RF Welder
Geneva Awning & Tent Works creates custom manufactured products for most of the Northeast.

Our facility is capable of manufacturing a variety of products.

A sample list of services:

  • Custom sewing
  • Custom signs & banners
  • Custom flags
  • Government & industrial sewing

Our newest addition to our family of services is the Thermotron Quantum F-Series Radio Frequency Sealer. Available for contract work for any custom RF welding project anywhere in the United States. We specialize in the welding of Commercial Awnings, and any Vinyl or Sunbrella welding application.

RF Welder

There are a number of advantages of RF welding over alternative welding technologies:

  • Unlike with a straight heat weld, the material is only heated while RF is being generated. Once the generator cycles, the heat is turned off. This allows for greater control over the amount of energy that the material sees over the entire cycle. In addition, RF-generated heat does not radiate off the die like on a heated die. This prevents heat-degradation of the material abutting the weld.
     
  • RF tooling is usually run "cold". This means that once the RF is turned off, the material stops being heated, but remains under pressure. In this fashion it is possible to both instantly heat, weld, and cool the material under compression. More control over the weld means more control over the melt, the extrusion, and the resulting strength of the seal.
  • RF welds are "clean". Because the only material needed to produce an RF weld is the material itself, there are no messy adhesives or by-products involved in RF welding.

RF welding is useful for joining polymers that have strong dipoles, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethanes, and polyamides. Application of a high intensity alternating electromagnetic field to these dipoles will tend to cause orientation with the field. The dipoles will try to alternate with the changing field polarity and, in the process, will convert some of the field energy into heat, creating a weld. In the USA , the most common RF welding frequency is set at 27.12 MHz, but frequencies can vary depending on country.

 

RF Welder

The high intensity field is normally applied to polymer by electrodes that are pressed against both sides of the film layers. Since field intensity decreases with distance, this process is normally most useful when the electrodes are close together, as with polymer films. Welding appears to occur at the interface between the films because the relatively cold electrodes draw heat from the film surface, but not as effectively from the more distant interface.

Concerns about the incineration of PVC disposable products has led to greatly increased interest in welding of polyester or multilayer films. For the latter multilayer materials, one of the layers is sensitive to the field while the other layers provide the properties required for the particular application. These newer materials generally heat less efficiently, but conditions can sometimes be found where acceptable welding occurs. Heating efficiency is material dependent. Polyolefins, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, have very weak dipoles are essentially insensitive to the field.

In the medical area, bags for fluids are probably the main application of RF welding. The bags, and the ports for entry into the bag, can be made in one step. Weld times range from fractions of a second to seconds, depending on the material, film thickness, and area being welded. Use of microprocessors and improved control during the weld cycle have led to both increased quality and speed.

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