Diffusion Bonding – Bonded Plastic Manifolds
What is a Plastic Manifold? As plastic manifold can be used in a range of medical and industrial applications to carry liquids or gases. Each end user will refer to these plastic manifolds in a number of different ways. Plastic manifolds are often referred to as bonded plastic manifolds, plastic pneumatic manifolds, plastic air boards, plastic valve boards, plastic medical manifolds and plastic flowcells.
Why source from Carville?
Carville are a contract manufacturing company producing precision machined component parts in acrylic and other engineering grade plastics. While Carville produce a diverse range of components, custom bonded plastic manifolds are a key part of our business.
Why use a Plastic Manifold?
Acrylic and other plastic manifolds provide a cost effective and reliable means of transporting or handling liquids and gases. They are ideally suited to applications were a fluid or gas must pass between a series of valves, reaction chambers, heater modules, etc.
Where are Plastic Manifolds use?
The majority of plastic manifolds produced by Carville are used in medical diagnostic, clinical chemistry, biotech and specialist industrial applications. Due to the nature of these applications, it is essential that manifolds are produced without the risk of contamination.
How do Carville make Plastic Manifolds?
It is possible to machine and bond acrylic plastic manifolds using conventional bonding methods. These techniques may include the use of solvent or polymerising cements. Unfortunately, these methods carry certain disadvantages including that of possible contamination. Unless otherwise specified by the end customer, plastic manifolds produced by Carville are bonded using one of two techniques. These are:
Plastic diffusion bonding was developed by Carville in the 1960’s for the production of avionics panels for use in both civil and military aircraft cockpit displays. Materials are fully heat treated to remove internal stress before the diffusion bonding process. After heat treatment, the materials are fused together to create a bond which is as strong as the original parent material. In addition to being very strong, Diffusion Bonded joints will remain stable over long periods of time. Unlike cemented joints, they will not discolour or shrink.
Carville HAB (High Accuracy Bonding) is an enhanced bonding technique developed by Carville in 2009. HAB allows plastic manifolds be produced in acrylic and other engineering grade materials such as Polycarbonate (PC), Polysulphone (PSU) and Polyetherimide (PEI). Plastic manifolds produced using these high end engineering grade plastics carry a higher costs than Carville’s traditional acrylic plastic manifolds, however, they offer benefits such as higher operating temperatures and the ability to process more aggressive reagents and chemistries. HAB bonding is also used to produce plastic manifolds for micro fluidic applications. Carville HAB plastic manifolds can utilise track sizes down to 150um and are used in clinical diagnostics, medical research and other applications. Examples of plastic manifolds produced by Carville can be reviewed on this page and in the image library.