Plastic Welding Tools – What to consider before you buy
Welding plastics is not rocket science, but the tools required to effect strong, structural plastic welding or repairs can be very important. Ensure you are familiar with the process, but also the equipment necessary to perform ‘trouble free’ plastic welding first time.
Hand-held plastic welders:
The hand-held plastic welding tools provide a precisely controlled jet of Hot Air, which can be set to a specific temperature for welding all thermoplastics. These are by far the most commonly used tools for plastics fabrication and repair welding today.
Extruder welders are designed to weld large wall section materials (12mm +), and in general are used in large scale plastics fabrication. If you are a first time buyer, you will find a range of welding tools available to suit a wide range of welding applications.
So what thing do I need to consider before I buy ?
Here is a list of things to take on board prior to purchasing your first plastic welder.
1. Quality –
DVS compliant ?
Equipment should be selected that complies with worldwide welding standards, as set by the German/Swiss welding/joining society (DVS). This means the welding equipment is manufactured to meet ideal parameters as required to ensure strong, structual, molecular welding.
CE compliant ?
In general equipment manufactured in Europe (Switzerland / Germany) will carry the CE mark. CE marking is a key indicator that a product complies with EU (European Union) legislation. CE marked products conform to very high standards of manufacture, safety, performance and quality – CE marked products are bought by professional users as they are the most suitable for industrial & commercial use. (Beware of cheap chinese equipment !! In China the CE symbol has been alleged to stand for China Export or China Engineering – because some Chinese manufacturers apply a very similar CE marking to their products. As Chinese exporters have used the CE logo incorrectly, the matter was raised at the EU parliament in 2008, and the Commission decided they will look into trade-marking the official CE logo – and are in discussion with Chinese authorities to ensure compliance with European standards. So in simple terms – if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys.
2. Back up and Support –
Make sure the supplier offers good back up and support. Applications advice, spare parts & technical service is usually offered by the quality equipment suppliers. A good supplier will carry a full range of equipment, accessories and even consumables – eg. Plastic Welding Rods. These suppliers have generally been in the business for many years and so will have the knowledge & experience to best support you.
3. Warranty –
High quality welding tools are usually covered with a warranty. In Australia & New Zealand, Techspan branded plastic welders are supplied with a limited 2 year warranty.
4. Temperature Control –
A critical part of the plastic welding process is ensuring your welding temperature matches the welding temperature of the particular material to be welded. As different plastics weld at different temperatures, a welding tool with precise electronic temperature control is essential. In general temperature control is built-in to the welding tools. Some models even offer LCD displays, where you can set welding temperatures accurately on the screen. These models are commonly referred to as ‘Digital’ models.
5. Built-in Blower –
Our most popular fully self contained plastic welding tool is the Techspan model Rion – Fully self contained – meaning that the blower is built-in to the welder. These tools are by far the most portable and easy to use. Some models, like the Maron and Weldon, don’t have built in blowers – compressed air or a remote blower, such as our Soron blower, can be used to provide the required air supply to such models. The Maron model, can be supplied complete and connected to the Soron blower.
6. Accessories & Nozzles for Plastic Welding –
The welding tool will require some specfic accessory nozzles in order to effect correct welding techniques. To ensure you have all the right nozzles for your welding application, we recommend you buy your plastic welding tool in KIT form.