About Clearweld

About Clearweld – Plastics Laser Welding Technology

Clearweld is a patented plastics laser welding technology that offers product designers and engineers unprecedented design and color flexibility, product performance, and cost-effective manufacturing solutions.

Clearweld's specialized and precise joining method for colored or clear plastics offers superior engineering advantages compared to today's adhesive and solvent bonding, and ultrasonic, vibration and hot-plate welding methods. No particulates, no vibration or surface marring, strong, hermetic welds, color flexibility, complex geometry capabilities, and high speed welds are just a few benefits of implementing Clearweld for the laser welding of linear or three-dimensional plastic components, parts and products.

Medical, automotive, electronics, packaging, textile, and consumer goods industries are discovering rapid, precision plastic laser welding solutions using Clearweld's near infra-red absorbing coatings, custom compounded resins or resin additives, in combination with proven laser welding and dispensing equipment.
 

The Patented Clearweld Process

Clearweld employs a variety of plastics laser welding methods with the appropriate coating or resin to join two, transparent plastic pieces. Product design and manufacturing requirements determine the ideal welding method — contour, scan, curtain or simultaneous.

Plastic Laser Welding

How It Works

While there are many established methods to weld plastics, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, Clearweld offers a dynamic, patented plastic welding technology to provide you with greater design, engineering and manufacturing flexibility to meet today's on-going challenges and tomorrow's innovations with joining plastics.

Clearweld Delivers Ideal Laser Welding Solution

The end result or the key solution Clearweld offers you is laser welding material that allows color flexibility and is easy and cost effective to implement. This is done through highly engineered coatings and resins, and a worldwide support network.

Process Parameters

The effectiveness of the absorbers depends upon their compatibility with specific process parameters. The absorbers are tested and certified for use either in coatings or as resin additives, which are then formulated taking into account substrate materials, part design, color and process requirements.

Clearweld materials are designed for use with near IR diode lasers in the 808 nm to 980 nm range, as well as Nd:YAG and fiber lasers at 1064 nm. Coatings are formulated for 940 nm to1064 nm lasers, while resins may be designed for the entire near IR range. Lasers can be scanned using four different methods: Contour Method, Scan Method, Curtain Method and Simultaneous Welding. These methods all benefit different part design and processes. 

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Localized Heating at Joint Interface

This thermal model depicts localized heating of the substrates at the joint interface. Generated by using a Clearweld coating at optimized parameters, this precise heating produces a small weld line and heat-affected zone. This results in superior weld strength with minimal weld stress.

 

Clearweld Overcomes Traditional Joining Methods

Clearweld offers advantages and benefits that address many of the challenges and barriers offered by ultrasonic welding, spin welding and linear vibration welding.

Applications

Plastic Joining Applications

Clearweld offers product designers and engineers unlimited applications in a variety of industries - automotive, electronics, medical products, plastic packaging, textiles, consumer goods and others using plastics to manufacture sophisticated aesthetic products, complex components or medical-grade parts.

Clearweld's patented technology using near infra-red absorbing coatings and custom compounded resins provides the ability to precisely laser weld clear or colored and multi-layer or complex-geometric plastic materials.

If you are seeking to join almost any thermoplastic molded part, sheet, film or fabric, Clearweld provides a plastic laser welding technology engineered to circumvent the design and manufacturing issues arising from today's traditional polymer joining methods - ultrasonic welding, hot plate welding, spin welding, adhesives, epoxies and solvent bonds.

Learn more about Clearweld's wide range of applications in a variety of markets, including automotive, electronics, medical products, plastic packaging, textiles and consumer goods. Today's applications include cosmetic plastic packaging, medical plastic parts, tubing and devices and more!

Automotive

  • No particulates (no fluid contamination for extended warranties)

  • Less residual stress (greater resistance to chemicals and fatigue loads)

  • Color and design flexibility

  • Production speeds comparable to other fast welding methods

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Consumer Goods

  • Permanent weld (vs. screws and other fasteners)

  • Recyclability (vs. metal screws and fasteners)

  • Color flexibility

  • Increased material choices

  • Design flexibility

Electronics

Clearweld affords freedom of design and improvements in the production of electronic components and systems.

Design benefits include:

  • Increased color options

  • Improved aesthetics

  • Greater latitude in part shape and weld interface characteristics

 

Process improvements include:

  • The process is non-contact and heating is localized at the joint interface

  • Elimination of particulates and component damage caused by friction and vibration methods

  • Increased process speed

  • Improved quality and repeatability

  • Enhanced production flexibility (rapid product changeover)

  • High weld strengths

  • Less residual stress

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Medical

  • Clearweld is well suited to high-volume applications such as medical products, where repeatability, bond integrity and aesthetics are critical factors. The process can be used for rigid or flexible materials and small or large parts. Advantages are:

  • Increased material choices

  • Low heat input

  • High process repeatability

  • Clean, optically clear & colorless joints

  • No visible marking or weld flash

  • No particulates

  • No adhesive cure time

  • High weld speeds

  • Low residual stress

  • The materials used in the Clearweld process have passed USP Class VI testing and have shown no evidence of toxicity. However, FDA approval requires submitting the final welded device for testing. 

Plastics and Packaging

  • Design flexibility

  • Wide range of colors

  • Hermetic seal

  • Strong, tamper-evident welds

  • Clear packaging

  • Joining otherwise difficult-to-weld polymers (e.g. polypropylene, PET)

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Textiles

Clearweld can be used with synthetic textiles for stitchless, water-resistant seams without the need for secondary sealing. Fabric integrity is assured by localizing melting to the seam interface.

The revolutionary, new textile joining technique offers:

  • Seam strengths comparable to other joining techniques

  • Colors not affected

  • Retention of external appearance

  • Automated production/manufacturing

  • Simultaneous multi-layer welds of thermoplastics

 

Unprecedented applications, color & design flexibility:

  • Airbags

  • Protective clothing and footwear with sealed seams

  • Foam-backed aerospace, automotive & home upholstery

  • Inflatable structures, flotation crafts and more!

Dispensing Equipment

The proper dispensing method and equipment is critical to the success of Clearweld's process implementation. Clearweld coatings are specifically designed to optimize the performance of each of these methods.

Clearweld certifies its dispensing partners to ensure that their dispensing equipment for coatings meets application performance requirements. These partners have the expertise and support capabilities to service our customers. In addition, we will assist you in selecting the appropriate dispensing method for your plastics application.