Advantages of ultrasonic welding:
Ultrasonic welding has many advantages when compared to traditional welding technologies. Many industries use ultrasonic welding due to these specific combinations of merits.
Does not need external heat source: The primary advantage of ultrasonic welding is that it doesn’t need an external heat source. The heat is self-generated between the materials.
Fast: Since the frequency of vibrations is very high, ultrasonic welding is one of the fastest welding methods available in the industry.
Possibility of automation: Ultrasonic welding being uncomplicated in many ways, it is easy to automate. The ultrasonic machine comes with sensors that constantly monitor the temperatures.
Clean and strong joint: The contact surfaces melt/fuse upon welding, and it produces a very clean and strong joint.
Things to remember while using an ultrasonic welder
Ultrasonic welding is very effective at sealing or welding plastics. However, you cannot weld all types of plastics.
Like metals, plastics also have different types. And it is very important to ensure that the plastics to be welded are chemically compatible.
If you try welding polyethylene and polypropylene, it may melt together, but there will be no chemical bond. A chemical bond is important for creating strong weld joints.
Another factor to keep in mind while welding any material through ultrasonic welding is maintaining a uniform contact area. When welding metals, ultrasonic vibrations are propagated parallel to the plane.
Drawbacks of ultrasonic welding:
Like all joining processes, ultrasonic welding also has some drawbacks that may or may not affect you based on your use case. However, you must understand them.
Restricted to just lap joints: Ultrasonic welding can only be used to weld lap joints.It cannot be used on another type of joints as it would require a specially designed horn and fixtures, and then again, success is not guaranteed.
Restricted weld area: We have discussed how ultrasonic welding creates highly localized welds. Hence, you cannot expect the welding to provide larger joints than an area of 250x250mm2.
Cannot weld thick and hard metals: Thick and hard metals do not vibrate as much as thin and soft ones. This prevents them from undergoing mechanical vibrations.
Applications of ultrasonic welding:
Ultrasonic welding is used in a variety of fields. One of the best examples of its use is in athletic shoes. The bonds that you see in the upper portions are not by stitching, but by ultrasonic welding.
Ultrasonic welding creates a much better finish than stitching or gluing.
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Ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics is common in the medical industry, automotive industry, and home appliances industry. Since there are no additional materials required to secure the bond, ultrasonic welding does not increase the overall weight of the finished product.