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Plastic Laser Welding

How It Works

While there are many established methods to weld plastics, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, Clearweld offers a dynamic, patented plastic welding technology to provide you with greater design, engineering and manufacturing flexibility to meet today's on-going challenges and tomorrow's innovations with joining plastics.

Clearweld Delivers Ideal Laser Welding Solution

The end result or the key solution Clearweld offers you is laser welding material that allows color flexibility and is easy and cost effective to implement. This is done through highly engineered coatings and resins, and a worldwide support network.

A Patented Plastics Laser Welding And Joining Technology

Gentex has developed a series of materials capable of powerful absorption in the near IR spectrum, while remaining virtually colorless. The Clearweld process incorporates these absorbers in coatings and resins designed for use in a variety of production processes.

Whether applied as a thin layer at the joint interface or incorporated into molded resins, laser energy is absorbed by the materials. A localized melt of the substrates produces an instant weld with no particulates and minimal flash. No cure time is required.

Product design and manufacturing requirements determine your ideal plastics joining method. The following table illustrates the four laserwelding methods. To view animations, click on demo icons:

(Note: Each demo will open in a new browser window.)

Contour Method Scan Method  Curtain Method Simultaneous Welding
 Contour Method Scan Method  Curtain Method Simultaneous Welding

Process Parameters

The effectiveness of the absorbers depends upon their compatibility with specific process parameters. The absorbers are tested and certified for use either in coatings or as resin additives, which are then formulated taking into account substrate materials, part design, color and process requirements.

Clearweld materials are designed for use with near IR diode lasers in the 808 nm to 980 nm range, as well as Nd:YAG lasers at 1064 nm. Coatings are formulated for 940 nm to1064 nm lasers, while resins may be designed for the entire near IR range.

Coatings
The Coating process approach offers virtually limitless color and design flexibility. By applying a thin layer via a certified dispensing technology, a controllable, highly localized weld can be created.

Resins
Resins are formulated specifically to meet your application requirements. Clearweld additives enable the creation of a wide range of colored weldable resins at various welding wavelengths. Our laser process expertise, combined with our materials know-how, ensures that your project is concluded successfully.

Clearweld is ideal for a wide range of applications.

Process Parameters

The effectiveness of the absorbers depends upon their compatibility with specific process parameters. The absorbers are tested and certified for use either in coatings or as resin additives, which are then formulated taking into account substrate materials, part design, color and process requirements.

Clearweld materials are designed for use with near IR diode lasers in the 808 nm to 980 nm range, as well as Nd:YAG lasers at 1064 nm. Coatings are formulated for 940 nm to 1064 nm lasers, while resins may be designed for the entire near IR range.

Localized Heating at Joint Interface

This thermal model depicts localized heating of the substrates at the joint interface. Generated by using a Clearweld coating at optimized parameters, this precise heating produces a small weld line and heat-affected zone. This results in superior weld strength with minimal weld stress.


Clearweld Overcomes Traditional Joining Methods

Clearweld offers advantages and benefits that address many of the challenges and barriers offered by ultrasonic welding, spin welding and linear vibration welding.