How to Weld UHMW-PE
(Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene)
- Use Abbeon’s Model 97CH Hot Air Thermoplastic Welder.
- Must have clean dry air supply: minimum 100 PSI, 5 CFM.
- Must have 20 AMP circuit, 120 V.
- Must have Abbeon’s 10A Weld Tip (1028).
- Must have 3/16" H.D.P.E. Weld Rod.
- Virgin UHMW is preferable. Factory regrind may be weldable. We have found some UHMW with Silicone and other additives that are not weldable. Also, some colors cannot be welded because of the pigments or dyes used. The only way to know is to try.
- After starting the welder by plugging it into your electrical supply, activate the pressure switch by turning the air pressure to between 8-10 lbs PSI. You then turn the pressure down to 6½ PSI on the gauge. The welder takes seven minutes to heat to the maximum. Set power control between 8 and 10.
- The parts to be welded must be beveled or have a fillet.
- Hold the 97CH Welder with the 10A tip (see page 13) at almost 90 degrees without touching the tip to the surface and apply as much of the hot air to the substrate as possible. Feed the 3/16" H.D.P.E. rod through the tip at approximately 12" per minute. At this slow rate you will observe the weld rod turning clear with the exception of a thin white line in the center of the rod. You will also observe some puddling of the substrate. Do not move welded part until all welded areas are back to original color and firmness.
- Using hot air will produce much smoke and should be vented. Using Nitrogen will not produce smoke. Air or nitrogen will produce the same quality weld. Bench top welding should be shielded with sheet metal under weld area.
- Turn off switch and allow element to cool before air is turned off.