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Clear to clear laser welding for joining thermoplastic polymers : a comparative study based on physicochemical characterization

Author
Organization
Abstract
The joining of materials is essential to many industrial applications used today. However, it still lacks a reliable and true single step method to join different types of materials including polymers. Laser welding was primarily employed for metals until some decades ago, but with the rise of high power solid state lasers, applications have emerged in the polymer field. With the recent addition of fiber lasers, true clear to clear welding, joining two of the same transparent polymer layers, has become feasible at a different wavelength range, which benefits the sealing of microfluidic devices. A number of research efforts were made at performing welds of thermoplastics at this wavelength range, however without attempts at offering elaborate explanation of the observations. In our work, a laser welding system using a Thulium fiber laser at 1940 nm was used to join a variety of thermoplasts, without the use of additives or prior processing. By optically and chemically characterizing the materials, a basis was established that links intrinsic material properties to observed welding performance, as determined by mechanical shear tests on the welded materials. We found that four of the ten considered thermoplastic polymers lend themselves to sufficiently strong bonding to allow the creation of leak-proof microfluidic devices by use of laser welding at this wavelength.
Keywords
Laser transmission welding, Thermoplastic polymers, Physicochemical characterization, Degradation, Shear test

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Pelsmaeker, Jens, Geert-Jan Graulus, Sandra Van Vlierberghe, Hugo Thienpont, Danny Van Hemelrijck, Peter Dubruel, and Heidi Ottevaere. 2018. “Clear to Clear Laser Welding for Joining Thermoplastic Polymers : a Comparative Study Based on Physicochemical Characterization.” Journal of Materials Processing Technology.
APA
De Pelsmaeker, J., Graulus, G.-J., Van Vlierberghe, S., Thienpont, H., Van Hemelrijck, D., Dubruel, P., & Ottevaere, H. (2018). Clear to clear laser welding for joining thermoplastic polymers : a comparative study based on physicochemical characterization. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY.
Vancouver
1.
De Pelsmaeker J, Graulus G-J, Van Vlierberghe S, Thienpont H, Van Hemelrijck D, Dubruel P, et al. Clear to clear laser welding for joining thermoplastic polymers : a comparative study based on physicochemical characterization. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY. 2018;
MLA
De Pelsmaeker, Jens, Geert-Jan Graulus, Sandra Van Vlierberghe, et al. “Clear to Clear Laser Welding for Joining Thermoplastic Polymers : a Comparative Study Based on Physicochemical Characterization.” JOURNAL OF MATERIALS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY (2018): n. pag. Print.
@article{8543955,
  abstract     = {The joining of materials is essential to many industrial applications used today. However, it still lacks a reliable and true single step method to join different types of materials including polymers. Laser welding was primarily employed for metals until some decades ago, but with the rise of high power solid state lasers, applications have emerged in the polymer field. With the recent addition of fiber lasers, true clear to clear welding, joining two of the same transparent polymer layers, has become feasible at a different wavelength range, which benefits the sealing of microfluidic devices. A number of research efforts were made at performing welds of thermoplastics at this wavelength range, however without attempts at offering elaborate explanation of the observations. In our work, a laser welding system using a Thulium fiber laser at 1940 nm was used to join a variety of thermoplasts, without the use of additives or prior processing. By optically and chemically characterizing the materials, a basis was established that links intrinsic material properties to observed welding performance, as determined by mechanical shear tests on the welded materials. We found that four of the ten considered thermoplastic polymers lend themselves to sufficiently strong bonding to allow the creation of leak-proof microfluidic devices by use of laser welding at this wavelength.},
  author       = {De Pelsmaeker, Jens and Graulus, Geert-Jan and Van Vlierberghe, Sandra and Thienpont, Hugo and Van Hemelrijck, Danny and Dubruel, Peter and Ottevaere, Heidi},
  issn         = {0924-0136},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF MATERIALS PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY},
  keyword      = {Laser transmission welding,Thermoplastic polymers,Physicochemical characterization,Degradation,Shear test},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Clear to clear laser welding for joining thermoplastic polymers : a comparative study based on physicochemical characterization},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2017.12.011},
  year         = {2018},
}

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