The 40KHz Advantage—Exciting New Opportunities for Ultrasonic Plastics Assembly in the Automotive Industry 840535
The use of ultrasonic technology for the assembly of plastic-to-plastic and metal-to-plastic components has been part of the automotive industry since the late 1960's. Countless applications from all areas of an automobile have been ultrasonically assembled including tail lamps and cornering markets (exterior), door panels and mirrors (interior), and electronic components (under the hood).
The object of this paper is to provide an understanding of 40KHz process technology, an exciting new facet of ultrasonics, and to suggest ways that this technology can be used to expand current state-of-the-art 20KHz assembly capabilities in the automotive industry. This expansion has become necessary for two important reasons: Some applications are difficult or impossible with current 20KHz products and a need exists for equipment that would be more compatible with automated systems (where multiple ultrasonic heads may be required).
In the past, 40KHz had been used on a very limited basis due to technological limitations in developing and engineering reliable, high-powered equipment and acoustic tooling. Recent advances in these two areas, including modular equipment for automation, coupled with more demanding applications requirements and stricter government regulations regarding noise levels in the work environment is making the use of 40KHz much more attractive to end users.