This article appears in Plastics Today.
A proprietary radio-frequency (RF) welding technology from Genesis Plastics Welding (Fortville, IN) enables the joining of thin-gauge polyethylene, polypropylene and low-loss polymers without the use of plasticizers or additives. The bolt-on ecoGenesis technology reportedly can allow most existing RF machines to weld polymers with dielectric constants well below the 0.02 level, facilitating manufacturing with an array of materials other than PVC and polyurethane (PU). Medical, automotive, military, packaging and consumer applications stand to benefit, according to Genesis Plastics Welding.
In a white paper , the company reported the results of an evaluation of the technology by business consultancy OmniTech International (Midland, MI). According to OmniTech, ecoGenesis “defies the industry’s traditional mathematical formulas and art that predict the success of a good RF weld.” Prior RF welding art allowed for only a few polymer films—notably PVC and some PUs—as candidates for a good RF weld, according to Genesis Plastics. “OmniTech confirmed that films, copolymer films and fabrics with low dielectric factors can efficiently and effectively be RF welded with ecoGenesis without the aid of coatings, adhesives or other costly treatments,” noted the company in the white paper. OmniTech’s analysis was jointly paid for by Genesis Plastics Welding and Dow Chemical Co.
Benefits of the technology, according to Genesis Plastics Welding, include lower manufacturing costs because it eliminates the need for expensive additives and allows for the use of more economical materials and improved product performance and appearance since the absence of heat-seal additives results in a clean final structure.