2. Surface Preparation:
As with all forms of welding, cleaning of plastic components prior to welding is as important as any other welding preparation in achieving strong, structural welds. Poorly prepared plastic components will lead to weld failures.
Plastics surface preparation involves ensuring all soils are removed. Any paints, oils, greases and even UV degradation must first be removed prior to welding. With large parts, eg. Bumper bars, washing the part is usually a good start.This will ensure we are removing any atmospheric soils, eg. Mud, Traffic films etc . Use a soft sponge with warm water – don’t use any industrial detergents as these can also introduce film coatings that may also effect the welding results.
Any painted surfaces should also be cleaned right back to the parent material. Paints and other remaining soils should be removed easily using a standard abrasive wheel (sanding disc) with any high speed air drill or electric drill will do the trick. A grinding disc will make quick work of this process, but be warned – plastics yield easily to abrasives, so take care you don’t end up damaging other sections of the part where the wheel can ‘catch’ and ‘drag’ across the component.
This process can create a fair bit of dust, so we recommend the use of a face mask when performing this task. Other methods for preparing plastics include – paint scrapper, sharp blade, clean wire brush…
Once the part has been properly cleaned are prepared, we are now ready for the “Tacking” step.