Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) is an extremely versatile polymer known for its outstanding long-term durability—just one of the reasons it has become such a mainstay in door and window manufacturing. Inherently flame-retardant, lightweight, and weather-proof, uPVC is ideal for external doors and window frames. However, uPVC welding is not without its challenges.
Challenges of uPVC Welding
There is a well-established market for uPVC doors and windows, with increasing numbers of consumers in various global regions drawn to them for their excellent energy efficiency and longevity. Demand like this puts pressure on manufacturers to deliver consistently, and to increasingly upscale. The problem therein is that hot plate welding fixtures require high-performance release layers to prevent the accumulation of waste melt on the work surface, and these layers need to be changed routinely. Higher production outputs translate to quicker rates of release layer degradation, thus higher material wastage plus costs.
The natural solution to this is to use a uPVC welding release layer designed for higher numbers of welding cycles to meet changing demands. Yet approving any change in high-value production workflows represents its own bottleneck. Manufacturers often resort to settling with existing solutions, which could lead to lost business in the future.
Release Layers for uPVC Welding
The Composite Solutions team has designed a specialized uPVC welding release layer that immediately adds value to hot plate welding workflows. SRF206 Copper is a superior, non-stick release layer that can be installed cheaply, and easily into a range of existing machines.
"We have tried using different release sheets in the past, and when we heard about the new SRF206 Copper product from Saint-Gobain, we were a bit skeptical. As with every trial, we didn’t want it to negatively impact the quality of the profile and our production targets."
"The easy clean and less changeovers sounded good however – so we have used it and are very happy with it. The new sleeves are so easy to clean! The PVC just doesn’t stick to them so we can run the machines for 70% longer before we need to change. We now have less breakdowns and maintenance, so we can focus on production and keeping our customers and management happy."
-Hervé Maindron, Warehouse & Maintenance Manager, LAPEYRE Industries