Article provided by: American Pacific Plastic Fabricators Inc
Radio frequency welding is a technology utilized by APPF Incorporated in custom product manufacturing. We use electromagnetic energy to bond materials that otherwise may not be weldable. Although the terminology around the phrase "radio frequency welding" may be confusing, the process is actually fairly simple and straight-forward.
RF welding uses two electrodes to create an oscillating electric field that moves polar molecules inside of the materials to adjust to the electromagnetic field. The movement of said molecules causes intense heat. At a certain temperature, the molecules will melt and bond together. The weld is finished by applying heat to the bonded area.
How Strong is an RF Weld?
RF welding typically provides a very strong weld that lasts for a long time. The completeness of the weld is what's exceptional about radio frequency welding. Further, APPF Incorporated will perform tests on all of our seals to ensure the quality of the weld. This includes leak tests, optical tests, pull tests, and touch tests. This way, we can detect any needed corrections and fix them, providing the ideal final product for our clients.
What Materials Can RF Welded?
It is important to note that there are some materials that are not as easy to weld using the RF welding method as others. Special processes may be required to complete the seal for certain materials. APPF Incorporated operates from a 52,000 square foot manufacturing plant with all of the best technology in the business. You can expect expertly finished RF welds on your materials, including:
- Open Celled Polyurethanes
Is RF Welding Better than Sewing?
Unlike sewing, which can be good for some products, RF welding provides a complete airtight seal. This is the main advantage that RF welding has over sewing. Additionally, and perhaps just as important, unlike RF welding, sewing is not as durable, and the thread can break under stress. Therefore, when possible, RF welding is always the best choice. An RF weld is not only stronger, but it will also keep any debris, moisture, and dirt from getting in.
Is RF Welding Better than Gluing and Hot Air Welding?
The same can be said of gluing and using adhesives or hot air. Of course, gluing can give you an airtight solution, but it takes significantly longer than RF welds and often uses hazardous solvents that are actually toxic for our environment. Further, seams that are glued are much more likely to fail once the glue has worn out.
Hot air, on the other hand, can be utilized on the outside of your materials to melt it and create a bond. However, thicker materials may not be eligible for hot air sealing. Thicker materials will not bond in the middle, as the core will not get hot enough to melt. At the same time, the outside layers will actually burn before the core melts. The benefit that radio frequency welding has over hot air sealing is that RF welding heats from the materials from the inside out.
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