Several factors are considered in selecting a process that best suits the material used and the products utility, including:
Below are basic descriptions of the processes to help you determine which may work best for your application. Since we offer all of these textile sealing services at SealWerks, we can answer your questions and objectively determine which process will work best for your project.
Radio frequency welding, high frequency welding and dielectric sealing use electromagnetic energy at a high frequency to fuse polar molecular materials together. These processes are referred as different terminology but they produce the same welding attributes. The RF welding process is used for small to moderate-sized products that require the melding of the same, or different materials types. Since most people refer to this welding process most often as radio frequency welding, we will use RFW to describe the attributes of all three of these welding terms.
An advantage of the RF welding process is that it offers better control when using very thin materials, and constructions with very close dimensional tolerances. RFW is fast and heats the material quickly, is safer to handle, and keeps its shape immediately after sealing. A radio frequency welded seam provides the best quality seal in appearance and bond performance.
Radio frequency welding/high frequency welding/dielectric sealing* is best utilized for:
*High frequency welding and dielectric sealing are the same manufacturing process as radio frequency welding.
Hot air welding uses a nozzle to channel heated air between two layers of material. A heat seal is used when materials need to be configured into closed chamber/tube type constructions, complex (multiple plane) configurations, or when welding thick material. This process is fast and allows for a ‘continuous’ welding of materials, or to form large curved constructions. Because of these benefits, hot air welding is ideal for sealing seams on large, oversize products.
Hot wedge sealing is used when the optimum material for your project is not radio frequency weldable. Hot wedge sealing provides a much better fabrication system for close tolerances and accurately positioned voids in the weld. It also offers better control when using very thin materials and constructions with very close dimensional tolerances. Hot wedge sealing utilizes the same basic equipment as hot air welding, embraces the same parameters, but allows for more process control of thinner materials and tight curves.
Note: Hot air welding and hot wedge welding will bond a much wider range of materials than radio frequency welding.
Solvent bonding or solvent sealing is a process in which the surfaces of the materials to be joined are treated with a solvent. The solvent temporarily softens the material and the bond is made by chemical reaction. As the solvent evaporates, the two surfaces render a tight, permanent bond. It is commonly used for securing fill and vent tubes, and to close chamber type constructions.