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Joints take 10 seconds in the microwave

Back to Pre-1998 Articles Adhesive technology demonstration centre Aged samples lend added credence to safety codes Arc welding Demonstration Centre shows best practice in action Boiler takes the heat in comfort Conductive adhesive for ultrasound catheter cracking-risk-in-steel-pipelines-from-external-hard-zones Engineering critical assessment of pipeline welds Far East fitness-for-purpose check First UK Research Council contract for TWI Friction stir welding of titanium Help with adhesives training Joining demonstration centres in industry Joining Forces success in Belfast Joints take 10 seconds in the microwave LIVEMAN - Advanced joining processes for lightweight vehicle manufacture Making calculations easier 'Mildly sour' environment project saves half a million pounds New standard for weld fracture toughness testing Novel method joins plastic pipes Plastics fume - new findings released Project saves time and money for Amerada Hess Small firms seize no-cost reviews and low-cost trials South East Asia ACFM course Space Shuttle technology transferred to power generation industry Spot the evidence Structural integrity assured for Liverpool Bay Supporting technology on the Indian sub-continent Technology demonstrators show best practice in action Thermomechanical material processing by friction [friction pillar processing] 'Tubestress' measures residual stresses in parts that other equipment cannot reach TWI enhances on-stream inspection service Underwater welding work expands at TWI North Wider recognition for welding inspectors

Connect, no.75, April 1996, p.12


TWI has developed a high productivity plastics joining process for welding large or complex assemblies in one operation.

The new process uses microwave energy and a microwave-sensitive consumable. Multiple joints can be welded simultaneously in around 10 seconds.

Access to joints for weld tooling is not required, giving designers more scope for developing component functionality and aesthetics.

The microwave sensitive consumable - compatible with the plastic being welded - is placed at the joint, between the parts being welded. Parts are held in contact using simple, nonmetallic tooling. Microwave energy is applied and the consumable melts to form a welded joint.

The process uses relatively simple technology and lends itself to automated, continuous operation for high volume production. A minimum of re-tooling is required when welding different configuration components.

Thermoplastics and glass or Kevlar reinforced thermoplastics can be microwave welded. Whether small batch, specialised component assembly or mass production, the new process should find application in a variety of manufacturing sectors.

Applications in the automotive industry are expected to include dashboards, body panels, load floors, bumpers and under-bonnet components such as inlet manifolds.

Microwave welding of plastics is a fast, single shot technique with significant potential for improving component design, increasing throughput and reducing costs.

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