing makes ultrasonic welding especially well-suited for food packaging and medical products.
The only thing that potentially limits the use of ultrasonic welding is the thickness of the parts involved. As long as the parts are not too thick, this method is the most economical and effective choice.
Applications for Ultrasonic Welding
This technology has a wide range of uses across multiple industries, particularly for components that are small, delicate, or complex:
- Electrical and Computer Components: microcircuits, computer disks, flash drives, wired connections, field coils, capacitors
- Automotive and Aerospace: instrument panels, steering wheels, air ducts, interior door panels, engine components
- Medical: blood/gas filters, dialysis tubing, cardiometry reservoirs, IV catheters and filters, heart sensors for bypass patients, even textiles such as hospital gowns, face masks, and other sterile garments
- Packaging: blister packs, wrappers for items such as candy bars, frozen food packages, containers for beverages such as milk or juice, containers for hazardous or heat-sensitive materials such as ammunition or fireworks
- Consumer Goods: toys, tools, butane lighters