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ULTRASONIC WELDING IS PARTICULARLY SUITED FOR ASSEMBLING MEDICAL DEVICES

2018-05-18 08:57:06

ULTRASONIC WELDING IS PARTICULARLY SUITED FOR ASSEMBLING MEDICAL DEVICES 

 

  Ultrasonic welding is particularly suited for assembling medical devices because it uses the device material itself to create the joint, obviating the need for adhesives. A fast, clean, efficient and repeatable process, ultrasonic welding is ideal for joining just about any plastic parts for many applications. To obtain these advantages, however, engineers must select a weldable material, design the joint, develop the fixtures, optimize the welding process, and finally, control it.

  Ultrasonic welding joins thermoplastic parts by using high-frequency vibration (typically 20 to 40 kilohertz) to melt material at the junction of the parts. First patented in the 1960s, ultrasonic welding has since been refined for use in many applications. Related processes include ultrasonic staking, swaging and spot welding

  Many thermoplastics, both amorphous (such as polystyrene) and semicrystalline (such as nylon), can be ultrasonically welded. Ideally, both parts in a weld are made from the same material. However, many combinations of unlike plastics can be ultrasonically welded if their melting temperatures are fairly close.

  During ultrasonic welding, the two parts are fixtured so they are aligned and touching. At the start of the process, a horn, which transfers ultrasonic energy, moves down to apply pressure to the top part. The horn then vibrates at high frequency, and the friction of one part vibrating against the other produces heat. This softens and melts the plastic at the interface between the parts, creating a weld.

 


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