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What is ultrasonic bonding?
Ultrasonic welding directs high-frequency vibrations at two components, which are clamped together. This creates a rapid build up of heat that produces a weld, or bond, in only a few seconds without significant melting of the base materials.
For bonding synthetic textiles or filter media, the fabric passes under a horn, which directs the ultrasonic vibrations through the layers. The materials are heated up and fused together, making a finished seam or sealed edge.
What are the advantages of ultrasonic welding?
No adhesives or consumables - such as solder or thread - are needed. The weld or bond is produced quickly - usually in two to four seconds - without heating the surrounding area. This process produces ultra-reliable, repeatably accurate welds and bonds. Ultrasonic welding is environmentally friendly, produces no waste, and is economical to use.
What industries use ultrasonic bonding?
Apparel, appliance, automotive, electronics, filtration, home furnishings, medical, and packaging are just some of the industries that can utilize ultrasonic welding.
What equipment configurations are available?
Sonobond produces both stand-alone units and models that can easily be integrated into production lines.
What are the components of an ultrasonic welding system?
- A POWER SUPPLY, which converts line power to the high frequency and high voltage needed by the transducer.
- A TRANSDUCER, containing piezoelectric crystals, which changes the incoming high frequency electrical signal to mechanical vibration.
- A BOOSTER, which transmits the vibration energy and increases its amplitude.
- A HORN, which delivers the vibration energy to the weld area.
- AN ANVIL or NEST, which supports the parts to be welded.
Are there any health issues or hazards related to ultrasonic welding? What are the effects of ultrasonics on health?
This issue has been the subject of many studies that prove ultrasonic bonding to be safe and reliable. In a few cases, there may be a problem with excessive noise caused by ultrasonic vibration. In situations where noise levels exceed OSHA limits, the problem can be remedied by installing an enclosure and/or by using personal hearing protection.
Do you have the capability to produce custom machinery?
Yes. Sonobond's technical engineers can work with you to produce the best version of an ultrasonic machine or customer tooling for your specifications.
Does the ultrasonic equipment disturb other computerized devices installed nearby?
Very rarely. In a few especially sensitive environments, it may be necessary to suppress EMI emissions.
Do you provide free sample welds?
Yes. Sonobond actually encourages you to send in parts so we can provide welding samples of your specific application and recommend the best unit for your needs.
Ultrasonic Metal Welding
What materials can be welded by ultrasonic metal welders?
Aluminum, brass, copper, most of the precious metals, and nickel alloys can be easily welded. Ultrasonic welding also has the advantage of being able to weld many dissimilar metal combinations.
What are the advantages of ultrasonic metal welding over crimping?
Ultrasonic wire welding is superior for several reasons. The ultrasonic method does not require the use of any extra materials. It can join wire to wire or wire to terminals withoutfillers or crimping tools. Crimped wires, on the other hand, can sometimes loosen and come apart over a period of time.
How large a wire bundle can the ultrasonic wire splicer handle?
We usually recommend a maximum bundle size of 30 sq. mm for bare stranded copper and less for tinned wire. For our 2500-watt wire welder, we have welded bundles of up to 35 sq. mm. with a single pulse and 48 sq. mm. with two hits.
Can I use the same machine for wire splicing and pin or lug attaching?
You can if you change the tooling. However, we generally recommend that the SpliceRiteTM be used for wire-to-wire splicing and the SonoWeld® 1600 spot welder be used for wire-to-terminal applications.
How long can the tip be used, on average?
The heat-treated tool steel tip can usually be used for up to 100,000 welds before the tips need replacement.
What are the differences between wedge reed and lateral drive welding methods?
Sonobond uses the wedge reed system in which the transducer/horn drives a rod or reed. The rod (reed) contains a tapered cavity into which the tip is inserted. As a result, the force of the cylinder is directly above the weld spot and the tip is easily replaceable.
On the other hand, the lateral drive method uses a transducer/horn with a small extension to contact the piece being welded. The force of the cylinder is offset, rather than above the weld spot. The whole horn must be replaced when the tip extension becomes worn, sometimes requiring a recalibration of the system.
Ultrasonic Plastic Welding
What thermoplastic materials can be bonded by ultrasonic plastic welders? Can I weld dissimilar thermoplastics?
Weldable thermoplastic resins can be categorized as amorphous or crystalline.
Weldable AMORPHOUS resins include: polycarbonate, polyphenylene oxide, polystyrene, ABS, polyetherimide, acrylic, and polysulfone. Weldable CRYSTALLINE materials include: thermoplastic polyester, nylon, acetal, polyethylene, polyphenylene sulfide, and polypropylene.
Yes, a limited number of dissimilar, amorphous thermoplastics can be welded together (e.g., ABS and polycarbonate). Melt temperature difference for dissimilar materials can't be greater than 50° F.
Will my plastic material still bond ultrasonically if it has a fire retardant treatment?
Flame retardants can affect the weld by reducing the strength of the bond. In such cases, "overwelding" can sometimes be the solution. This involves utilizing a higher amplitude machine or a slightly longer weld time to create a sufficiently strong bond.
What is an acceptable amount of glass content for ultrasonic welding of plastics?
Up to 20% is preferred. However, adequate welds can sometimes be achieved with up to 30% glass filler.
What are the common joint designs for plastic welding?
The so-called "energy director" approach is used for many joints. This requires a triangular projection be used on one of the pieces being joined and placed where the melting initiates. For leak-tight joints and some semi-crystalline parts, a shear joint is recommended. A shear joint requires some interference between the parts to be welded. As the parts are ultrasonically heated and compressed, one part "shears" softened plastic from the other.
Ultrasonic Nonwovens/Textiles Bonding
What materials can be bonded by ultrasonic welders for nonwovens/textiles? Can I bond dissimilar materials?
Materials may be 100% synthetic or blends with up to 40% natural fibers.
Acrylics, acetates, polyester, nylon, polypropylene, spandex and PVC are all suitable for bonding or cutting. In general, the higher the synthetic content, the easier it is to cut and seal with ultrasonic energy. Nonwovens including felted filter media are especially suited for ultrasonic bonding.
Yes, many dissimilar materials can be bonded together. Melt temperature difference for dissimilar materials can't be greater than 50° F.
Will my material still bond ultrasonically if it has a fire retardant treatment?
In many cases, you will not have a problem. However, some flame retardants do adversely affect bond strength.
What are the advantages/differences between rotary/continuous ultrasonic bonding and stationary/traversing methods?
The rotary method works like a sewing machine and produces a continuous seam or pattern. The friction between fabric, pattern roller, and ultrasonic horn is greatly reduced ifboth sides rotate, instead of having the roller rotate on a stationary horn.
What is ultrasonic slitting?
Ultrasonic slitters cleanly cut and seal the edges of synthetic or blended fabrics, eliminating the disadvantages of hot wire or rotating knives. Fraying, unraveling, or beading along the cut edge is eliminated.
What is an acceptable amount of glass content for ultrasonic welding of fabrics?
Fillers such as glass fiber are added to change the physical properties, although glass itself is not weldable. Glass content of 20% or less may still result in an acceptable bond.
What is the operating philosophy of the firm?
We are committed to excellence in products, service, and support for our customers and our employees. Our company maintains a strong foundation in engineering and a resolve to help our customers reach their goals.
How many years experience do you have?
Sonobond has been in business for over 47 years. In fact, Sonobond, under its former name of Aeroprojects Inc, developed and patented the first ultrasonic metal welding machine.
How strong is your company?
Sonobond Ultrasonics, Inc. is an affiliate of Indel, Inc., the management service company for a family of technology-based companies. Both Sonobond and Indel are subsidiaries of Rowan Technologies, Inc.
How would your customers rate your performance?
In addition to its outstanding ultrasonic technology, Sonobond has a well-earned reputation for superior customer service and exceptional engineering support. Here is just a small sampling of the complimentary things our customers have to say about Sonobond performance:
"We've gotten outstanding results from our customized SonoWeld® 1600. We were also very pleased with Sonobond's personalized service and fast turnaround. All of our questions were answered, the training was excellent, and the requested spare-parts quote was sent out immediately. It just doesn't get much better than that."
Chris McLaughlin, Maintenance Manager
Lake Cable, LLC
"We got consistently good feedback about Sonobond from everyone we talked to. Sonobond personnel were also very responsive and a pleasure to deal with. I didn't have to keep after them to get important information. Our experience has been so positive that I am keeping my eyes open for other applications where we may be able to use Sonobond ultrasonic bonding units in the future."
Rob Perkins, Manager of Process Engineering
"I have so much more creativity than I realized just through using this new technology. I'm learning that I can stretch myself more but without abandoning my interest in graceful, elegant pieces."
Student, Apparel Design
Do you have a guarantee?
Yes, we are proud to guarantee our products against defects in workmanship for one full year or for 2000 hours of operation, whichever comes first.
Do you have a rental or leasing program available?
Yes. We have a rental program that permits short term use at a fixed monthly rate and that provides credit for the rental which can be applied against the purchase price. We can also work with the leasing company of your choice or we can recommend one for you to use.
Who could I call to get references on your company?
Just call our sales office. They will be happy to provide references from customers with bonding applications similar to yours.