Plastic for welding – Here’s Everything you Need to Know

Last Updated on May 17, 2022

In short, yes, plastic welding is possible. In fact, it is actually quite a popular way of joining two or more pieces of plastic together in a strong bond, long-lasting bond. If this is news to you, and you want to learn more about plastic welding, don’t worry. This article has got you covered. Stick with us, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know to have a decent understanding of what plastic welding is. Let’s begin.

Plastic welding is a procedure used to connect melted plastic surfaces using heat. When suitable thermoplastics are treated to heat, they produce molecular bonding that aids plastic development. While manufacturing, you have to push the surfaces and expose them to high levels of temperature and pressure before finally cooling them down.

The procedure of heating utilized is the reason behind the varied kinds of plastics accessible. In addition to the welding process used, there are other aspects that determine the produced quality of plastic. For instance, how suitable the foundation materials are for welding? Before you commence the welding operation, be sure to inspect whether the foundation materials are malleable enough to generate your desired final product.

Manufacturing plastics is unavoidable as they are extensively utilized internationally, from simple to complex ones. Examples of basic plastics include throwaway flatware, vinyl toys, and light storage containers. The complex forms include medical equipment, internet connections, and construction pipelines.

Ultrasonic Welding

This technique entails re-forming or connecting plastics with the use of heat generated by high-frequency vibrations. Mechanical motion, when combined with other forces, generates heat due to the friction at the welds’ contact places. This heat then created creates a molecular link between the welded components, allowing them to unite.

Welding through Radio Frequency

The radiofrequency technique is comparable to that of ultrasonic welding. However, instead of acoustic vibrations, the procedure utilizes radio waves of high frequency. This technique of welding is a popular way of joining polymers. This approach has a turnaround time of between 2 and 5 seconds.

Hot Air Welding: [AKA gas welding]

This process employs a stream of really hot gas. Typically, hot gas is created after the welding gun’s air has been heated up electrically.

The Laser Welding Technique

In this process, two weld components are forced against one another. The connecting line is then passed through with a laser beam to create a permanent connection, hardening the plastic.

Vibration Welding

The vibration welding technique depends on friction to generate heat. To produce friction, the components to be melted or connected are rubbed together at a specified frequency. Eventually, persistent vibrations will create heat. This heat will then soften (melt) the plastic surface at the specified area, thereby fusing the components together. On Average, this procedure takes up to a maximum of 5 seconds to complete

What Tools Should be Part of a Plastic Welding Kit?

Welding plastics together is perhaps the best way to join two or more pieces of plastics together in a strong, permanent bond. Now each plastic welding situation is unique; this means that you will need a welding kit with equipment that will help you weld plastic in all situations. Additionally, your equipment needs will also vary depending on which type of plastic weld you want to perform. If you’re wondering what set of tools you should have, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

The most basic equipment that every plastic welder must have in their kit are these items:

  1. Welders
  2. Electrodes
  3. Angle grinders
  4. Clamps

In addition to these four items, it is also highly recommended that you purchase some safety gear for yourself – after all, welding can be pretty hazardous if proper safety measures are not taken.

Some basic safety equipment that you might want to get includes:

  1. Helmets
  2. Gloves, and
  3. Leather clothing.

Are Plastic Welding Irons Safe?

It is no secret that welding can prove to be a pretty dangerous practice if proper safety measures are not taken. This holds especially true for welding irons (AKA soldering irons) which supply the heat for welding. Some of the most obvious hazards that one is exposed to while using a welding iron are:

  • The risk of burning yourself
  • The risk of breathing in toxic fumes – especially true in the case of plastic welding

Don’t let these hazards put you off of welding, though; if you wear a proper safety kit before you start welding, and if you’re careful while handling your equipment, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. The equipment used for welding plastics together is pretty safe – including the soldering iron, but of course, if you mishandle things, anything can be hazardous.

What Types of Plastic Welding Rods Exist- Which ones are recommended for what type of Jobs?

There are numerous kinds of welding rods used for plastic welding in the market today. This section explores 13 of the most popular types of welding rods and their most common use.

PVC Rods

Polyvinyl chloride rods are used to connect or repair PVC items. The plastic welder’s heat softens (melts) and joins the welding material to form powerful welds. The most common use for these rods is welding tanks, hoods, and pipelines made of PVC.

UHMWPE Rods

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene rods are used to connect or mend UHMWPE pieces. The plastic welder’s heat welds the rod’s material with the workpiece to develop a solid weld. This rod is most commonly used to weld slides and conveyor guides.

PVDF Rods

Polyvinylidene fluoride or “PVDF” rods are used to connect or repair PVDF items. Valves, seals, and pumps are typical examples of items welded by this type of rod.

Polyurethane Rods

These rods make abrasion-resistant bonds that are able to stand through oils and grease. Some common examples of materials welded by these rods include car bumpers and automotive parts made out of polyurethane.

Polypropylene Rods

Welds from these rods give moderate amounts of resistance to chemicals and water- their most common use is in the welding of polypropylene-made materials like tanks and fume hoods.

ABS Rods

These rods make up welds that can withstand strong impacts- the most common use of such welds is for materials made from ABS, i.e., equipment storage.

Acetal Copolymer rods

Acetal rods create welds that are really strong. Welds made from these rods are able to resist wear and tear and are moisture resistant. Common uses of these rods include electrical welding components, gears, bearings, etc.

Acrylic Rods

Acrylic rods make up scratch-resistant welds that can withstand moderate amounts of wear and tear and are resistant to UV radiation damage. Their most common use props up in outdoor signboards, light fixtures, and racks.

CPVC rods

Such welding rods create welds that resist heat better than PVC welding rods. In addition to this, CPVC welds also do a pretty good job of resisting chemicals. Their most common use is in tanks, fume hoods, and air scrubbers.

HDPE rods

HDPE rods create moisture-resistant welds that will not expand when put in water. They are commonly used for ATV fenders, playground equipment and any HDPE- made object that frequently gets exposed to water.

HMWPE Rods

HMWPE welds are abrasion- and impact- resistant. These welds are commonly used for welding all plastic-made components on conveyors.

LDPE Rods

LDPE welds are known for their moisture-resistant properties. These welds do not expand while exposed to water and are mostly found for welding LDPE materials, tanks, lab vessels, etc.

Polycarbonate Welding Rods

Welds that come from polycarbonate rods are shock resistant, and their most common use is found in welds for medical devices, insulators, and manifolds.


To conclude, plastic welding is not only a possibility but also an extremely popular way of joining plastics together. If you’re new to plastic welding, make sure your welding kit includes the following materials: Welders, Electrodes, Angle grinders, and Clamps

In addition to these, you must buy the following safety equipment to safeguard yourself against any potential accidents: Helmets, Gloves, and Leather clothing.

Wearing such protective gear and handling your equipment carefully will especially protect you against hot materials like the iron rods you’ll be using, so it is important that you don’t neglect these. Finally, you have a number of different types of rods to choose from – each with its unique set of properties and purpose in the ambit of plastic welding.

For your convinience, we’ve summarized information about the different types of plastic welding rods and their optimal usage in the table provided below:

 

No. Type of Rod Best Usage
1 PVC Welding tanks, hoods, and pipelines made of PVC.
2 UHMWPE Welding slides and conveyor guides.
3 PVDF To repair valves, seals, and pumps.
4 Polyurethane Car bumpers and other polyurethane-made automotive parts.
5 Polypropylene Tanks and fume hoods.
6 ABS ABS- based equipment storage items.
7 Acetal Electrical welding components like gears and bearings.
8 Acrylic Outdoor signboards and light fixtures.
9 CPVC Fume hoods and air scrubbers.
10 HDPE To make objects frequently exposed to water.
11 HMWPE To make plastic-made components on conveyors.
12 LDPE Tanks and lab vessels etc.
13 Polycarbonate Welds for medical devices, insulators, and manifolds.