Increasing demand for welding of transparent plastics leads to advances in laser welding technologies.
Medical device manufacturers often must use transparent plastics when the content of their products must be visible to the user. Devices such as micro fluidic components and bio scrub brushes are assembled from molded transparent parts for maximum visibility.
Laser welding is replacing ultrasonic welding as the method of choice to permanently bond polymer parts into a finished assembly with a reliable, cost-effective solution. New, longer wavelength lasers eliminate the need for an absorbing layer, additive, or opaque polymer to absorb the laser light and generate the necessary heat to join clear materials. The longer wavelength is more efficiently absorbed through the thickness of the polymer allowing controlled melting of mating surfaces to a carefully controlled depth. The non-contact process can weld multiple layers with precision and without darkening or color change.
Laser technology can join a range of thermally weldable polymer materials without flash or debris providing a flexible manufacturing process for both production and R&D.