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Laser Technique for Plastics Joining Enhances Aesthetics

May 1, 2002

4 Min Read
Laser Technique for Plastics Joining Enhances Aesthetics

Originally Published MPMN May 2002

HOTLINE

Laser Technique for Plastics Joining Enhances Aesthetics

Clear materials can be welded without adding any color

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Clearweld enables the laser welding of plastics without the use of opaque materials or the addition of unwanted color.

A new process for transmission laser welding of both clear and colored plastics is now possible without the use of opaque materials or the addition of unwanted color. The method developed by Gentex Corp. (Carbondale, PA) can be used to join a wide range of rigid and flexible plastics.

Called Clearweld, the technique uses near infrared–absorbing material systems to convert laser energy into heat. A thin layer of these materials applied at the interface of two pieces of plastic to be joined absorbs the light, acting as a focal point for the laser. Localized heating of the substrates occurs at the joint interface, resulting in an instant weld with no particulates or visible color.

In addition to producing clean, optically clear joints, the process yields bond strengths that are comparable or superior to other joining techniques such as hot plate and ultrasonic. It accommodates preassembly and high weld speeds, permits 3-D contour joint lines, and facilitates rapid changeover among products. Process parameters can be precisely controlled, and low heat input reduces the risk of thermal distortion or damage.

The material systems are formulated to match substrates and optimize absorption of diode lasers in the 940- to 1000-nm wavelength range. The process is dependent on accurate and repeatable application of the material at the localized joint interface.

Susan Wallace

Gentex Corp., P.O. Box 315, Carbondale, PA 18407; Phone: 570/282-3550; Fax: 570/282-8555 Internet: http://www.gentexcorp.com/; e-mail: [email protected]

Embedded Systems Accelerate Medical Imaging

Images can be processed in seconds

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A RACE++ system can achieve processing speeds 20 times faster than previous equipment.

High-performance embedded computer systems that process high-resolution, 3-D medical diagnostic images have been enhanced to achieve speeds up to 20 times faster than previously possible.

At a recent symposium, Mercury Computer Systems (San Diego) demonstrated its RACE++ systems processing a cone-beam reconstruction of a 512 x 512 x 512-pixel image in 15.5 seconds—20 to 40 times faster than the 5 to 10 minutes typically required with conventional angiographic equipment currently in use. An adjunct processor using a field-programmable gate array component speeds up the processing of a specific algorithm.

"The techniques pioneered by Mercury make possible a new generation of medical imaging systems that can process images in seconds rather than minutes," says Didier Thibaud, vice president and general manager of the company's medical business group. "We can now offer all of the system components—the technology, the hardware, the software—everything necessary for medical imaging equipment manufacturers to bring their products to market rapidly."

Susan Wallace

Mercury Computer Systems, 199 Riverneck Rd., Chelmsford, MA 01824-2820; Phone: 978/256-1300; Fax: 978/256-0588; Internet: http://www.mc.com; e-mail: [email protected]

Surface Grinder Reduces Operator Error

A grinding system features a programmable touch screen interface

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The Ultracut Model EG618S can grind complex geometries, fragile workpieces, and thermosensitive materials. (click to enlarge)

The Ultracut Model EG618S, supplied by Everite Machine Products Co. (Philadelphia), is an electrochemical surface grinder designed for burr-free production. The unit's key advantage, according to the company, is its programmable touch screen interface, which makes the Ultracut suited for a wide range of applications and minimizes the chance of operator error. The touch screen provides control for all machine functions and features on-screen instructions and error checking.

The Ultracut can grind complex geometries, fragile workpieces, and thermosensitive materials. The unit has a work surface of 6 x 18 in. and features table travel of 21 in.

The grinding machine has no heat-affected zone, and operates without creating work hardening, a recast layer, or metallurgical damage. The unit features a low cutting force that eliminates heat stress and is reportedly faster than electrical discharge machines.

Benjamin Lichtman

Everite Machine Products Co., 501 E. Erie Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19134; Phone: 215/425-3750; Fax: 215/426-7768; Internet: http://www.everite.net/; e-mail: [email protected]

Medical Product Manufacturing News is always on the lookout for innovative products and services. If you are aware of any that have recently been or are about to be introduced, please call the Hotline editor, at 310/445-4265.

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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