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What is orbital welding of thermoplastics?


Orbital welding is a friction welding technique where one of the components to be welded is moved in an orbital motion whilst the other is held stationary.

First, the components are brought into contact under a predetermined load. Then the orbital motion is switched on. This causes a rubbing action at the joint line which creates frictional heat in the weld region. When sufficient material has melted and flowed to the edge of the weld zone, the orbital motion is switched off and the parts are aligned. Finally, the joint is allowed to cool under load to consolidate the weld.

The main welding parameters are time, force and material displacement. On some systems it is also possible to adjust orbit size and shape. Weld times are short, around 2 to 8 seconds, and alignment of the finished parts is consistently good.

Orbital welding is suitable for medium size components with thin walls or sensitive parts - for example automotive components such as instrument clusters, light units and remote keys.

Larger components such as car bumpers are better suited to welding with linear friction welding equipment.

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