While machines are the main requirement in the radio frequency welding process, there’s another aspect of it that is crucial to forming a solid bond between materials, and that is a Buffer.
What Does Buffer Material Do?
As the two electrodes in the machine heat the materials being welded, the metal surface of the dies experiences heat loss. Without certain materials present, if the heated plastic gets too thin in one place, then the RF energy will flood into that area toward the bottom of the platen and create an unwanted hole in your product.
What is referred to as the “Buffer material” helps separate the material from the metal die surface, and brings electrical resistance to the process that helps keep the energy evenly spread out instead of concentrated in one spot. It essentially prevents the radio frequency welding process from using either too little or too much power.
Other Purposes for a Buffer
Not only does the Buffer help evenly distribute the electrical charge across the material, but it also performs a number of other purposes in the RF welding process such as:
- Preventing materials from sticking or releasing too much (although too much sticking results from certain Buffers, connecting materials to the Buffer, too much release will cause materials to slide around and decrease welding quality)
- Serving as soft landing place for sealing dies that’s better than the bottom platen’s steel surface
- Cushioning the sealed plastic to avoid material inconsistencies
In the end, the Buffer is necessary for the best results in radio frequency welding, and without it you wouldn’t get the most reliable products that so many industries rely on for their tear resistance and durability.