Spin welding is a process used with various types of plastics, especially those with thermoplastic properties, which means the plastic can be melted, shaped, and formed without losing its strength and durability. It requires using special friction welding equipment or machine.
The equipment rotates one plastic component while applying a force to a second plastic component. The friction created between the stationary component and moving component generates the heat that gradually starts to melt and weld the pieces together.
The machine continues to rotate the pieces until they have been shaped into the desired shape, angle, or orientation. Once the machine stops spinning, the friction stops too. The plastic components now cool and create a weld where the plastic was melting.
How Does Friction Welding Equipment Work?
To understand the spin welding plastic process, you need to understand how friction welding equipment works. In general, there are 5 steps, as follows:
Place the plastic parts into the machine. One will be secured in place while the other will be attached to a tool that spins.
Turn the machine on and start the spin welding cycle. The spin tool lowers the plastic piece on the top of the stationary one while simultaneously starting to spin and accelerate to the pre-programmed speed.
As the spin tool continues to spin, the machine is also applying a force against the two parts to maintain friction and generate the heat needed to melt the plastic. This step continues until the parts reach the desired weld.
Next, the spin tool stops spinning. The machine will then shape the parts before the plastic cools and hardens if a specific angle or orientation is needed. Otherwise, if no further work is needed, once the spin tool stops, the parts are left to cool and harden.
The spin tool raises upward off the finished piece. The finished piece is removed from the equipment.
If more finished pieces are required for the same work order, then the machine is reloaded and the process repeats until the desired output is reached. Some friction welding machines are automated so they will load and unload the plastic components until the machine achieves the desired number of finished pieces.
The finished piece often looks like it had been molded as a single piece, not welded together using spin welding.
What Are Some Benefits of Spin Welding Plastic?
Spin welding plastic does provide some benefits over other production and manufacturing processes. First, the process is very precise and accurate. The end results are just as superior if not better than creating the same piece using a mold.
Next, the process creates a very strong, permanent weld between the two pieces. It is essentially hermetically sealed, much like the hermetically sealed plastic used around consumer goods that is very difficult to open.
The process can be more cost-efficient compared to other methods with reduced parts costs. Not to mention, it is more effective at making the assembly processes easier. Additionally, for complex parts where you need to have parts that are inside the plastic, spin welding is more effective at ensuring the parts are entrapped in the desired locations.
For further information about spin welding plastic, custom injection molding, rapid prototyping, secondary and finishing operations, and more, please feel free to contact Laszeray Technology, LLC online or at +1 (440) 582-8430 to speak with one of our design and engineering experts today!
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