TPO Welding – The Complete Guide

Do you need to complete a welding job but don’t know what material or tools to use? The Hapco team is here to help. Keep reading to learn about TPO welding, its benefits, and what tools do the job best.

What is TPO?

TPO—which stands for thermoplastic polyolefin—is a single-ply white membrane used for commercial and residential roofing jobs. The white color of TPO allows it to reflect rather than absorb heat. This process keeps both your indoor and outdoor spaces cooler during hot months. Depending on what shape the roof is in, TPO can last for as long as 35 years.

Commercial roofing work in progress

Why Use TPO for Welding Jobs?

TPO—which stands for thermoplastic polyolefin—is a single-ply white membrane used for residential and commercial roofing jobs. The white color of TPO allows it to reflect rather than absorb heat. This process keeps both your indoor and outdoor spaces cooler during hot months. Depending on what shape the roof is in, TPO can last for as long as 35 years.

The material needed for a roofing job depends on the roof’s pitch, or steepness. Roofs that are flat or have a low pitch—typically lower than 2/12—collect water easily and don’t drain effectively. Since standard asphalt shingles aren’t waterproof, they’re not the most effective option for these flat and low-pitch roofs. But what’s the best alternative?

That’s where TPO comes into play. This material is fully waterproof, allowing it to repel water that collects on the roof and prevent it from leaking below and damaging your belongings.

When compared to other welding materials and methods used for roofing jobs—including asphalt shingles—TPO is:

Quicker to install

More durable

More reliable

More versatile

More cost-effective

More environmentally friendly

How to Weld TPO

Whether it’s your first time or your 50th time using TPO, these six steps will help you get the job done right:

  1. Clean the overlap welder nozzle: This will remove debris and ensure proper airflow.
  2. Set the ground speed at a comfortable rate: Ground speed is the rate of travel of a TPO welding machine across the ground. A ground speed that’s too high or too low will result in poor welds.
  3. Set the temperature: Always start low, then increase the TPO welding temperature by increments of 100°.
  4. Find your weld window: Perform a few test welds before starting the weld. Only change one variable at a time for the most accurate results.
  5. Mark your welds: Mark each test weld on the TPO membrane to track your progress. Make a note of the thickness along with the weld temperature and speed.
  6. Perform a pull test: A pull test helps ensure the weld is accurate.

What are the best heat tools to use for TPO Welding?

We recommend two heat tools for any TPO welding job: automatic welders and heat guns. The scope of the welding job at hand will determine which heat tool will provide the best results.

tpo welding using a BAK heat gun

Heat Guns

TPO welding guns—like the BAK RiOn—are more effective for welding jobs that require precision, such as in narrow spaces. These handheld devices are durable, easy to maintain, and perform optimally. Check out additional product features below:

Most flexibility
Best for corners and short welds
More precision is narrow spaces
Wide range of accessories for even more precision
BAK Roofon Multi on the roof

Automatic Welders

Automatic TPO welders—such as the BAK LarOn 21—are best suited for welding jobs completed on large surfaces. That’s because these machines are bigger and sturdier, thus more equipped to tackle heavy-duty jobs. Here are several features of the BAK LarOn 21 automatic welder:

Best for bigger projects
Fastest way to weld TPO
Durable welding machines
Automatic drive

The Right Heat Tools for Every TPO Welding Job

If you have questions about a particular product in our collection or can’t find the one you need, connect with us today. One of our team members will reach out to you promptly to make things right.

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