Projects

Laser-supported joining techniques for edge bonding of furniture panel boards

Principle of laser-assisted furniture edge bonding
© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

Principle of laser-assisted furniture edge bonding

Task

Adhesive deposition on narrow surfaces is a major part of mechanical furniture fabrication. Equipment for this operation is used in industry and in handicrafts, where it is part of the standard machinery. Melt adhesives are primarily in use; they are applied as hot melts to the narrow panel surface or the coating material by means of a roller, and bonding subsequently occurs.

Melting of the adhesives, however, is energy-intensive and a long procedure. Furthermore, due to the direct contact of the applicator roll with the panel material - mainly in the case of chipboards - contamination may appear that hinder the adhesive application. For this reason, we sought an alternative solution suitable for automation.

Solution

Within the scope of a research project funded by subsidies of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF), and together with research partners, a laser-supported coating method tailored to narrow areas was engineered. In a continuous procedure, a preliminarily coated narrow surface tape is molten nearby the joint by a laser and then pressed against the panel.

Results

A compact and flexible heating tool was designed and built by using a quickly tiltable mirror, in combination with a direct irradiated diode laser. This made it possible to melt tapes of different widths and to apply them to the furniture edges. The test method for this operation, developed at the same time, made it possible to prove the compound strength in a reproducible manner.

The research project”Laser-based joining, using the example of edge bonding“, was conducted on behalf of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AIF) under the registration code 13970 BR.