image of a welding process

Guide to Plastic Welding

Plastic welding is a fabrication process, and one that not many people are aware exists. Broken plastics objects can undergo a cosmetic change to bring it back and save it from being thrown away. When we buy something that has plastic coating, and it gets broken, typically we replace it. However, plastic is very malleable and that means that it is quite easy to melt and reattach with a soldering iron.

The repaired object might not look brand new after you’ve welded it back together, but you can smooth plastic welds and the more you practice plastic welding the less obvious a cosmetic change will be.

 

Can I weld plastic?

Yes, you can weld plastic using a soldering iron. This means that you can weld plastic for fabrication as well as artistic purposes. 

Before welding directly onto plastic you may want to experiment on scrap plastic; this will help you perfect the craft and learn how long to press the soldering iron on specific points of the plastic.

 

How to weld plastic in 8 steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean the plastic with soap and a degreaser. You should carry out this step even if it doesn’t look dirty.
  2. Sand down the plastic edges so that they are smooth and not jagged.
  3. Then plug in the soldering iron and allow it time to warm up.
  4. After this, you can hold the two pieces of plastic together and run the soldering tip along the seam until they are partially welded together.
  5. While the plastic is hot it is still movable, which means you can adjust it as much as you see fit.
  6. To strengthen the plastic weld you can add small bits of plastic (e.g. thin strips) to the seam. These can be melted by pressing the tip of the soldering iron onto them until they are liquefied. 
  7. When liquefied, you can distribute the plastic smoothly along the length of the seam with the help of the soldering iron.
  8. Finally, go over the seam and plastic with the soldering iron. Ideally, you want to go over it with smooth but swift strokes to create an even and smooth plastic weld.

 

What are the different methods for welding plastics together?

There are 6 basic methods for welding plastics together, these are:

  • Stick welding
  • Injection welding
  • Extrusion welding
  • Fusion welding
  • Spin welding
  • Ultrasonic welding

 

What types of plastic can be welded together?

You can weld together a variety of different plastics, including polypropylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), PVC, CPVC, ABS, Lexan and polycarbonate.

 

Contact

Arc Welding Services Ltd supply a wide range of welding machines & equipment both for hire or sale. For more information on the services that we provide here at Arc Welding Services Ltd, please fill out an online contact form, or give us a call today on 0121 327 2249.