When you hear the word welding, you usually think of metal and hot flying sparks (and do not look at the sparks without the appropriate welding mask). You do not think of plastic welded to another piece of plastic. I mean, if you want to stick two pieces of plastic together, you use a super glue, right? Well, the answer is yes, maybe, and no. The reason is not all plastics and projects are created equal.
If you are working with a plastic such as HDPE, LDPE, HMWPE, a traditional glue/super glue will not work. These materials do not react with the plastic to do what it needs to do to make it stick.If you have a low volume, a one off project, or a very large tray or project, regular thermal forming methods will not work nor are they cost effective in money and time.
Plastic welding works a similar process as metal welding. The areas to join are heated just enough to accept a filler material that is injected between the two pieces, and when the area cools, they are joined together.
For example, we do a large amount of custom trays. We have made custom trays to catch drips for under sinks, mini fridges, aquariums, hot tubs, and even to catch drips from a leaky roof in a state penitentiary.
By now, you are probably thinking that plastic welding is only for making trays. While we do make our fair share of custom trays, we have used our plastic welding capabilities and skills to create products for scientific research, farming, and construction. A nice example is this cart shown in the picture above. This cart was designed to hold water so workers can clean drywall tools on a construction site. Plastic welding the seams insures against water from leaking out onto the floor when cleaning tools.
We also use plastic welding to do repairs on farm machinery, snowmobiles, and even playground equipment. Plastic welding is a very cost effective and time saving way to repair items and get them back up and into service. Sometimes, parts are no longer available for your project and repair with plastic welding is the only option available.
ShapeMaster has the equipment, knowledge, and skills to fabricate or repair anything requiring plastic welding.
Please keep an eye out for our next newsletter where we will take a closer look into the process itself of welding plastic together.
Until then, please visit our website, and contact us for your next project. Who knows? Maybe your project will require some plastic welds.