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How to weld plastic sheets on your own

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Plastic fabrication involves the design, fabrication, or assemblage of plastic products, and can be done through several different methods. One of the common plastic fabrication methods is plastic welding. Many people assume that welding is only limited to metal. In truth, welding is also adopted in plastic fabrication and entails joining several pieces of plastic sheeting together. For DIY enthusiasts, here are the steps to weld acrylic plastic sheets together into aquariums and photo frames.

Tools needed

  • Perspex sheets
  • Sandpaper
  • Perspex solvent
  • Syringe
  • Goggles
  • Nose mask

Clean the plastic sheets

The first step is to clean off all debris, dirt, grease or resin that may be present on the plastic sheets. Apply a degreaser on the plastic sheets. Allow it to sit on the plastic for about ten minutes in order to loosen the dirt and debris. Then, use a clean, wet cloth to scour the plastic clean of dirt and degreaser.

Sand the plastic sheets

The sheets need to butt against one another snugly, which means you have to use a sandpaper to sand the edges. Put on goggles to prevent the plastic dust from entering your eyes.

Fit the welding joints together

Next, join the plastic sheets at various intersections at a ninety degree angle.

Fill the syringe with the perspex solvent

Dip the syringe into the perspex solvent bottle and pull the plunger slowly to allow for the entry of the solvent into the syringe. Don't allow any air gaps or bubbles to get inside the syringe. After use, close the lid, because the solvent can harden when exposed to air.

Weld the plastic sheets

Put on a nose mask so that you don't inhale the solvent gas. Slowly insert the syringe to discharge the solvent in the intersection joints between two plastics. This process serves to make sure the plastic sheets bind strongly with one another.

Bind the plastic sheets

Next, press the ends of the plastic sheets to allow the solvent to firmly bind the joints. This ought to be done after two or three minutes of welding; otherwise, the solvent may begin to harden up. Basically, the perspex solvent doesn't glue the plastic sheets together however it loosens the molecular bonds of plastic and re-binds them together in one piece.

Curing phase

Allow the solvent to dry. This might take two or three days. This process is referred to as curing and helps fortify the bond between the connected plastic sheets.