Radio Frequency Welding vs. Hot Air Welding

By weldadmin | October 05, 2016

What is Radio Frequency Welding?

Radio frequency welding is a process that bonds materials using electromagnetic energy. Simply put, the welding machine creates an electric field that moves polar molecules in the material to create heat. This heat causes the molecules to bond to each other, eliminating the need for extra heat. The final weld is sealed using pressure.

What is hot air/hot wedge welding?

Hot air welding is a process that uses precise heat, speed, and pressure to weld thermoplastics together. Hot air welders blow compressed air across electrical heating elements at a temperature ranges between 1000°F and 1350°F (400°C to 750°C).

Hot wedge welding is similar in that it uses the same combination of precise heat, speed, and pressure. This type uses a heated wedge at the weld point rather than the compressed air and electrical heating elements. Wedge welders range from 700°F to 920°F (400°C to 490°C), and are quieter than their hot air counterparts. They can also be used to weld thicker materials than hot air, though the hot air welders are better suited for curved edge welding and a versatile product range.

Which is better?

Between radio frequency welding and hot air or hot wedge welding, radio frequency welding falls short in terms of efficiency and strength. Hot air and wedge welding machines have a much faster weld time than radio frequency, and create stronger seams. In fact, Miller Weldmaster hot air welding machines have been used for applications like white water rafts, airplane escape shoots, and military applications due to the strength of the welds produced with hot air.

Hot air welding also has an aesthetic appeal, as the seams created are welded from inside the material rather than the outside. This reduces the visibility of the seams and creates a better finish than radio frequency can.

Radio frequency welders also have limitations on the materials they can weld. They are restructured to PVC and polyurethane materials, while hot air welders can be used on many thermoplastic fabrics and films with ease. This versatility allows many manufacturers to make entire products using one Miller Weldmaster welder, rather than needing several large machines for their products.

And finally, the radio frequency welders interfere with other equipment, simple because they emit radio frequency waves that disrupt printers and machines. Miller Weldmaster hot air and hot wedge welders have no such limitations, and can be used anywhere in your office or factory without disrupting the rest of the shop.

There are many reasons that hot air welders are simply better than radio frequency welders. If you’re interested in learning more about Miller Weldmasters top-of-the-line hot air and hot wedge welders, check out our products or contact us to talk about what our machines can do for you!


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