Optimizing the weld factors affecting ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics

  • Syed Farhan RazaEmail author
  • Sarmad Ali Khan
  • Mohammad Pervez Mughal


This work presents the optimization of weld factors for ultrasonic welding of similar thermoplastics acrylo-nitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) to ABS (ABS/ABS) and polypropylene (PP) to PP (PP/PP) using Taguchi experimental design (L-8). Energy director (ED) fabricated using injection molding is the protruding part for getting ultrasonic vibrations concentrated at the joint interface. Dimensions of ED were increased, as compared to literature, to investigate its effect on joint quality. In addition to enhanced ED dimensions, it was essential to consider the other weld factors properly leading to parametric optimization of these factors for selected thermoplastics. For both ABS and PP, highest lap shear strength (LSS) was achieved while using triangular (TRI) ED instead of SEMI (semi-circular) ED. In the case of ABS, applied pressure, amplitude, and hold time are found to be the significant factors for maximizing LSS; however, amplitude and weld time are found to be more contributing parameters for weld strength in the case of PP. Significant improvement in the weld strength (LSS) has been achieved after conducting the validation experiments for both ABS and PP, i.e., 31.21 MPa (104% of original ABS shear strength) and 22.36 MPa (319% of original PP shear strength) respectively. Substantial enhancement in LSS has been acquired as compared to previous studies. This improvement was only possible with introducing the new joint design for ultrasonic welding that is an innovative design idea. Furthermore, these huge improvements in LSS were never reported for any other welding process utilizing thermoplastics in literature. Although ABS and PP are ductile, various causes of fracture brittleness are also microscopically studied for both materials.


Energy director (ED) lap shear strength (LSS) polypropylene (PP) acrylo-nitrile butadiene sytrene (ABS) thermoplastics heat affected zone (HAZ) 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



It is hereby admitted that experimentation in this work has been completed using Lea Lab of The University of Sheffield UK.


  1. 1.
    Fernandez Villegas I, Vizcaino RP (2015) On avoiding thermal degradation during welding of high-performance thermoplastic composites to thermoset composites. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 77:172–180. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sackmann J, Burlage K, Gerhardy C, Memering B, Liao S, Schomburg WK (2015) Review on ultrasonic fabrication of polymer micro devices. Ultrasonics 56:189–200. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Krabbe S, Achatz DE, Nieradzik T, Gerhardy C, Schomburg WK (2015) Ultrasonic welding of chemical optical sensors supporting O2, pH and CO2 imaging in microfluidic systems. Procedia Eng 120:598–601. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ultrasonic FAQ’s - Ultrasonic Technology 2015.
  5. 5.
    Oehm L, Bach S, Majschak JP (2016) Investigations on the heating effect of PE-LD induced by high-intensity focused ultrasound. Ultrasonics 70:204–210. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Singh R, Kumar R, Feo L, Fraternali F (2016) Friction welding of dissimilar plastic/polymer materials with metal powder reinforcement for engineering applications. Compos Part B Eng 101:77–86. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lambiase F, Paoletti A, Grossi V, Genna S (2017) Improving energy efficiency in friction assisted joining of metals and polymers. J Mater Process Technol 250:379–389. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Paoletti A, Lambiase F, Di Ilio A (2016) Analysis of forces and temperatures in friction spot stir welding of thermoplastic polymers. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 83:1395–1407. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lambiase F, Paoletti A, Di Ilio A (2017) Friction spot stir welding of polymers: control of plunging force. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 90:2827–2837. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yan Y, Shen Y, Zhang W, Guan W (2017) Effects of friction stir spot welding parameters on morphology and mechanical property of modified cast nylon 6 joints produced by double-pin tool. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 92:2511–2523. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Farshbaf ZR (2015) Experimental evaluation of ultrasonic-assisted friction stir process effect on in situ dispersion of multi-walled carbon nanotubes throughout polyamide 6. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 81:2087–2098. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lambiase F, Paoletti A, Di Ilio A (2015) Mechanical behaviour of friction stir spot welds of polycarbonate sheets. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 80:301–314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hoseinlaghab S, Mirjavadi SS, Givi MKB, Azarbarmas M (2014) Influences of welding parameters on the quality and creep properties of friction stir welded. J Mater 67:369–378. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gao J, Li C, Shilpakar U, Shen Y (2016) Microstructure and tensile properties of dissimilar submerged friction stir welds between HDPE and ABS sheets. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 87:919–927. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Eslami S, Ramos T, Tavares PJ, Moreira PMGP (2015) Shoulder design developments for FSW lap joints of dissimilar polymers. J Manuf Process 20:15–23. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pappadà S, Salomi A, Montanaro J, Passaro A, Caruso A, Maffezzoli A (2015) Fabrication of a thermoplastic matrix composite stiffened panel by induction welding. Aerosp Sci Technol 43:314–320. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shi H, Villegas IF, Bersee HEN (2015) A displacement-detection based approach for process monitoring and processing window definition of resistance welding of thermoplastic composites. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 74:1–9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Herrmann Ultrasonics I. Ultrasonic welding machine utilizes rotary technology 2016. Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Parmar U, Pandya DH (2016) Experimental investigation of ultrasonic welding on non-metallic material. Procedia Technol 23:551–557. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Arungalai Vendan S, Chinnadurai T, Senthil Kumar K, Prakash N (2017) Investigations on mechanical and structural aspects of ultrasonic hybrid polymer mixture welding for industrial applications. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 93:89–102. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Roopa Rani M, Prakasan K, Rudramoorthy R (2015) Studies on thermo-elastic heating of horns used in ultrasonic plastic welding. Ultrasonics 55:123–132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
  23. 23.
    Yousefpour A, Hojjati M, Immarigeon J-P (2004) Fusion bonding/welding of thermoplastic composites. J Thermoplast Compos Mater 17:303–341. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nonhof CJ, Luiten GA (1996) Estimates for process conditions during the ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics. Polym Eng Sci 36:1177–1183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Suresh KS, Rani MR, Prakasan K, Rudramoorthy R (2007) Modeling of temperature distribution in ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics for various joint designs. J Mater Process Technol 186:138–146. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Villegas IF, Bersee HEN (2010) Ultrasonic welding of advanced thermoplastic composites: an investigation on energy-directing surfaces. Adv Polym Technol 29:112–121. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tsujino J, Hongoh M, Yoshikuni M, Hashii H, Ueoka T (2004) Welding characteristics of 27, 40 and 67 kHz ultrasonic plastic welding systems using fundamental- and higher-resonance frequencies. Ultrasonics 42:131–137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tsujino J (1995) Recent developments of ultrasonic welding. 1995 IEEE Ultrason. Symp. Proceedings. An Int Symp 2, IEEE:1051–1060. Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wu YB, Sato T, Qiu JH, Lin WM (2009) Proposal of a new ultrasonic welding technique for thermoplastic polymer. Adv Mater Res 83–86:1129–1134. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Shu KM, Chang CS, Chuang WJ, Wang SI, Jang YY (2010) Study on application of Taguchi method to ultrasonic-aided spin welding of heterogeneous plastic materials. Adv Mater Res 126–128:381–387. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wu C-Y, Benatar A, Mokhtarzadeh A (2012) Comparison of ultrasonic welding and vibration welding of thermoplastic polyolefin. Weld World 56:69–75. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hopmann C, van Aaken A (2014) Ultrasonic welding of polyamide — influence of moisture on the process relevant. Material Properties 58:787–793. Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Liu S-J, Chang I-T (2002) Optimizing the weld strength of ultrasonically welded nylon composites. J Compos Mater 36:611–624. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Liu S-J, Chang I-T, Hung S-W (2001) Factors affecting the joint strength of ultrasonically welded polypropylene composites. Polym Compos 22:132–141. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Liu S-J, Lin W-F, Chang B-C, Wu G-M, Hung S-W (1999) Optimizing the joint strength of ultrasonically welded thermoplastics. Adv Polym Technol 18:125–135.<125::AID-ADV3>3.0.CO;2-A CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rani RM, Suresh KS, Prakasan K, Rudramoorthy R (2007) A statistical study of parameters in ultrasonic welding of plastics. Exp Tech 31:53–58. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Chuah YK, Chien LH, Chang BC, Liu SJ (2000) Effects of the shape of the energy director on far-field ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics. Polym Eng Sci 40:157–167. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Raza SF, Majewski C, Pinna C (2015) Ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics. The University of Sheffield, UKGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Liu S, Lin W, Chang B, College H.1998 Optimizing the joint strength of ultrasonically welded thermoplastics ;18:125–35Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Benatar A, Eswaran RV, Nayar SK (1989) Ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics in the near-field. Polym Eng Sci 29:1689–1698. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ferry JD.1980 Viscoelastic properties of polymers. Third. USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ge T, Pierce F, Perahia D, Grest GS, Robbins MO.2012 Polymer welding: strength through entanglements. ArXiv Prepr ArXiv12116796 ;2:1–5Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Cantrell J, Rohde S, Damiani D, Gurnani R, DiSandro L, Anton J, et al. 2017 Experimental characterization of the mechanical properties of 3D printed ABS and polycarbonate parts :89–105. doi:
  44. 44.
    Bagheri A, Azdast T, Doniavi A (2013) An experimental study on mechanical properties of friction stir welded ABS sheets. Mater Des 43:402–409. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Sadeghian N, Besharati Givi MK (2015) Experimental optimization of the mechanical properties of friction stir welded acrylonitrile butadiene styrene sheets. Mater Des 67:145–153. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Pirizadeh M, Azdast T, Rash Ahmadi S, Mamaghani Shishavan S, Bagheri A (2014) Friction stir welding of thermoplastics using a newly designed tool. Mater Des 54:342–347. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Mendes N, Loureiro A, Martins C, Neto P, Pires JN (2014) Effect of friction stir welding parameters on morphology and strength of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plate welds. Mater Des 58:457–464. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    DiBenedetto AT (1985) Evaluation of fiber surface treatments in composite materials. Pure Appl Chem 57:1659–1665. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    J. Tsujino, M. Hongoh and T Ueoka. Welding characteristics of 40 kHz ultrasonic plastic welding system using fundamental and higher resonance frequency vibrations. 2002 Ieee Ultrason. Symp. Proceedings, Vols 1 2, 2002, p. 699–72Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Kiss Z, Czigány T (2007) Applicability of friction stir welding in polymeric materials. Period Polytech Mech Eng 51:15–18. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Procedures E.2003 Characterization and failure analysis of PLASTICS. vol. 307.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Manufacturing EngineeringUniversity of Engineering and TechnologyLahorePakistan

Personalised recommendations