A Proven Way to Repair Plastic: Using a Heat Gun
Modern cars have a lot of plastic body parts. They are presented for most models with bumpers, mirrors, sills and moldings. In an accident, they can crack. The restoration of such parts is carried out by soldering. These works can be carried out with various equipment, but the plastic soldering apparatus discussed in this article is a professional tool.
Features of choice
Welding gun is also called hot air gun and hot air gun. It is believed that options from 1600 W are most suitable for welding plastic. The welding machine, depending on the model, can provide temperatures from 80 to 700 °C. The instruments under consideration are divided into two types depending on the temperature control device. Thermal guns of one type have a smooth adjustment, while the other has a discrete one.
It is advisable to purchase a plastic soldering machine with smooth adjustment, since such equipment is more versatile. These options provide the ability to weld a wide variety of plastic options.
In addition to those mentioned, there is also a third type of temperature controllers - electronic. If the welding machine is equipped with such a regulator, then it belongs to the most advanced models. In addition, a high-quality welding gun is characterized by being equipped with a means of protection against overheating, as well as the presence of several nozzles.
The welding gun must be selected based on the type of plastic that the part to be repaired is made of. It should be borne in mind that it is impossible to determine the brand of material by sight, so you should look for the manufacturer's marking on the part.
As an example, the Nordberg WP3 welding gun is considered below. This machine connects plastic parts by fusing stainless steel staples into the material. This method of welding provides a high strength of the seam, in comparison with conventional soldering, due to which this welding machine can be used to restore plastic elements subject to significant mechanical stress during operation.
This welding machine has a power of 800 W, is designed for a rated voltage of 220-240 V and a current frequency of 50 Hz. The surface temperature of its welding head can vary from 0 to 300 °C.
The welding gun in question provides first class electrical protection. The device is equipped with a heater with a control system, the welding gun is protected from overheating thanks to a temperature control system.
High quality of connection is reached thanks to the fact that this gun for welding provides uniform heating of staples. At the same time, the gun is easy to use, which facilitates repairs and reduces the time for its implementation. The device is equipped with a polyurethane handle.
In most cases, a plastic welding gun is used in conjunction with a soldering iron. It is used to connect fragments of a split part as well as mesh reinforcement. To successfully complete the repair, you need to correctly select this tool.
The main requirements that apply to it are ease of use and a short heating time to the required temperature. The last condition can be met if the soldering iron has a power of at least 100 watts. In addition, it is advisable to choose a soldering iron with a wooden handle, as the plastic part may melt during prolonged use.
Preparing for welding
Before starting welding, the damaged part must be prepared. The preparatory work includes several stages, which are discussed below:
- First of all, it is necessary to clean the damaged part by washing with detergents.
- The second step is degreasing. To do this, use solvents, such as white spirit.
- If there are any delaminations on the surface of the repaired part, for example, represented by a paint and varnish coating, you need to remove them with a sharp object like a knife or a sharpened screwdriver.
- Next, you need to grind parts of the part adjacent to the defect. For this, sandpaper with an abrasiveness of P120 is used, however, if the surface to be treated has a large area, grinding can be significantly accelerated by using a grinder with a circle of the same grain size.
- Finally, you need to clean the work surface from the residual grinding products, represented by plastic dust, by blowing. This completes the preparation of plastic for welding.
Carrying out repairs
Plastic soldering also includes several steps, the implementation of which is discussed below.
- First you need to combine the connected fragments with a clamp.
- It is also necessary to perform tacks at several points in increments of 10-15 mm to securely fix the relative position of the elements to be joined.
- Plastic welding is carried out from two sides, starting from the back, along the entire length of the joint.
- Upon completion of welding of this seam, they move to the outer one.
Watch a video on how the plastic repair machine works.