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Process joins decorative materials to plastic substrates

Article-Process joins decorative materials to plastic substrates

A new process combines two well-known bonding methods, edge folding and ultrasonic welding, to create an optimized procedure for joining decorative materials like vinyl, textiles, or leather to a plastic substrate. With traditional edge folding, a decorative material is bent 90° or 180° over the back edge of a substrate, where it was traditionally heated and fixed in place with an adhesive.
In the new ultrasonic edge folding process, a substrate is placed in the edge folding tool, which uses folding sliders to bend the edge of the decorative material over the back of the substrate. The slider continues to adjust the material until it presses up against the back of the substrate. At this point, instead of being affixed with an adhesive, an ultrasonic horn moves into an opening in the slider, and in approximately 2 seconds it welds the materials together.
Reported benefits of the process include eliminating the need for adhesives, lower cost compared to hot-air or heating-element edge folding, lower energy consumption, and the removal of heat from the process so there?s no chance of the substrate deforming. Austrotech Corp. is the exclusive North American representative of this technology created by Hermann Lühr GmbH of Hamburg, Germany.
Austrotech Corp., Bloomfield Hills, MI
(248) 988-8587

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