What Is Electrofusion?

What Is Electrofusion?

What Is Electrofusion?

If you are interested in welding, then you may have heard of electrofusion. But what is electrofusion exactly?

Projections show that the electrofusion fittings market will reach a value of $764.6 million by 2025.

Electrofusion is a specialized joining process that is very useful in certain circumstances. If you need to carry out electrofusion, it is important that you do it right to avoid any issues.

To find out more about electrofusion, keep reading.

What Is Electrofusion?

According to Your Dictionary, the electrofusion definition is “The fusion of plant protoplasts by electrical stimulation”. Electricity is used to generate heat, which can melt pipes and allow you to join them together.

Welders will often use electrofusion when butt fusion is not suitable. This is common when they are adding valves, tees, or elbows.

For most heat fusion processes, an electrically heated coated heater plate makes contact with the surfaces that are being welded. Electrofusion differs from this by heating the surface internally using a resistive heating element.

How Does It Work?

The element is held in the welding spot, and an ECU (electrofusion control unit) provides the energy to heat it. As the material melts, it forms a pool, and continued heat will begin melting the pipe.

This pipe melt and fitting melt mix together, forming the weld. The materials must mix to make sure the weld is of high quality. Once finished, leave the joint to cool and solidify.

This process allows us to join pipes, and the type of material, size of the part, and the type of fitting will all affect the time it takes to complete the process.

Why Use Electrofusion?

Welded joints are often weaker than the original pipe, but with electrofusion, if everything is done correctly, the weld will be just as strong as the original pipe. The preparation and the surface contact during the process determines how effective the join will be.

The pipe surfaces must be scraped and cleaned to remove any dirt, debris, or other chemical contaminants from the surface. There will often be a layer of surface oxidization, and there could easily be other materials present that are not clearly visible.

Cleaning is an essential step before fusion takes place. Just note that you should avoid using methylated spirits, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), or acetone to wipe the pipe surface, as they may leave it slightly moist. You need the pipe to be completely dry before proceeding.

Proper Wipes for Electrofusion

The ideal cleaning solution to go with is isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wipes, specifically options that are saturated with a concentration of 90% (or higher) isopropyl alcohol. Higher levels of IPA are fast drying and aggressive for the removal of contaminants. Using presaturated wipes eliminates the need to handle large containers of IPA and provides added convenience when transporting materials to the work site.

An ideal wipe to use is the FS-NT1-69.96. These wipes are packaged in a convenient center-pull canister and saturated with 96% isopropyl alcohol. They are designed to remove debris, dirt, oxides, and other contaminants from HDPE pipes. These wipes are made with strong, durable hydro-entangled fabric that will not tear easily. They are convenient, economical, and disposable.

Electrofusion Fittings

Fittings are prefabricated, and each electrofusion coupling has specific characteristics. These characteristics are registered to a barcode that is on the fitting itself.

You can find ones that are suitable for pipes carrying gases, water, and other fluids. Proper seals will be completely airtight to avoid any risk of a leak.

Some common fittings include:

  • EF 90°
  • EF elbow 90°
  • EF reduced tee 90°
  • EF saddle HDPE 100+

High-Tech Conversions is a manufacturer of advanced cleaning supplies and custom products for a variety of industrial, lab, and cleanroom setting.

To find out more about what we offer, contact us today.