Pulse staking, also referred to as thermoplastic staking, is a process used to bind two different materials together. It involves using hot and cold to raise the temperature of plastic components and allow for reshaping to take place. This reshaping can be utilised for various applications, such as staking plastic bosses to assemble car door panels or joining plastic housings.
Pulse staking offers numerous benefits. It eliminates vibration damage, avoids the release of particulates, enables staking of metallic-coated applications, and allows for staking in restricted or hard-to-reach areas. Some typical applications of Pulse staking include polymer-to-polymer bonding, flat head tip welding, sealing holes, embedding parts, polymer-to-mesh, breathable membrane, rim swaging, and polymer-to-polymer welding.
Thermal and ultrasonic staking have traditionally been used to create these stakes. Traditional thermal staking involves using a continuously heated tip that comes into contact with the plastic, melting it and forming it according to the shape of the tip. Ultrasonic swaging or staking employs vibratory energy, applied through metal tooling, to create frictional heat that is used to melt and form plastic stakes or swages.
Pulse staking provides localised, changeable temperatures during the plastic-forming process. Each tip combines an electrical heating element with a compressed-air cooling system. This design instantaneously heats or cools the tip by applying "pulses" of heating or cooling that precisely manage the temperature of the plastic.
This pulse staking technology advancement allows for the formation of plastic stakes and swages with consistent strength and high-quality finish, even when they need to be made close to other plastics. The greatest advantage of pulse staking is its ability to perform in high-value staking or swaging applications that were either very difficult or impossible to complete with other approaches. Some of these challenging applications include complex 3-dimensional parts, innovative advanced materials, and fragile and heat-sensitive components.