Plastic reflow involves using induction heating in processes where plastics change state from solid to liquid. One common use for this application is press fitting a metal part into a plastic part. The metal is heated using induction to a temperature greater than that of the plastic reflow. In some cases the metal may be pressed into the plastic before heating occurs; or the metal may be heated before being pressed into the plastic, causing the plastic to reflow as the part is pressed in (also known as heat staking). Induction heating can also be used in plastic injection molding machines. Induction heating improves energy efficiency for injection and extrusion processes. Heat is directly generated in the barrel of the machine, reducing warm-up time and energy consumption.
Induction heating provides precise heat control to ensure a consistent result, with high-quality results. Equipment can be programmed for a specific power level and heating time, removing operator variability, and improving repeatability of the process.