Connecting for a common purpose
Methods for joining polycarbonate parts
It is sometimes necessary to combine two or more components to produce a complex part. A number of joining techniques are available that provide a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound solution for designing and manufacturing intricate assemblies.
The joining method used depends on the end products strength requirements and whether the components will need disassembly.
Joining methods include:
- Bonding – Bonding refers to solvent or adhesive bonding. Adhesives hold components together by way of an applied surface layer that chemical attaches to both surfaces, whereas solvents work by chemically softening the surfaces and then evaporating to form the bond.
- Snap-fit – A common method for joining plastic parts, its a simple, economical and efficient joining option. Snap fits are designed into the geometry of the parts and can allow for easy disassembly.
- Welding – Welding thermoplastics parts involves softening the surfaces being welded by heat and maintaining contact between them during the materials re-solidification. The means of providing heat energy varies from technique to technique.
- Mechanical fasteners – Mechanical fasteners, including screws, bolts and threaded inserts, are among the most reliable and common joining methods, especially for devices needing repeated disassembly for servicing.
Snap-fit joints for plastic - a design guide