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Explore Our Superior Plastic Welding Capabilities

by Last updated Jul 1, 2024 | Published on Jan 23, 2024Welding

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you think of welding and automatically envision metal, it’s time to introduce you to the steadily growing field of plastic welding. The global trend to transition from metal to plastic welding is undeniable. 

By molecularly fusing two compatible plastics, plastic welding ensures strength and longevity. Welds created with plastic often outlast metal since they withstand chemical corrosion and contamination that can compromise the effectiveness of metal in certain applications. 

Mastering plastic welding

Superior plastic welding results in durable, accurate and specialized systems for transportation, monitoring and purification. With precision paramount, our plastic welders are skilled in creating pipe-to-pipe attachments fit to your specific needs. Mastering plastic welding–an intricate yet rewarding endeavor–requires substantial experience, perseverance and dedication. This hands-on occupation demands considerable dexterity, adaptability and continuous learning. 

Plastic Welding Procedure

There are three primary stages to successful plastic welding: 

Getting the Surface Ready: Preparation begins with the meticulous inspection of each plastic piece for anomalies. Next comes the cleansing or abrading of the plastic components which, though time-intensive, is indispensable. Proper preparation minimizes the likelihood of oxidation and eliminates contaminants, ensuring a high-quality plastic weld. 

Welding with Heat: Rendering the plastic malleable involves various heat sources such as:

  • Steam
  • Hot gas
  • A welding rod
  • A laser
  • A hot plate

The practice known as hot gas welding effectively utilizes heat fusion or butt welding. As the components become pliable, they are securely nestled in a vise where constant pressure ensures a solid bond at the plastic edges. Consistent pressure guarantees the strength and integrity of the weld. The efficient fusion of two polymer-based products using nitrogen and heat produces a sturdy and durable plastic weld

Cooling the Plastic Weld: After the heating phase, it’s vital to let the plastic weld cool, thereby consolidating the bond between the two plastics. The enduring strength of the completed weld hinges on the cooling process. Applying pressure during this stage facilitates shape retention. Without this pressure, the material might contract, potentially altering the desired shape and undermining the welding outcome.

Plastic Welding Is a Game Changer in Manufacturing 

Consider the sectors reliant on high-risk chemicals:

  • Alternative energy
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Life sciences
  • Semiconductor companies
  • Medical device manufacturers

Plastic welding’s versatility is evident in its widespread application, in manufacturing processes that produce products from patient-monitoring devices to high-tech machinery utilized in life-saving operations. Plastic piping kits function as efficient channels, transporting gasses or fluids from one part of a system to another in one uninterrupted flow. This enables easy navigation around system components and other impediments aided by a smooth inner bore. The deployment of plastic piping assemblies significantly mitigates the risk of leaks, preventing fluid stagnation and subsequent contamination. 

Sustained Production with Plastic Pipe Welding and PFA

Axenics specializes in welding thermoplastics, including fluoropolymers, achieving narrower tolerances than our competitors. The versatility of thermoplastics contributes to long-lasting, robust welds. Plastic piping often outlasts metal tubing as plastic has a higher corrosive resistance. 

We pride ourselves in our proficiency in welding with perfluoroalkoxy (PFA ). Our clients from various tiers of semiconductor chip manufacture benefit greatly from low-friction PFA in their production systems. The formability and resistance to a broad spectrum of chemicals make PFA supremely desirable. Moreover, PFA’s stability is maintained even in fluctuating temperatures, proving ideal for systems requiring an uninterrupted flow of hot or cold harsh chemicals. 

Flexibility of PFA Pipes in Different Configurations 

Welding PFA pipes into various configurations with assorted T’s and elbows allows our clients to easily plug a manifold into their system with only two end connections, reducing the need for multiple connectors, which minimizes potential leak points. The use of varied weldable fittings/components offers flexibility to route and angle their transport system in different directions and tighter tolerances, addressing the often formidable challenge of limited space in production systems being upgraded. This is where plastic pipe welding really shines. 

Perks of Choosing Plastics for Welding

  • Flame resistant
  • Potential for FDA, REACH, RoHS and USP Class VI compliance depending upon raw fluoropolymers used.
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Low friction coefficient
  • Low permeability
  • PFA pipe’s flexibility permits multiple configurations

Custom Tooling Creation 

Generally, bonding with PFA can occur on ¼-inch to 2-inch pipe, but we can accommodate larger diameters as needed. We never shrink from exploring new possibilities with our clients. Rising to fresh challenges and expanding our expertise with plastic pipe welding is an ongoing goal for us. 

We leverage our prowess to create specialty and proprietary tooling for applications, enabling us to execute intricate piping welds and shape plastic tubing in unique ways that others can’t replicate. Naturally, our specialized methods remain our best-kept secrets. 

Plastic Piping Kits for the Semiconductor Industry 

We have unique expertise in fabricating components for the production systems manufacturing semiconductor microchips, which are intrinsic to the operation of our technology-centric world. In the wake of the growing need for remote technology, the demand for more semiconductor chips has correspondingly surged. 

Axenics offers a specialty tubing kit to meet the burgeoning needs of semiconductor chip production. Our PFA tubing kits enable our clients to facilitate fluid or gas flow from one part of their system to another seamlessly. This streamlines transport around system obstacles with minimal friction due to the smooth inner bore. 

Axenics’ tubing assemblies can significantly minimize potential leak areas or stagnant fluid zones which could lead to contamination. Moreover, offering these as kits allows clients to conveniently integrate them into their existing systems.

Advantages of Plastic Welding 

  • Due to their superior chemical resistance, plastics are an excellent choice to assure safety and dependability in your final product. 
  • Plastic welds are highly durable, able to resist acids, alkalis, greases, solvents, hydrogen peroxide, demineralized water and hot steam.
  • Plastic welding minimizes gas release under vacuum, maintaining a sterile setting.
  • Plastic welds showcase excellent plasma resistance, reducing the likelihood of corrosion.
  • Plastic welds can withstand thermal degradation and retain a high level of operational strength and firmness even in elevated temperatures.
  • Offering excellent creep and chemical resistance, nominal thermal expansion and good wear resistance, plastic welding extends these benefits to your project.
  • Plastic welding presents a streamlined method that produces consistent and highly reproducible results. It also allows for easy integration of thermoplastic subsystems, enabling various flow rates and pressures. 

Plastic Welding Frequently Asked Questions 

What adheres plastic to plastic the best? 

The preferable adhesive for bonding plastic to plastic would depend on the specific types of plastics involved. Some are successful with a chemical solvent bond, while others respond better to a heat bond. 

Can you weld different types of plastics? 

This depends on both the plastic types and the bonding process. In general, joining different plastics often results in weaker bonds as compared to welding similar plastics. 

How durable are plastic welds? 

Thermoplastics are highly adaptable and produce strong, lasting welds. Specific plastics also break down slower than metals. 

What are common applications for welded plastics? 

Welded plastics have countless applications, especially in the medical or biochemical sectors. They are used for transferring gasses and chemicals through different sized components, avoiding the corrosion issues commonly encountered with metal components. 

Can plastics be melted together? 

Yes, as long as the two plastic pieces are of the same material. However, note that “melting” plastics together is not the same as welding plastics. 

Is a soldering iron suitable for plastic welding? 

Soldering irons are generally discouraged when it comes to plastic welding as they usually result in weaker bonds. This is not ideal for carrying liquids, gasses or other chemicals because the bond is not permanent. 

Ensuring Your Production Continuity with Plastic Pipe Welding

Our dedicated team has a wealth of experience in thermoplastic welding and bending; we consistently push the boundaries of what is possible. We can handle any lengths of thermoplastic piping for welding in your production, and there’s no limit to the complexity or number of welds. 

We continue to explore innovative plastic pipe welding ideas, which lead to problem-solving solutions that benefit our customers and bring their visions to life. 

Our engineering and design teams always always find a solution to even the trickiest problems. After 40 years in plastic pipe welding and tube bending, we still get excited about new challenges and breakthroughs. Our plastic technicians eagerly look forward to fresh challenges.

At Axenics, we harness the strength of thermoplastics to create plastic welding solutions that offer tighter tolerance levels than our competitors. The versatility and durability of these thermoplastics offer welds with unparalleled longevity, often outlasting their metal counterparts. Our plastic pipe welding team stands ready to assist you in meeting your production objectives.

Do you have low-pressure canisters that need to be requalified?

Axenics is DOT certified for this type of testing. Contact Us to learn more.

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