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Welding and Joining Processes - Heat Staking, Plastic Assembly
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Heat staking is a process where 2 parts, usually thermoplastic are joined together by means of melting the plastic to form a bond or mechanical lock between the 2 parts.
There are 2 main types of heat staking processes. The first is sometimes referred to as ‘heading’ or ‘mushrooming’. In this process a pin of thermoplastic protrudes through a hole in the part to be joined. The tip of the pin is then melted to form a head or mushroom which is bigger than the hole the pin passed through. This provides a strong, mechanical lock to fasten the 2 parts together. The second process involves melting 2 mating surfaces of similar thermoplastic and pressing them together while the plastic is still molten.
Both methods provide fast, clean and strong bonds. Both methods can be used to provide accurate joints and easily lend themselves to automation. Heat staking is widely used in the automotive, medical and consumer goods manufacturing industry and is often the preferred method of joining over the use of adhesives and ultrasonic welding.
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