We often get asked by customers what welding speed and temperature they should use for their material. The simplest answer is we don’t know. Each material and environment require a different combination of speed, temperature, and air flow to achieve a good weld.
Let’s examine each parameter and how they affect the welding process.
Materials often have a range of acceptable welding temperatures, speak with the manufacturer of your material to see if they have recommendations for your specific fabric. Use these recommendations as a starting point.
The ideal temperature depends not only on the material but also the environment. Welding outdoors, in a cold environment, or in the direct sun can all affect the required temperature. Make sure to take into account if conditions change during the course of the project and conduct test welds periodically.
Speed is influenced by the type of project and the skill of the operator. Intricate projects where the machine must be guided by hand rather than with the automatic guide will require a slower speed.
As speed increases the operating temperature must be increased as well. A higher speed means the fabric is in contact with the hot air for less time, a higher temperature is required to heat the fabric adequately in the shorter time frame.
Lighter materials usually require lower air flow settings. Light materials tend to flutter when the air flow is too high causing problems in the weld.
The welding tool’s maximum temperature may not be achievable at 100% air flow. If your material needs a very high temperature a lower air flow may be necessary.
Determining Welding Parameters – Recommended Process
If you are welding an unfamiliar material you will likely have to experiment to determine the right welding parameters. It’s best to use a methodical approach changing one variable at a time. For example set the air flow to 100%, set the desired speed. Do a test weld on a long piece of fabric increasing the temperature in increments until the desired weld quality is reached. If a good weld is not achieved the speed may have to be adjusted downwards and the test repeated.
Importance of Testing
Physical testing is the only way to determine if a weld is adequate. Perform test welds as described above until a good weld is achieved. If the weld is good, a peel test should reveal the scrim of the fabric.
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