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New ink dispensers help laser Weld Clear parts. (Keeping Up With Auxiliaries).

Laser welding of translucent parts is now feasible, thanks to a new laser-absorbent ink and specialized ink-dispensing systems from two suppliers working in partnership with the ink developer. ClearWeld, a process developed by Gentex Corp. in Carbondale, Pa., requires precise deposition of inks formulated to absorb near-infrared (NIR) laser light. Previously, laser welding required one part to be infrared-absorbing, limiting it to only black or dark-colored parts. With ClearWeld, the laser passes through the clear plastic, but stops at the joint, where it is absorbed by the ink and generates enough heat to create a weld.

The ink-dispensing equipment suppliers are Nordson Corp. of Duluth, Ga., and Xennia of Royston, Hertfordshire, U.K. They have developed, respectively, a liquid spraying system and an ink-jet printer for accurate application of Gentex's inks. "They open the way for implementing our technology," declares LP Frieder III, marketing manager at Gentex.

Nordson's Product Assembly Group offers a ClearWeld package consisting of a spray apparatus, tips, and syringes. Nordson also supplies robots and 3D motion-control tables required for precise product placement, ink dispensing, and laser manipulation in low- to medium-volume operations. For high-volume welding, Nordson offers customized tabletop work cells.

Meanwhile, Xennia's XPS 9000 industrial inkjet system is specially designed to dispense Gentex's NIR-absorbing inks. An integrated IR lamp ensures efficient ink drying after deposition. Nordson: (800) 683-2314, www.nordson.com / productassembly; Xennia: +44 1763 24 6600, www.Xennia.com
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Comment:New ink dispensers help laser Weld Clear parts. (Keeping Up With Auxiliaries).
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:235
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