Single-ply roofing materials have become one of the most popular roofing for many reasons: flexibility, durability, lightweight, ease of installation, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency. The single-ply roof membranes are classified as thermoplastic materials. One of the most important benefits of thermoplastic materials is the ability to heat weld seams together into permanent seams.
So, let’s dive right in on how heat welding works on TPO/PVC membranes.
In heat welding on TPO/PVC membrane, heat sealing joins thermoplastic films that typically range from 36 mills to 80 mills, depending on the membrane and manufacturer. On TPO/PVC roof systems, heat welding is completed using hot-air welding. This is typically done using a handheld tool or an automatic computerized machine.
The automatic computerized machine, which is commonly known as a “robot” or “dog”, is used on field seams and areas that are more wide open. This machine is larger, so it can’t fit in tight spaces, such as under rooftop units or around congested spaces.
The handheld welder is used on areas that are too small to fit the larger automatic welder, for example, on rooftop units, vent pipes, and congested spaces. They can also be used on “Start / Stop” locations, which is where the automatic welder begins and finishes its welding process.
Key Factors of Heat Welding on TPO/PVC Membrane
While solvent welding is a fairly straightforward process that can be taught faster, TPO/PVC heat welding requires detail and expertise to deliver seamless seals and quality joints. Dependable TPO welded joints require that you do the following:
- Use the Correct Quality Equipment. High-quality hot air welding machinery and equipment are needed to deliver consistent outcomes. Quality equipment can provide clean, dry air, consistent airflow, and accurate controlling equipment and temperature.
- Use the Correct Steps. The membrane needs to be cleaned prior to any heat welding being completed. Also, the right amount of time must be spent on each weld. Too much heat will burn the membrane, too little heat will cause a cold weld.
- Choose Skilled Welders with Experience. In most cases, a good heat-welded TPO/PVC is as good as the fabricator. Just as steel welding requires expertise, details, and skills, experienced thermoplastic fabricators are required to deliver reliable joints and seamless seals.
At Chaffee Roofing, we know that welded PVC/TPO membranes and reliable joints fix seam weakness and deliver solid roofs. Our long-standing experience in roofing installation tells us how TPO and PVC can give you peace of mind in roofing installations.
Contact Chaffee to know how heat-welded PVC/TPO membranes deliver exceptional roofs.