PP Plastic welding rods - Polypropylene / Ethylene-propylene-diene-monomer

PP/EPDM is a material that combines the desirable properties of two materials - polypropylene and ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM). It is commonly used for manufacturing vehicle bumpers and other parts. 

PP/EPDM is a thermoplastic elastomer that contains elastic polymer chains within a thermoplastic material. When heated, it becomes plastic and can be moulded, but it regains its elastic properties when cooled. PP/EPDM is also highly resistant to abrasion, environmental factors, and chemicals. It can even provide a certain degree of sealing. Additionally, PP/EPDM is odourless and safe for the skin. 

The melting point of PP/EPDM is around 160°C, and it is rated for continuous use between -45°C and +125°C.

PE "low density" Plastic welding rods - Polyethylene .

LDPE, also known as PE-LD, is a thermoplastic made from polymerization of ethene. It is a type of polyolefin and is commonly used in vehicle plastics. Despite its low strength, hardness, and stiffness, LDPE is highly resistant to chemicals and has excellent electrical insulation and sliding properties. Its melting point ranges from approximately 130°C to 145°C, with a continuous use temperature of -80°C to +70°C.

Similar types of plastic include PE-HD (polyethene high density), PE-MD (polyethene medium density), and PE-LLD (polyethene linear low density).

Typical Welding temperatures are Welding tool: 250 - 280°C or for a Hot air tool: 260 - 285°C

ABS Plastic welding rods - Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene

AAcrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) is a synthetic terpolymer widely used in bumper parts especially by Porsche and other manufacturers as it has a high impact strength. Its excellent surface hardness, impact resistance, and oil resistance make it a popular choice. ABS is dimensionally stable and can be easily worked with, including sawing, drilling, and cutting. It can also be coated with metals and polymers for added durability.

With a melting point of approximately 230°C to 250°C and a continuous use temperature of up to 85 to 100°C, ABS is a reliable and versatile plastic. Other similar options include ASA and SAN.

Welding temperatures for  ABS Rods are : Welding tool: 255 - 285°C,  Hot air tool: 275 - 310°C


Vehicle Plastic Repair

Various thermoplastics can be welded using welding rods designed to match the properties of the material being welded. This includes, but is not limited to, materials like Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polycarbonate, PVC, ABS, and other engineering plastics. The key is to use a welding rod that is compatible with the specific type of plastic to ensure a strong and durable weld​​.

Identifying the right welding rod for your project involves understanding the plastic material you intend to weld. This can typically be achieved by conducting a preliminary weld test or a burn test to observe the compatibility of the rod with the base material. A correct match is indicated by the welding rod's ability to adhere securely to the material once cooled​​.

The preparation for plastic welding includes thorough cleaning of the surface to be welded, preferably with a gentle cleaning solution like mild dish soap and warm water. Removing any paint, UV damage, or significant scratches is crucial, often using a gentle abrasive method to expose the raw plastic without compromising its integrity. If dealing with thicker plastic pieces, creating a V-groove can enhance the welding outcome by facilitating better penetration​

A common method for welding plastics involves the pendulum technique, which uses a heat gun to melt the rod and the base plastic together. This method requires skillful application of the rod into the joint while employing a back-and-forth motion to ensure even distribution of heat and material. For smaller tasks or in a DIY context, a soldering iron might suffice, with the technique focusing on melting the base material first before introducing the welding rod for the joint​

When welding plastics, it's imperative to wear appropriate protective equipment to guard against the heat and toxic fumes plastics can emit when heated. This includes heat-resistant gloves, protective clothing, and a respirator designed for welding. Ensuring good ventilation in the welding area is also crucial to avoid the inhalation of any harmful vapors released during the process​

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