Have you ever wondered how plastic manufacturers join dissimilar materials in their plastic products? Or how the durable plastic cricket bats online were made?Some may say they use industrial glue or connective bolts. However, the secret is ultrasonic welding. This industrial technique has been the solution of plastic manufacturing companies in binding dissimilar materials in production materials and products. For a starter, this technique uses high-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibrations that are locally applied to work pieces bound together through high pressure in order to create a solid weld.
Ultrasonic welding was first used for practical application during the 1960s, during the plastic production boom. The patent of this technique was awarded to Robert Soloff and Seymour Linsley in 1965. During the first years of this plastic welding technique, only hard plastics can be welded.
According to historical accounts, Soloff, founder of Sonics & Materials, Inc., a laboratory manager at Branson Instruments where thin plastic films were bonded into bags and tubes through the use of ultrasonic probes. Just like any good discovery and invention, ultrasonic welding had an accidental beginning. Soloff accidentally moved the ultrasonic probe close to a plastic tape dispenser and the halves of it were bonded together. He then realized that there is no need to manually operate the probes to move around the part of the plastic being welded as ultrasonic energy could travel through and around hard plastics, resulting in welding of the entire joint. After this discovery, Soloff spearheaded the development of the first ultrasonic press. The first commercial application of this technology was used in the toy-making industry. In 1969, the first car made out of plastic was assembled through the use of plastic welding via ultrasonic energy. Since then, the automotive industry has been using the technology to weld dissimilar plastic materials.
Applications in various industries
When it was introduced in the manufacturing industry, it was first applied in the toy industry then in other industries like car manufacturing. Today, plastic welding via ultrasonic technology is used in different industries. Yes, even in the sports industry. Many sports equipment like plastic cricket bats online, paddings, helmets, and so on were made using such innovation.
Consumer electronics industry – Ultrasonic welding is widely used in this industry, virtually every electronic gadget is produced using such technique. Production of products like computers, computer chips, cell phone, music players, and the like are accomplished with the use of this technique.
Aerospace and automotive industry – This industry requires welding of different dissimilar materials, which is why it greatly depends on plastic welding. Because of the apparent advantages of this technique in comparison to traditional assembly line, companies in this industry have experienced low cycle times and lower production costs.
Medical and health industry – Since plastic welding via ultrasonic energy does not produce contaminants or degradation in the welded areas, it is widely used in the medical industry. This technique is commonly used in controlled environments like clean rooms. Also, because this technique can be automated, it provides strict control over dimensional tolerances and does not compromise the biocompatibility of parts and materials welded.
Packaging industry – This type of plastic welding is most commonly used in the packaging industry because of the utility it provides in different phases of production. The application of ultrasonic welding is commonly used in the industry because the materials and products packaging companies produce greatly rely on non-adhesive welding technique. Many everyday items marketed have undergone plastic welding, including containers, tubes, and blister packs.
This industrial technique has provided many industries benefits. Because of it, manufactured much faster and easier, and production costs are lower and more cost-efficient. This marvelous industrial technology is indeed a gift to many people, especially the manufacturing companies and the consumers alike.