Save Money with Axenics’ Plastic Welding Services
With more than 35 years of experience, Axenics offers clean and repeatable plastic pipe welding services that mirror our welding capabilities for metals.
Our certified welders are capable of welding polymer-based materials including:
- Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE/FPA), which is resilient, stable and features the ability to withstand exposure to harsh chemicals. There aren’t many organizations with the skills necessary to bend and weld PTFE.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which is lightweight and rigid as well as known for its strength and fire-retardant properties.
- Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC), which is known for its ability to withstand high temperatures.
- Polypropylene (PP), which is known for its elasticity and high chemical resistance.
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is known for its broad strength-to-density ratio.
- Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), which is a durable, strong plastic known for its ability to withstand harsh chemicals.
Plastic pipe welding is commonly used to create custom manifolds and assemblies. Extrusion welding allows for the joining of two units as an alternative to the use of bulky or expensive fittings, saving time, space and money. Precision plastics welding produces strong and complex systems that meet our customers’ exact project requirements.
Axenics welds plastic piping using heat (hot air) fusion, butt welding or solvents. Our thermoplastic pipe welding process involves the joining of two polymer-based units heated to create the strongest possible bond. The two plastic materials heat simultaneously to become pressed together. A permanent bond is formed once cooled.
What is Plastics Welding?
Plastics welding is a means to create a molecular bond between two compatible thermoplastics. Plastics welding provides first-rate strength, and finished welds are long-lasting, meaning that any required replacements and/or repairs will occur way down the line. One way that plastic welds prove superior to steel weldments is that chemicals can corrode and contaminate metal, severely decreasing its usefulness in certain applications. A plastic weld is will not corrode when the proper plastic material is used and the welds are tested and confirmed to be high strength and leak free.
Many industries currently require the use of volatile chemicals, including alternative energy, chemical manufacturing, life science, semiconductor and medical device manufacturers. Creating complex components with miniature segments through which liquids and gases can easily pass is a huge challenge. For example, plastics welding helps construct patient-monitoring devices, diagnostic instruments and medical device industry machinery used in life-saving operations. Plastics welding is a top solution for manufacturing those components for safety purposes and to ensure a longer lifespan of the product.
Plastics Welding Process
There are three main steps to producing plastic weldments:
First, a technician examines each plastic component for defects. We clean and/or abrade the plastic components to assist in the welding process. This can be a time-consuming task, though it is highly recommended to ensure that the welded plastic is top quality. Performing surface preparation thoroughly reduces oxidation of the plastic and eliminates potential contaminants like dirt. Any contaminants have a negative effect on the final quality of the product.
Plastics welding happens in several ways, and at Axenics, we generally do it via the use of heat. Welding results from use of a chemical solvent, depending on the type of plastics being melded together.
Plastic softens with heat energy to make it easier to manage. We use steam, hot gas, a welding rod, a laser or a hot plate. We primarily use hot gas welding a.k.a. heat fusion or butt welding. Achieving the proper temperature range is critical for plastics welding.
While the plastic components are pliable, they go into a vise causing the edges of the plastic to bond together. Consistent pressure ensures the quality and integrity of a weld.
Axenics’ thermoplastic welding process uses nitrogen and heat to join two polymer-based products, resulting in a weldment with stability and strength.
Next, the new weldment cools and hardens. Cooling is a necessary step in the effort to solidify the bond. This step has a significant effect on the strength of your finished weld. Pressure during the cooling step assists in shape retention. Otherwise, the material might shrink and alter the shape of the product, negatively affecting the results.
Plastics Welding Benefits
Plastics welding is a faster and simpler fabrication process than welding with metals because plastics are lighter in weight than many metals. Plastics are also a wise choice for maintaining the safety and reliability of your end product since they are more chemically resistant than most metals.
Plastic components are frequently used in applications where metal components could corrode or decay due to the gas or liquids being transported. We see this often in the medical device, chemical manufacturing, semiconductor and life sciences industries. Companies in each of these industries face complex challenges solved by plastic pipe bending and welding.
Our highly skilled and trained welders perform ¼-inch pipe-to-pipe welds. Axenics uses a custom-built machine capable of repeating a simple welding process automatically to save our customers both time and money.
Perhaps even more than fabricating with metals, plastic manufacturing requires a high level of skill and expertise to ensure the integrity of the bends and welds. Our qualified technicians can weld and bend plastics to fit almost any shape and/or space requirements without the need for adding multiple joints and fixtures.
Other benefits for plastics welding in manufacturing include:
- Plastic weldments have a strong resistance to acids, alkalis, greases and solvents, hydrogen peroxide, demineralised water and hot steam.
- Plastic welds offer a minimal release of gas under vacuum, helping maintain a sterile environment.
- Plastic weldments feature a strong plasma resistance that reduces the possibility of corrosion.
- Plastic weldments resist thermal degradation and maintain a high operating strength and rigidity in high temperatures.
- Plastic weldments offer the benefits of good creep and chemical resistance, minimal thermal expansion and good wear resistance.
- Plastics welding provides a simplified system that delivers a consistent, highly repeatable performance.
- Welded sub-systems offer multiple flow rates and pressures as well as offer assistance with temperature control.
Benefits of Plastic Pipe Welding with Axenics
Our highly skilled and trained welders perform ¼-inch pipe-to-pipe welds. Axenics uses a custom-built machine capable of repeating a simple welding process automatically to save our customers both time and money. The reproducibility of the plastic welds is second to none.
Plastic components assist applications where metal components could corrode or decay due to the gas or liquids being transported. We see this often in the medical device, chemical manufacturing, semiconductor and life sciences industries. Companies in each of these industries face complex challenges that can be solved by plastic pipe bending and welding.
Perhaps even more than fabricating with metals, plastic manufacturing requires a high level of skill and expertise to ensure the integrity of the bends and welds. Our qualified technicians can weld and bend plastics to fit almost any shape and/or space requirements without the need for adding multiple joints and fixtures. Welding technology is evolving daily and our welding processes and welding techniques evolve just as fast.
Our new page details the perks of a contract welding partnership, including:
- Increased in-house efficiency
- Faster company growth
- Added profitability
Frequently Asked Questions About Welding Plastics
Many people automatically think of metal when welding comes up, but welding plastics is commonplace. This is the recommended solution for our clients in industries such as medical devices, life sciences and semiconductors.
Because plastics are generally lighter in weight than many metals, plastics welding can be a faster and simpler fabrication process than welding with metals. Plastics, by nature, are more chemically resistant than most metals, so plastic welds for your components used to transport caustic materials maintain safety and reliability of the end product.
Here are some of the top questions asked about plastics welding, and we’ve included answers that can assist the decision-making process for your next project.
How do you join two pieces of plastic?
At Axenics, we use a hot gas welder for welding plastic. This process is also known as heat fusion or butt welding. We recommend a thermoplastic pipe welding process using heat to join two polymer-based products. The plastic goes through a process where it heats to soften the plastic, and then it is pushed or fused together to bond the two pieces. This results in a viable and stable bond.
What will best bond plastic to plastic?
A bonding agent used to adhere plastic to plastic depends on the types of plastic. Some plastics react better to a chemical solvent bond, while other plastics have a better result with a heat bond.
Is it possible to weld together dissimilar plastics?
This depends on the types of plastics and the process used to bond them. Generally, welding two varying plastics is not a best practice, as they may not create as strong a bond as two similar plastics.
How strong are the welds?
Thermoplastics, while extremely versatile, create durable, long-lasting welds. Certain plastics also will have a slower deterioration time than metals, so depending on the project and the ultimate use of the components, we can recommend a solution to you that will ensure that the welds have staying power.
What are common uses for welded plastics?
Welded plastics have virtually thousands of uses. For example, you can utilize welds in the medical field to transport gases and chemicals through small-to-large life-saving components. Using plastic welds avoids the complication of transporting materials through corroding metal components.
Can you melt plastic together?
Yes, plastic can melt together as long as the two pieces of plastic are the same type of material. “Melting” plastics together is not necessarily the same as welding plastics together though.
Can you use a soldering iron to weld plastics together?
You should not use a soldering iron to weld two plastics together as the bond formed will likely be weak and not useful for the transport of most liquids, gases or other chemicals. You’re not going to get a permanent bond by using a soldering iron.
How to identify plastics for welding?
Understanding the types of plastics to use for welding is paramount to the success of the end product. Our experts are trained specifically to know which engineered plastics have the properties needed to meet your plastic product goals. We source quality materials daily and are well-versed in all things plastic, whether it be conductivity, density, bonding, molecular weight, thermo properties, etc. We will ensure the materials chosen meet your end goals.
Plastic Pipe Welding Process
There are three main steps to plastic welding:
First, the technician will check each plastic component for defects. The plastic components are often cleaned and/or abraded in order to aid in the welding process.
Plastic pipe welding can be performed in several ways. It is often performed with the use of heat, though it can also be done through use of a chemical solvent, depending on the type of plastics being joined. PVC, for example, is sometimes welded with the use of dichloromethane. This chemical temporarily dissolves the chemical bond in PVC, which allows the plastic component to be changed before the bond is restored.
Using heat, the plastic can be softened to make it easier to work with. Heat can be applied by using steam, hot gas, a welding rod, a laser or a hot plate. While the plastic components are soft, they are put into a vise, where pressure is applied to the pieces, causing the edges to bond together. Consistent pressure must be applied to ensure the quality and integrity of the weld.
Once the welding process is complete, the newly formed product is left to cool. Pressure may continue to be applied during the cooling process to help the product retain its shape. If pressure is not applied during cooling, the shape of the product is sometimes altered from material shrinkage.
Plastic Pipe Bending & Welding Services Growing
We live in a world of plastics and metals, and our plastic tube bending and plastic pipe welding services are in high demand with no signs of slowing down. Growth of the medical device field and requirements for smaller pipes to safely transfer liquids and chemicals are why there is continued growth in the custom bending of plastic tubing.
Here are some reasons why plastic tube bending and plastic pipe welding could prove beneficial solutions for you:
- Saving money: If you’re looking to keep costs low, while still achieving high-quality and high-purity results, plastic tube bending is a very cost-efficient solution. Precision tube bending allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to cease the need for lots of joints and fixtures needed with joint welding. Those costs add up quickly!
- Saving time: By eliminating joints and welds within the complex assembly system, the plastic tube bending process is quick, and there is less opportunity for leaks or cracks. We find that our customers seek a combination of high-quality results and short lead times. Quality component manufacturers are in huge demand. OEMs in the biotechnology and medical device industries are consistently creating brand-new automations, and those systems have to go through many steps before seeing a final product, including manufacturing components – and likely altering those components until they are perfect.
There are several reasons why we continue to deliver high-quality components – and fast.
Axenics regularly stocks many common fittings used across multiple industries. Great relationships with our vendors are key, as parts are ordered and delivered quickly. We have seen lead time for parts go from one to two weeks to more than two months in some cases, so we believe in-stock common fittings are a smart tactic for business.
It is important to hire and empower the best team for the organization. We cross-train our production team to ensure we provide top-tier service. Our team understands industry specifications, so Axenics has very few returned parts. Our current quality rating is 99.7%. We guarantee our lead times get met because we will deliver precisely what you need the first time.
We’re proud to declare that component manufacturing is our specialty. With decades of experience, our skills to create components built to specification are at the top of the industry. Our technicians create components utilizing high-purity pipe welding, TIG welding, CNC tube bending and cutting for piping systems. Because you won’t have to ramp up those skills or purchase that machinery, you can focus your energies elsewhere, saving time and money.