Leister Technologies LLC of Schaumburg, Ill., will demonstrate a recently introduced micromask process for diode laser welding of plastics at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show Feb. 5-7 in Anaheim, Calif.
The process can deal with fine and elaborate 100-micron-wide lines, welding different structures on one part with localized heating and without inducing stress in the thermoplastic resin. The process includes an automated vision system for precise alignment of the mask and parts.
Generally, the light from a high-power, semiconductor-equipped laser passes through a transparent plastic and onto a bottom laser-absorbent material where the light is transformed into heat. The controlled heat penetrates, softens and melts the clamped-together parts and creates a weld the company claims is vibration- and particle-free, hermetically sealed and gas-tight.
Diode laser welding represents an alternative to vibration welding. Both types of equipment generally cost in the range of $100,000 and usually are more expensive than ultrasonic welding units.