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What is hot air welding?

What is hot air welding? 

Hot air welding is an activity where the clue is very much in the name – a plastic welding technique that uses a stream of hot air to melt and bond the surfaces of plastic materials.

How does hot air welding work? 

The process depends on the application and industry – a roofing contractor will use hot air welding equipment differently to a plastic fabricator. However, whatever the project, the basic steps to success are much the same: 

Preparation is key  

As with anything in life, preparation is key! The first step is to make sure that the two surfaces are clean and clear of debris, dust or other contaminants. Following this step will ensure that the surfaces bond properly, and extend the life of the seam. 

Heating

Once the materials are prepped, the next step is to apply the heat. This is where the hot air welding tool is used to generate a stream of hot air. The temperature of the air must be carefully controlled to match the melting point of the plastic material being welded. It is also worth bearing in mind that the ambient temperature can also impact the temperature settings on the equipment. If in doubt, it pays to check. 

Softening and joining

The hot air will soften the molecules in the plastic, making it soft and pliable. At this stage, the surfaces must be pressed together to create a bond. 

Cooling 

After the pieces are joined, they are allowed to cool gradually, which helps to strengthen the bond. Cooling may be accelerated by using air or water cooling methods.

Which industries use hot air welding? 

Hot air welding is a popular method for joining thermoplastic materials, such as PVC, polyethylene, and polypropylene. It is used across a number of industries, from manufacturing and automotive to construction. At Plastic Weld, we have experience of supplying hot air welding equipment to the following: 

Plastic fabrication

The BAK plastic fabrication range includes hot air welding tools, hot air welding machines, and hot wedge welders, providing the ideal choice of tool and machinery for roofers, floor fitters, tarpaulin specialists, plastic processors, from smaller repairs up to bigger plastic welding projects.

Roofing

Hot air welding is frequently used by roofing contractors. Welding thermoplastic roofing membranes, such as PVC and TPO, creates tidy, watertight seals. BAK’s range of hot air welding equipment has been tried and tested in some of the most extreme conditions.

Automotive

Hot air welding is used in automotive manufacturing for joining plastic components in interior and exterior parts.

Geomembranes 

Hot air welding creates airtight and watertight seams, making it ideal for the installation and repair of geomembranes that are used for landfill liners and pond liners.

Industrial tarpaulins and side curtains

Industrial tarps and truck side curtains need to be strong enough to withstand heavy use. Hot air welding creates seams that are stronger than the material itself, ensuring that the finished product has a long service life. 

Overall, hot air welding offers a versatile and efficient method for joining plastic materials, providing strong and durable bonds suitable for a wide range of applications.

 

Our expert team can advise on the right hot air welding solution for a wide range of applications. Contact us on 03308 186 176 or at sales@plasticweld.uk and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and recommend the best BAK equipment for your needs.

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