Laser Lines, the UK distributor of Synrad's line of sealed CO2 lasers, has given details of the way in which polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA, or acrylic) can be welded effectively using CO2 lasers, despite its exceptional transparency at visible wavelengths. Synrad CO2 lasers provide flexibility when controlling weld width, weld depth, and weld path.
To accomplish the welding process, the company set up a rotating fixture that clamped two 1.14mm thick PMMA discs in position underneath the CO2 laser's beam path. The rotational speed and diameter of the acrylic discs translates to a weld velocity of 37.7 meters per minute. To achieve the desired weld penetration using 60W of power, the discs were rotated through five complete revolutions during the weld process, leading to an overall weld cycle time for each set of discs is 3.0 seconds.