Laser welding is normally used in high-volume applications like the automotive and electronics industry because of the high welding rates for which it allows. Laser welding has high power density and therefore allows for concentrated areas of heating and minimal heat-affected zones in the materials being bonded. Laser welding also allows for narrow welds making it a good candidate for small thin walled parts.
Laser welding requires that one material be transparent and the other be absorbent to the laser radiation frequency. Since most virgin polymers do not absorb energy at infrared wavelengths, additives such as dyes, fillers or carbon black are introduced to one part or as a consumable coating to absorb the energy at the weld joint interface. Equipment costs are relatively high and some materials are not well suited, such as highly filled crystalline materials. Certain application geometry may not be well suited, such as applications with internal walls that cannot be exposed to IR radiation.
The Emabond Process offers countless advantages over laser welding.
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