Thursday, July 28, 2011

What Amplitude is needed to weld my plastic components?

What exactly is “Amplitude” and why is it important?  Amplitude is the peak-to-peak movement, or expansion/contraction, of an ultrasonic tool stack.  Each component can multiply the amplitude that comes from the transducer, the amount of increase or decrease is called "Gain".  The total gain of the stack components determines the final amplitude at the working face of the ultrasonic horn, where part contact is made.  The ultrasonic tooling stack includes the transducer, booster and horn.  Some applications do not require a booster and the horn is attached directly to the transducer.   These are usually multi-head automotive applications or packaging applications.

Some customers have tried to save money by not purchasing the correct booster for their particular application.  Making sure the ultrasonic tooling stack is producing enough amplitude is one of the most important factors to successfully welding parts. 

Yes, there may be a setting or two that can be adjusted in the ultrasonic welding system, like adjusting the pressure, but that doesn’t mean that the material at the joint area is actually co-mingling.  If parts are not welded properly, they probably won't pass inspection or may even break apart in your hands.  Worse yet is the possibility of your customer returning parts due to poor quality.  Insufficient amplitude is often evidenced by not only weak welds but also incomplete welding where the melt around the interface is not completely present.  A weld detail, e.g., energy director, may show signs of embedding into the mating surface instead of melting.  If you have a weld time that is less than .1 seconds and your process seems to produce erratic results, then possibly your amplitude is too high and a reduction needs to be made.

A chart is included that shows some amplitude requirements of basic materials.  Use the example as a guide for your current resin and ultrasonic tooling stack to see if you have enough amplitude for your application. Generally speaking, amorphous plastics require less amplitude than semi-crystalline materials.  

Click to enlarge
Dukane’s application engineers can assist you in calculating the proper amplitude for your ultrasonic welding application and quote the proper booster to match up with the horn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dukane IAS receives Illinois Export Excellence Award

Dukane Corporation’s Intelligent Assembly Solutions (IAS) Division was recognized by the State of Illinois for the significant growth that has occurred in our export sales in recent years. As part of Illinois annual “EXPORT WEEK”, thousands of Illinois based companies who are involved in exporting, are invited to apply for the annual recognition given by the Governor of Illinois to Exporters. Companies can apply for recognition of their efforts as either a new exporter if they have less than three years of export experience, or as an experienced exporter if they have more than 3 years of export experience. Within each company size segment, a board of judges reviews the applications and then select 3 companies. One is given an award as the best “New Exporter”, one is given and award for best “Continued Excellence in Exporting”, and one is given “Best Exporter”. The award is given based upon a number of criteria which include overall growth in export sales in recent years, and the amount of employment related to those export sales. Dukane was recognized as the 2011 Continued Export Excellence Award winner for the mid-size company category. The awards were presented on June 21 by Illinois’ Governor Quinn at the annual Export Week Conference which was held at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

In addition to the awards, there was a conference which included presentations by several of the this year’s award winners. Dukane was represented on the panel by Russ Witthoff, Director of International Sales.