Consumers have access to a number of different methods to join plastic materials together. While some methods are designed for specific applications, others can be used for general-purpose plastic joining. Some of the more popular methods of joining plastics together include solvent bonding, vibration welding, and induction welding. Another way to join plastic components together is by simple mechanical fastening.
Solvent bonding is traditionally only used in joining thermoplastics. Solvent bonding involves coating plastics with a solvent and clamping them together. The solvent softens the plastics and when it evaporates, the plastics are bonded together.
Plastics like polypropylene that are difficult to weld are usually bonded by induction welding. Vibration welding is efficient but is often only employed when other bonding methods are impractical. Vibration welding involves joining two plastics and vibrating one of them. The vibrations create friction, which heats the plastics and welds them together. To perform an induction weld, plastics are placed around a metal object and run through a magnetic field, which causes the plastics to heat and weld together.
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Mechanical fastening is used when precision bonding is not required. This is the simplest way of joining plastics. Mechanical fastening is more suited for joining stronger plastics. Mechanical fastening involves joining plastics together with simple fasteners like latches and nails.