In ultrasonic welding, there are three variables to consider: time, pressure and amplitude. All three need to be taken into consideration to control the process. But before we can delve into these considerations, we need to understand the main components of this type of welding. Ultrasonic welding equipment consists of a machine press, generator, converter or transducer, sonotrode or horn, component support tooling and booster.
This type of welding is basically electrical energy converted into mechanical motion, resulting in intense vibration, which creates frictional heat. The heat melts the plastic and bonds the plastic parts together. The welding machine’s horn delivers the mechanical motion and applies pressure until the joints solidify.
Ultrasonic welding is a great method for welding plastic parts together. However, the joint design and application of tooling are essential to ultrasonic welding success. Most ultrasonic equipment is available in 20, 30 or 40 kilohertz ratings. These are the rates at which the horn vibrates, creating a high-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibration. The vibration causes friction, melting the plastic.
How Long Has This Type Of Welding Been Used?
Back in the 1960s, ultrasonic welding took plastic assembly to a new level. It helped to optimize design and productivity in a wide range of industries, from automobiles to cosmetics. The quality and speed of ultrasonic welding were unlike any other process, transforming plastic assembly into a more reliable, highly efficient operation.
The first industry to take advantage of this reliable welding technology was the toy business. Pioneered by Mattel and Knickerbocker, ultrasonic welding was the technology behind numerous popular toys. Later, automotive companies jumped on the bandwagon.
General Motors, for example, used ultrasonic welding for turn signals and tail lights. By the early 1970s, ultrasonic welding was applied to different medical applications. Today, ultrasonic welding is used in many applications, including cell phone casings and electronic products. Ultrasonic welding is now considered the leading assembly method for rigid thermoplastics.
Learn More From Plastic Assembly Systems
If you’d like to learn more about ultrasonic welding applications and how your business could benefit from them, please contact us at your convenience. We have helped numerous businesses improve their welding operations by helping them choose the best solutions for their budget and purposes.