Laser welding of polymers is today a commonly used industrial technology. It has shown obvious advantages compared to e.g. adhesive bonding in terms of higher productivity, better quality and easiness for automation. The ongoing development of lasers tailored for polymer welding in coordination with the development of related absorbers added to the polymer materials provide the possibility of joining transparent and non-transparent materials. The automotive industry, the medical device industry and the electronic industry are just some of the areas where the technology is widely implemented. There is an increasing industrial interest in joining dissimilar polymers. To overcome the challenges involved increased focus is set on the understanding of joining mechanisms, morphology and molecular structure behavior. Also the understanding of resulting mechanical and thermal properties is presently subject for research and development. This paper presents some research results related to laser welding of various polymer materials, including weld compatibility investigations related to the joining of different polymers. Theory for bonding mechanisms, strength development, mechanical properties testing and other analysis methods are also highlighted.
Proceedings of the 14th Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference, Nolamp 14, 2013, p. 377-390