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Title: Joining of thermoplastic substrates by microwaves

A method for joining two or more items having surfaces of thermoplastic material includes the steps of depositing an electrically-conductive material upon the thermoplastic surface of at least one of the items, and then placing the other of the two items adjacent the one item so that the deposited material is in intimate contact with the surfaces of both the one and the other items. The deposited material and the thermoplastic surfaces contacted thereby are then exposed to microwave radiation so that the thermoplastic surfaces in contact with the deposited material melt, and then pressure is applied to the two items so that the melted thermoplastic surfaces fuse to one another. Upon discontinuance of the exposure to the microwave energy, and after permitting the thermoplastic surfaces to cool from the melted condition, the two items are joined together by the fused thermoplastic surfaces. The deposited material has a thickness which is preferably no greater than a skin depth, .delta..sub.s, which is related to the frequency of the microwave radiation and characteristics of the deposited material in accordance with an equation.
 [1];  [2]
  1. (Oak Ridge, TN)
  2. (Knoxville, TN)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. (Oak Ridge, TN) ORNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5603795
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN
Country of Publication:
United States
joining; thermoplastic; substrates; microwaves; method; items; surfaces; material; steps; depositing; electrically-conductive; surface; placing; adjacent; item; deposited; intimate; contact; contacted; exposed; microwave; radiation; melt; pressure; applied; melted; fuse; discontinuance; exposure; energy; permitting; cool; condition; joined; fused; thickness; preferably; depth; delta; related; frequency; characteristics; accordance; equation; plastic material; thermoplastic material; plastic substrate; microwave radiation; microwave energy; conductive material; intimate contact; deposited material; wave energy; plastic substrates; plastic surfaces; /156/