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Investigations on laser transmission welding of absorber-free thermoplastics

: Mamuschkin, V.; Olowinsky, A.; Britten, S.; Engelmann, C.


Klotzbach, U. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing VIII : February 2014, San Francisco, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (SPIE Proceedings 8968)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9881-6
Paper 896815
Conference "Laser-Based Micro- and Nanoprocessing" <8, 2014, San Francisco/Calif.>
Fraunhofer ILT ()

Within the plastic industry laser transmission welding ranks among the most important joining techniques and opens up new application areas continuously. So far, a big disadvantage of the process was the fact that the joining partners need different optical properties. Since thermoplastics are transparent for the radiation of conventional beam sources (800- 1100 nm) the absorbance of one of the joining partners has to be enhanced by adding an infrared absorber (IR-absorber). Until recently, welding of absorber-free parts has not been possible. New diode lasers provide a broad variety of wavelengths which allows exploiting intrinsic absorption bands of thermoplastics. The use of a proper wavelength in combination with special optics enables laser welding of two optically identical polymer parts without absorbers which can be utilized in a large number of applications primarily in the medical and food industry, where the use of absorbers usually entails costly and time-consuming authorization processes. In this paper some aspects of the process are considered as the influence of the focal position, which is crucial when both joining partners have equal optical properties. After a theoretical consideration, an evaluation is carried out based on welding trials with polycarbonate (PC). Further aspects such as gap bridging capability and the influence of thickness of the upper joining partner are investigated as well.