A new future for textile welding is called laser welding

A new future for textile welding is called laser welding

Hot air bonding and taping, as well as ultrasonic welding, have been well-known technologies for decades. Some people are already familiar with laser cutting; laser welding itself is a brand new technology which is not currently employed in the industrial production of garment manufacturing

Some of the potential benefits of laser textile welding include flat, elastic and skin-friendly seams. Through the use of laser welding you are able to achieve a seamless effect, and the outside of the fabric is not harmed at all.

The laser welding technology operates without the need of any adhesive. Leister is working with IR-Laser systems.

Basic Rules for Laser Welding

Rule 1: High quality seams require a non IR- absorbing textile and an IR-absorbing textile.

It also is possible to work with two non IR-absorbing fabrics; in this case an IR-absorber must be partially applied, either by inkjet printing or manually.

Rule 2: Equal thermoplastics are necessary: Polyamide nylon (Pa) fabrics can only weld with Pa fabrics; Polyester terephthalate (PET) with PET; Polypropylene (PP) with PP and so forth; mixtures for instance― 80 % polyester (PES), 20 % elastane (spandex) ―are not a problem.

Table 1

These rules are physical laws which will not change now and in future; however, these rules are forcing us to think outside the box, in a new, different way. This thinking is advantageous in that companies can develop their own know-how, which is a great USP for the brand and a company can position itself as a thought leader and trailblazer!

A new machine Leister Logo

Swiss Leister Technologies AG is developing a laser seam welder, especially for garment manufacturing, which can be used almost like a normal sewing machine. This machine is still under development; however, a working prototype exists which can be used for the development of garment prototypes. If the garment industry definitely wants to proceed with this new and innovative technology, Leister will develop production-ready machinery based on the needs of the manufacturers and ensure the technology is ready for production.

Materials and Seam Properties

When you fulfil the two laser welding rules, knit and woven textiles (manufactured from man- made fibres) can be welded.

To qualify laser seams in an objective way, Leister is testing the seam strengths of laser seams due to DIN EN ISO 13 934. As an example, when laser welding elastic knitwear (80% PES, 20% EL, 240 g/m2), without any adhesives in between, it is possible to reach seam strengths of 200 N and 156 % elasticity. With the hot air bonding technology, including a bonding adhesive in between the textile lasers, you get seam strengths of 214 N and 159 % elasticity.

To work out that laser seams are not only working under lab testing conditions Leister has started a small, practical field study with external independent subjects. The field study, which started in September 2016, is still ongoing. The aim of the field study is to work out if the end customer is satisfied with laser welded seams and to prove the skin friendliness and durability of the laser seams. In the study, subjects wear laser welded sports bras when involved in physical activities such as playing handball, running and attending fitness classes. To date, we have received positive feedback from participants who responded with satisfaction with the wearing comfort of the laser welded apparel in comparison to sewn apparel.

Fields of Application for Laser Welded Seams

As previously mentioned, laser seams are smooth and gentle; therefore it is best for clothing that comes in direct contact with the skin, as you feel no irritations. Laser welded undergarments, shirts, bustiers, and bras will be much more comfortable. The friction against the skin as the athlete sweats is reduced significantly. For example, the waistband and leg cuffs can be fitted very comfortably. Consider hybrid-welding applications, like welding plastics onto textiles, laser also can be a good solution.

Outlook

Leister proved it is possible to develop and produce laser welded products. Therefore, at this time, we are in search of a partner who shares a similar interest in developing a laser welded product together with us. Interessed parties can email Leister project@leister.com.

One of the Leister Group’s fundamental objectives is to ensure that its innovative products improve people’s quality of life and allow long-term changes to be made.

Leister products and services are there to support you 24 hours a day, just as they’ve been doing for decades around the world.

Logo AxetrisAll around the world, people use infrastructures and products that were either manufactured by Leister machinery and equipment, or that contain Leister or Axetris components. This means we are always by your side to offer our expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment.

With our cutting-edge technology; high rate of innovation; extensive process expertise; unmatched stability and reliability (not to mention our decades of experience); we work with our qualified employees toward achieving the highestLogo Weldy possible product quality. These standards are the benchmarks for which all product lines that carry our brands, LEISTER, AXETRIS and WELDY, strive to meet. Our innumerable patents and registered designs highlight our development ability and strength in innovation.

The geographical presence in around 100 countries is continually expanding thanks to the creation of additional sales and service centres to help us better support our customers. Our customer focus and comprehensive range of services allows us to ensure that all Leister technologies and competencies are constantly available around the world.

Leiser Headquarters in Kaegiswil, SwitzerlandFor over 60 years, the LEISTER brand has been the global market leader when it comes to devices for welding thermoplastic polymers and hot-air modules for industrial process heat applications. Under the AXETRIS brand name, we focus on leadership both in applications and niche products within the gas sensor and micro-optics business sectors.

Our corporate culture has been firmly established throughout the world over a number of decades and focuses on long-standing, binding values. Commitment, enthusiasm, and expertise of our employees creates trust, which forms the basis of long-term partnerships and the foundations of our success.

The group’s milestones on way to success can be had here

www.leister-group.com/en-ch/


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