Innovative Weld Design for a Plastic Pressure Vessel

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0468

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
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Affiliated:
Abstract:
Plastic hollow articles are used in automotive applications such as high pressure fluid bottles, active globe box knee airbags, etc. Welding of plastic hollow articles to create a pressure vessel is a challenge. The weakest points are usually the weld seam where the part tends to separate under internal pressure. The reason for the weakness is that the weld is configured as an L-shaped joint and the loading is in peel. The L-shaped weld joint is the result of the injection molding limitations such as die lock and also the welding process adopted with its perceived design limitations. A new weld design to form plastic hollow articles is conceived. Its design is T-shaped such that the joint loading under pressure is no longer in peel but in tension, vertically to the weld surface. This weld design can be easily achieved, overcoming the limitation of die lock in injection molding and by the hot plate weld design adopted for this welding. Test samples were built to evaluate the new weld design concept and hot plates designed to help perform this weld joint. Pull test on the conventional L-shaped and the new T- shaped welded samples show an improvement of about 50% weld strength for the new T-shaped weld design. Hence a weld joint stronger than the parent material, in forming plastic hollow articles, is possible.
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