Plastic Welder - anyone used?
Has anyone here ever used a plastic welder?
the one I have in mind is this:
it's basically a hot-air pencil, you just give it compressed air and power, and then use it with narrow plastic welding rods, and supposedly other than that it's similar in concept to metal welding.
I have heard that that particular unit isn't great but works, supposedly it runs hotter than it should for plastic welding because it has no temperature control. Not surprising, i mean it is $35 and "real" ones are way more than that. I am not going to let that stop me if it's otherwise feasible, if need be I am comfortable making an add-on temperature controller with a thermocouple, as long as it's not a waste of time.
I am just wondering how much of a pain it is to do plastic welding, and how well it works. My real motivation is trying to bond polypropylene to ABS or other plastics, since PP resists pretty much all common solvents and glues, but it is a thermoplastic so it can be bonded with a high-temp welding method such as this.
Most important question is, would PP and ABS actually bond if they were both melted? I will test this myself when I am home again with my big heat gun, but maybe someone with more experience knows off the top of their head. Since a normal glue won't stick to PP because it can't break down the plastic structure at all to attach to it, it seems that melting the plastic should be successful, but that's assuming that the PP won't just solidify again without bonding to the other plastic at all. Most of the information I have found by googling thus far has suggested that this hot gas plastic welding is suitable for all types of thermoplastics, but they don't specify whether that means bonding only like plastics, or whether you can bond any thermoplastic to another.
If it is possible to bond the dissimilar plastics, is plastic welding a viable solution for actually doing some of the "molding" process of installing a dash LCD, or is it really only suited for just attaching the two pieces together? One thing I would worry about is warping the LCD frame with excessive heating over a larger area, like if trying to fill in a gap with plastic.