Mon, 30 November, 2020
TWI has been working with Pinweld Ltd on the continued development of their innovative new precision welding technology for joining high value plastic and composite components.
The Pinweld Project has recently been awarded £500,000 in funding from the UK Government’s Innovate UK Smart grant scheme. This welcome funding award will give Pinweld the opportunity to move the technology to the next phase.
Based in south west England, Pinweld have developed a technology able to join materials including thin thermoplastic sheet and composites, making it an ideal solution for many of TWI’s Industrial Members in the automotive, aerospace, medical and oil and gas industries. Able to join pipes, the technology should also find ready applications for water transportation solutions too.
Able to solve challenges around plastic joining, design, manufacture and repair, the technology has already undergone successful testing demonstrating high integrity and a reduction in the amount of preparation and finishing required before and after welding. The tests, conducted at TWI, have also shown advantages in relation to speed, accuracy, versatility and repeatability when compared with other welding techniques.
There has already been interest from the car body repair market, while other applications include the joining and repair of pipes, where butt welding and electro fusion are currently the primary joining methods. Furthermore ongoing research has shown that variants of the technology can be applied to any number of manufacturing and service environments and industries.
TWI principal project leader, Scott Andrews, who has been working closely with Pinweld Ltd over the past few months, was clear about the potential benefits of this system, saying, “The possibility that Pinweld enables continuous joining of high performance thermoplastic and thermoplastic composite materials, of varying thicknesses without the need for an additional material at the joint, would be game changing. The team at TWI are very excited to be at the forefront of the Pinweld plastic welding development programme and validation of the process could enable Pinweld to become the go-to joining solution for many large high-performance plastic components and structures.”
These thoughts were echoed by Dr Amir Khamsehnezhad, Section Manager for Novel Polymer Technologies at TWI who stated, “Pinweld technology, due to the way that it creates the joint between two components, can be used potentially for joining of short-fibre reinforced composites, where there have always been a challenge of a weak resin rich weld zone.”
TWI is excited to see how this game-changing technology could revolutionise plastic and composite joining for a wide range of industries and applications and would recommend interested parties to find out more by visiting www.pinweld.com or contacting Pinweld Ltd by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.