Fabricating is a means of joining or overlapping a substrate and another layer. It can involve a variety of materials including metal and various types of plastic. In modern industry, vinyl, thermoplastics and coated plastics often need to be joined in some fashion. When it is imperative to meld two or more sheet plastic materials together, fabricators often consider one of two methods: heat sealing and the preferred method of RF sealing.
Heat and RF (Radio Frequency) Sealing: Similar but Different
Welding materials together requires energy. When it comes to plastics or coated fabrics, heat sealing is one method while radio frequency sealing is another. While both require energy to produce a unified or fabricated product, heat is the basis for heat energy while radio frequency sealing energy supplies the means for RF welding or sealing. Both types require dies to direct the process but only in RF welding or sealing is the method more than a melting together of plastics to create the desired bond.
For RF welding or sealing, the rate of radio frequency, usually around 27.12 MHz, causes the molecules of the plastics to move around. This results in heat. With the ongoing application of pressure, the plastics conform within the die to match its size and shape. During the process a buffer ensures the plastic remains at the right width. It helps to prevent the occurrence of any holes in a specific spot sending the RF energy throughout the entire die surface.
Why Use Radio Frequency?
While it is true that both RF sealing and heat sealing generate heat to produce fabric unification, companies prefer the former for several reasons. The major four are:
1. An RF sealing process completes the task more quickly than does a regular heat sealer
2. Less time spent in the process means a faster production time
3. Decreased time spent in the product cooling down. This reduces the risk to safety for employees involved in the process
4. The product upon cooling quicker nevertheless retains its shape better than in a straight heat sealing method
The ability of radio frequency sealing to accomplish this ensures this process remains in demand. This is particularly true when it comes to sealing vinyl products as well as those made of EVA, PETG, certain types of Nylon, some forms of Styrene and Urethane.
Radio frequency (RF) sealing is a common means fabricators utilize to join certain fabrics. While heat sealing is still common, it may not be suitable for certain product applications. Depending upon the size, type of product, configuration and quantity of goods, a company’s best options may be the currently favored RF Sealing.
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