How do you ID plastics ?

Welding of plastics is common place these days, however as you can only weld together “like plastics” it is important to first identify the plastic type prior to welding.

So how do you Identify Plastics ?
Firstly, the group of plastics that can be welded are Thermoplastics. A Thermoplastic is one that is manufactured (moulded or formed) by methods of heating. Thermoplastics are those most commonly found in all areas of our lives today – eg. Plastics used in vehicle manufacturer, Water tanks, Crates & Product Bins, Motorcycle plastics. All of which can be welded by bringing the parent & compatible welding rod up to the specific material “molten state”.

The fastest, safest way to identify thermo plastics is with a Techspan Rod Test Kit.

Rod Test Kit (RTK) – test procedure:

  1. Simply clean an area on the part to be ID tested. Ensure you remove ALL contamination (grease, oils, paints etc) before attempting his test
  2. Select a rod from the “Rod Test Kit” that appears and feels similar to the parent material
  3. Attempt to weld approx. 30mm of the selected rod to the parent material, leaving a tail sticking up at 90 deg to the parent
  4. Once complete, allow the plastic to cool. It is important to note that plastics will not hold full strength until completely cold
  5. Attempt to remove the rod with a pair of pliers, pulling at 90 deg to the welded part. If the rod snaps off leaving the material on the parent, you know you have a match
  6. Repeat the test with another rod selection until you find the correct match

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