Top 6 High-Performance Hot Air Tools for Roofing, Construction, and Civil Engineering Contractors
There’s no doubt that high efficiency is one of the most important goals of a contractor.
Producing a quick, effective weld can result in increased customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and improved profitability. While these outcomes require an experienced and educated operator, a high-performance hot air tool is also critical for optimized performance. Below, learn more about some of the top hot air tools that civil engineering, construction, and roofing contractors can use to boost efficiency and revenue.
1. Overlap Welding MachinesOverlap welding machines join two overlapping layers of thermoplastic material (membranes) together by melting and fusing them with hot air. The machine typically consists of a heating element that produces a controlled flow of hot air, a nozzle to direct the airflow onto the material, and a pressure roller or other means to apply pressure and ensure proper fusion. These welding machines are typically equipped with the following features:
- A manually adjusted or programmable built-in hot air blower system, which is used to control the amount of airflow output (cfm – l/min) and temperature settings (°F - °C). A wide slot nozzle directs the airflow between the overlapped layers of material to be welded.
- An adjustable weight system and weighted pressure roller wheel assembly evenly distribute pressure to ensure proper joining of the layered materials.
- A manual or digitally controlled continuous drive system to increase and decrease the speed of the machine’s movement/travel along the welded seam.
- A user-friendly digital display with programmable storage presets for airflow and temperature settings.
- A well-balanced streamlined inline machine assembly for creating consistent and repeatable welded seams.
- An easily serviceable machine to maintain optimum welding performance and reliability.
- Forsthoff D 40 mm & 45 mm Automatic Overlap Welding Machines
- Forsthoff P2 20 mm, 30 mm, & 45 mm Overlap Welding Machines
- Forsthoff L-Blower System (Designed for P2 Overlap, P2 Flooring, and P2 Roofing 230V Automatic Welding Machines)
- Forsthoff 20 mm, 30 mm, 45 mm, & 50 mm Nozzles (Designed for P2 Overlap Automatic Welding Machines)
- Forsthoff P2 20 mm, 30 mm, & 45 mm Hem Welding Conversion Kits
2. Extrusion Hand Welders
Extrusion hand welders, also known as extruders, plastic extrusion welders, or extrusion guns, are specialized handheld tools used to weld thicker plastic materials, such as those for construction and civil engineering applications. An extrusion hand welder works by feeding plastic welding rods or filler materials into a heated chamber by use of a screw or worm gear, which in turn pushes the melted welding rod through a specially designed welding shoe. The welding rod is typically made from the same thermoplastic material as the parts being joined. The tool heats the welding rod, melting it to form a molten plastic bead. This molten plastic is extruded onto and/or into the joint or seam between the two pieces of plastic being welded together.
The operator of the extrusion hand welder controls the speed and flow of the extruded plastic, creating a continuous and uniform weld along the joint. The tool's welding shoes are designed to direct the flow of molten plastic precisely where it's needed, ensuring proper fusion and sealing of the plastic components. Extrusion hand welders are typically designed with the following features:
- A manually adjustable or programmable hot air system that can be used with a built-in blower system or an external compressed air source (compressor or house air). Note: An airflow measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm) or liters per minute (l/min) is heated to a selected temperature setting (F° or C°). Once the airflow has reached the desired temperature setting, it is directed into an external preheat airflow nozzle, which in turn preheats two rigid thermoplastic materials (substrates).
- An adjustable preheat nozzle (90°, 180°, etc.) to uniformly heat and melt the two thermoplastic materials (substrates) that are being joined together.
- A set of specially designed welding shoes designed to perform several types of welded seams (fillet welds, corner welds, butt welds, V & X welds, etc.).
- A cold start protection feature, which assures that the welding rod/filler material cannot be extruded until the extruder has safely reached the selected operating temperature.
- Manually adjustable or programmable speed control drive system to regulate the dispensing of the welding rod or filler materials (pounds or kilograms per hour).
- User-friendly digital display with preprogrammed or user-programmable memory presets to store custom airflow and temperature parameter settings.
- Rotating handgrip (90°, 180°, etc.) for enhanced maneuverability.
High-performance extrusion hand welders include:
- Drader Injectiweld Model W30000 120V & 230V Handheld Extrusion Welder
- HSK 10DE 120V & 230V Mini Handheld Extrusion Welder with carrying case
- Munsch M2-ECO-F, M3-ECO-F, & M5-ECO-F Series Handheld Extrusion Welders
- Ritmo Stargun Link 20 230V/3100W Double T Handheld Extruder with Carrying Case
>>Related read: The 5 Most Common Types of Plastic Welding Joints
3. Hot Air Hand Tools and Nozzles
Also known as hot air guns or hot air welders, hot air hand tools are handheld devices used to weld plastics together. They generate a controlled flow of hot air through a heating element, which is then directed by a wide slot, speed welding, or process heat nozzles onto/or into the target material to soften, melt, or shrink it, depending on the use case.
A hot air hand tool welds thermoplastic seams of flexible membranes for overlap welding, speed welding, and shrinking applications. As the tool generates a flow of hot air, it softens and melts the thermoplastic materials, making them pliable and allowing them to bond or adhere with adjacent layers, components, and/or assemblies. Hot air tools are typically designed with the following features:
- A manually adjustable or programmable hot air system with a built-in blower, or designed for use with an external blower system or compressed air source (compressor or house air). Note: An airflow measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm) or liters per minute (l/min) is heated to a selected temperature setting (F° or C°). Once the airflow has reached the desired temperature setting, it is directed into a specialized nozzle. These include a wide slot nozzle for overlap welding applications, a welding rod/filler nozzle for speed welding applications, or a reflector-sieve nozzle for process heat shrinking applications.
- User-friendly digital display with programmable memory presets to store custom airflow and temperature parameter settings.
- A set of specially designed welding nozzles to perform many types of welded seams (overlap welds, fillet welds, corner welds, butt welds, etc.), as well as process heat shrinking processes (electrical/electronic cable harnesses, safety seals, packaging labels, vehicle wraps, etc.).
Key hot air tools for your toolbox include:
- Forsthoff Mini Electronic 120V & 230V Hot Air Tool – Robotics & Process Heat
- Forsthoff Mini Electronic 120V & 230V Hot Air Tool & Portable Blower System
- HSK Model 300 Tube 120V & 230V Hot Air Tool
- HSK Model 500 Digital 120V & 230V M10 Screw-On Type Hot Air Tool
- IHS Type 1600 120V/1600W Hot Air Tool with carrying case
- IHS Type 3400 230V/3400W Hot Air Tool
- Ritmo HD-Pro Flow-Line Hot Air Tool
- Ritmo Sphera Flow-Line 120V/1650W Hot Air Tool
- Steinel HG 2320 ESD 120V/1600W Hot Air Tool
- Steinel HG 2620E 120V/1750W Hot Air Tool with LCD Display
- IHS 20 mm Overlap Weld Slot Nozzle
- IHS 20 x 2 mm Wide Slot Nozzle with 90-degree angle
- IHS 40 x 2 mm Perforated Wide Slot Nozzle
- IHS 75 x 2 mm Wide Slot Nozzle
- IHS 100 x 4 mm, 150 x 10 mm, & 300 x 6 mm Wide Slot Nozzle
- IHS 5 mm Tubular/Adapter Nozzle (Push-Fit Type)
- IHS 3 mm, 4 mm, & 5 mm Round Speed Welding Nozzles (Push-Fit Type)
- IHS 5.7 mm, 7.0 mm, & 7.5 mm Triangular Speed Welding Nozzles (Push-Fit Type)
- IHS 10 mm Threaded Adapter Nozzle (Screw-On Type)
- IHS 3 mm, 4 mm, & 5 mm Round Speed Welding Nozzles (Screw-On Type)
- IHS 5.7 mm, 7.0 mm, & 7.5 mm Triangular Speed Welding Nozzles (Screw-On Type)
- IHS 250 x 45 mm Shell Reflector Nozzle
- IHS 50 x 35 mm Sieve Reflector Nozzle
- IHS 50 x 75 mm Surface Nozzle
- IHS 9 mm & 14 mm Reflector Nozzles
>>Related read: 10 Tips for Successfully Welding Plastics
4. Welding Kits
Welding kits can provide you with everything you need to complete your projects, including a hot air hand tool, heating elements, nozzles, seam rollers, and more. All include a carrying case, which can help protect your tool and extend its lifespan. These top roofing kits can help you complete a project from start to finish:
- Forsthoff Flooring/Decking Hot Air Tool Kit
- Forsthoff Mini Electronic Overlap/Speed Welding Kit
- Forsthoff Mini Electronic Plastics Speed Welding Kit
- Forsthoff Quick SE General Plastics Repair Kit
- Forsthoff Quick SE Push-Fit Speed Welding Kit
- Forsthoff Quick SE Screw-On Speed Welding Kit
- Forsthoff Roofing Hot Air Tool Kit
- Steinel HG 2620 E Roof Welding Kit
- Steinel MH5 Roofing Kit
5. Seam Rollers
Seam rollers are used to ensure proper adhesion and airtight seals in the seams of materials, such as thermoplastics like HDPE, PP, PVC, or TPO. They typically consist of a handle and a roller wheel at the end. The roller wheel is often made of silicone or other non-stick materials to prevent it from sticking to the roofing membrane during use. The roller wheel may have a smooth or slightly textured surface, depending on the specific application requirements.
Some of our most popular seam rollers include:
- Everhard 2-in. Diameter, 4-in. Wide Silicone Seam Roller
- Everhard 2-in Diameter, 3-in Wide Steel Seam Roller
- Everhard 1-3/8-in Diameter, 4-1/8-in Wide Nylon Cone Roller
- Everhard 1-3/4-in Diameter, 1-1/16-in Wide Roll-N-Chek Combination Silicone Seam Roller & Seam Tester
- Everhard 2-in Diameter, 2-in Wide Wrist-Saver Steel Seam Roller
- Everhard Silicone: 1-7/16-in Diameter, 1-3/4-in Wide, Nylon ‘V’: 2-in Diameter, 1/16-in Width Double-End Seam/Detail Roller
- IHS 2-in Diameter, 2-in Wide Silicone Seam Roller
6. Utility Knives or Blades
Utility knives or blades are commonly used in civil engineering, construction, and roofing applications. They are ideal for various tasks that require cutting and trimming thermoplastic materials. Your tool’s size and sharpness can have a significant impact on your final product.
These knives and blades are designed with precision in mind:
- Everhard Stand-Up Membrane Slitter
- Everhard Handheld Membrane Slitter
- Everhard Long Cut Insulation Knife
- Everhard Utility Knife & Seam Tester
- Forsthoff Replacement Skiving Knife Blades
- Forsthoff Handheld Skiving Knife Grooving Tool
- IHS Knife & Seam Probe Kit
- IHS Quarter Moon Knife
- Hyde Heavy-Duty Utility Blades
- Hyde Utility Knife
- Klenk Dual-Edge Duct Knife – Ergo Rubber Handle
- Klenk Dual-Edge Duct Knife – Rosewood Handle
Elevate Your Roofing Efficiency Today
Want to up your roofing game? Contact our team today and we can help you choose the right roofing tools for your unique needs and applications.
- Robert Heater