What is Radio Frequency (RF) Welding?

Radio frequency welding (RFW), also known as RF welding or high frequency welding, is a sealing process through which products are fabricated with watertight and airtight seams. This particular sealing process fuses flexible materials together by using a combination of electromagnetic energy and pressure, which forms a bond that is just as strong as the original materials used, or potentially even stronger. Many industries have relied on this process in the fabrication of their materials since the 1940s.

Seal similar or dissimilar materials

The radio frequency welding is versatile in that it can create a strong, minimally visible seam in a variety of fabrics or films. The requirement of these materials is that they must have a polar molecular structure, which reacts in the desired way to the electromagnetic energy in RF welding. The materials that are compatible with the radio frequency welding/high frequency welding process include Polyamides (PA), vinyl (PVC) and Acetates containing chemical dipoles. Materials that do not have a polar structure may be sealable using other heat sealing processes that we offer. 

RF seam welding fuses the appropriate materials together using electromagnetic waves to briefly break up and jumble their molecular structures. The rearranged molecules then form a seam that allows for the cutting and custom shaping of products while remaining tear and wear resistant. The process uses an RF type press to quickly seal the materials together.

Many industrial products rely on RF seam welding

Because of radio frequency welding’s ability to create seals that effectively resist tearing from water or air pressure, many industries depend on this process in the construction of their products. RF sealing is most commonly used to fabricate containment bags and inflatables that are designed to hold air, liquids, gases or vapors. Another use is to combine different materials into a single product, such as industrial curtains.

Some of the specific applications for RF welding include fluid containment bags—such as IV bags—for the medical industry, industrial curtain walls to protect equipment and workers in auto body shops or welding areas, and preconditioned air hoses used to control humidity and temperature in parked military or commercial aircraft.

If you would like to know if the RF sealing process is right for your product, contact SealWerks for additional information.