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Branson Laser assembly systems use a process called Simultaneous Through Transmission Infrared welding (STTIr). The process passes laser radiation through one plastic component (transmissive component), and the energy is absorbed by the mating component (absorptive component). This absorption results in the heating and melting of the interface, and with the application of a controlled clamp force the parts are joined.

How does Laser assembly work?

Branson Laser assembly systems use a process called Simultaneous Through Transmission Infrared welding (STTIr). The process passes laser radiation through one plastic component (transmissive component), and the energy is absorbed by the mating component (absorptive component). This absorption results in the heating and melting of the interface, and with the application of a controlled clamp force the parts are joined. The major breakthrough in Laser technology is the ability to illuminate the entire welding surface simultaneously as compared to other techniques that rely on scanning of the weld joint. 

Applications where Laser has been used successfully include automotive sensors and control modules, filter assemblies, electronic enclosures, irrigation systems, and medical products.

Process Advantages and Benefits

Laser has certain clear-cut advantages over other methods for welding plastics:

  • Weld quality – Since there is no relative motion between the parts, none excitation or vibration, only the weld area is heated and melted, producing parts with excellent cosmetic properties.
  • Minimal flash and no particulate - Because the process can be easily controlled by varying the power of the laser source, it is possible to accurately control the power dissipation within the weld, resulting in less flash and no particulate.
  • Part design flexibility - This method allows for 3-D joint configurations.
  • Pre-assembled parts can be welded. For some applications it is critical to allow internal components to be held in place during the welding process without becoming dislodged. This method allows for parts to be placed into the machine in the same position and orientation as the final, assembled position.
  • Ability to weld materials that are not easily welded with other joining technologies – Materials that have  been welded successfully to date include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, acrylics, elastomers, polycarbonate, polypropylene, polystyrene, high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polyethylene terephtalate glycol, and nylon. This method is also effective with some dissimilar material combinations.
  • Fast and flexible - Ideal for high volume applications; a typical weld cycle time ranges between 1 and 5 seconds.
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