Your heat gun may be one of the most versatile tools in your shop, but do you know the right temperature to use for the many projects you can accomplish with your heat gun?
Here are five popular heat gun uses and the correct temperature ranges for getting them done right:
Temperatures for working with plastics
Heat guns are excellent tools when you need to warm up plastic materials and make them more malleable. Various types of plastics require different conditions:
Shaping plastics: 325 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
When shaping plastics, the surface needs to be warm enough to mold but not so hot that the plastic burns or is too difficult to control. Low-temperature heat guns are best for these projects. A temperature between 325 and 425 degrees is ideal.
Plastic welding: 450 to 725 degrees Fahrenheit
Plastic welding is a great way to repair damaged items that would otherwise need to be replaced. This practice can be applied to several types of plastics, such as linear high-density polyethylene, but you must use higher temperatures to fully integrate multiple pieces of plastics. A plastic welding kit can make this task easier to carry out.
Shrink wrapping: 825 to 925 degrees Fahrenheit
Shrink wrapping protects everything from gift baskets to boats. Shrink wrap is often made of PVC, polyolefin, polyethylene or polypropylene, according to US Packaging and Wrapping. The material shrinks to fit snugly around the object when heated. For this, use a high-temperature heat gun that can reach up to 925 degrees.
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Temperatures for working with interior car repairs
Heat guns are particularly helpful when repairing tears in the vinyl or leather interior of an automobile.
Vinyl and leather repair: 450 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit
When vinyl car interiors get scratches or wrinkles, you can warm up the affected area using a heat gun, then press a texture mold onto it, which will smooth out the surface to eliminate the imperfections.
Leather repair is slightly different. It is a natural fabric, and tears should be repaired with patches. However, with some heat-activated glue and a well-matched patch, hiding the cut is simple.
Temperatures for working with electronics
Building and repairing electronics requires small elements to be placed perfectly in relation to one another. Often, some heat is necessary to bring a project together.
Soldering and desoldering: 750 to 850 degrees Fahrenheit
Solder is an alloy that melts at a low heat compared to most metals. It’s used to joining other metals together, making it an essential component to many electronics projects. When a part needs to be removed, desoldering is the process of warming up the solder piece to remove the item.
Make sure you’re using the right heat gun for the job. Check out Master Appliance’s product selection to find the best appliance for your projects.