Illinois Patent of the Month – August 2021

RF welding is used to weld certain types of thermoplastic sheets – specifically PVC based sheets, which have the requisite electrical properties. These sheets have high dielectric loss, providing the ability to convert alternating electric fields into heat. However, this method is limited to very specific materials as it requires the specific electrical attributes. With a campaign against PVC due to it’s negative environmental impact, it would be beneficial to expand the range of materials that can be used. Dukane IAS LLC has developed a laser welding process that can offer the same benefits as RF welding, without the limitations. 

Laser welding can accommodate a greater range of materials, offering a more robust and flexible process. A laser beam melts the plastic in the joint area by delivering controlled energy to a precise location. Controlling the beam size allows for controlled energy delivery. The workpieces to be joined are first clamped together, then welded in place. The material absorbs the radiation from the laser beam, melts, and eventually cools while joined together. A mask covers the two pieces, except for the seam where they will connect. The mask is impermeable to the laser beam, thereby protecting the rest of the thermoplastic materials and maintaining a precise weld seam. A leader in welding technology, Dukane IAS develops novel and effective welding alternatives for both industry and customer specific problems.

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