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Thermal Insertion

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A heat staking machine can be used for hot tool insertion as well as thermal staking or swaging. The most common inserts for hot tool insertion are brass female-threaded fasteners placed in molded holes to provide good purchase for bolts … Continued

Thermal Staker or Heat Staker?

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Should you call a thermal staking machine a heat staker? Most thermal staking presses actually have interchangeable tooling. Since they can be easily be converted from heat staking to thermal insertion, embossing, or degating, they should probably more properly be … Continued

Thermal Staking

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Hot tool staking probably started with a screwdriver or some similar tool heated with a torch and then applied to a tab or post to capture another part. The process does not work much differently today, though the equipment and … Continued

Press Fit

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Press fits work on a somewhat different principle than snap fits. In a snap fit, the goal is to temporarily deflect a detail and have it return to rest after capturing a matching detail in another part. Press fits work … Continued

Snap Fit

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The words snap fit indicate exactly what is going on with this type of assembly. Some detail of one part is deflected from its rest position by some detail of the other part and it snaps back to rest position … Continued


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Fasteners have been used to assemble thermoplastic components almost as long as there have been thermoplastic components. Of course, some of the earliest plastic parts were things like combs that did had no assembly requirement, but it wasn’t long before … Continued

Joining Methods

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It’s hard to say which thermoplastic joining process came first, hot plate welding, hot tool staking, solvent bonding, adhesives, snap or press fits, or fasteners. We know that ultrasonic welding came in the early 1960s, vibration welding in the late … Continued

Process Selection

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One of the more basic questions about plastics assembly is how to know which process to specify for the assembly. Often, the size and configuration of the parts and the material inolved will rule out various options. Since very few … Continued

Thermoplastics Assembly

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When considering whether to even attempt to blog about assembly of thermoplastic components, the issue of whether I was enough of an expert to be holding forth on the topic kept entering my mind. I have written a lot of … Continued