One-Shot Décor and Function
A joint project of plastic electronic GmbH in Linz, Hueck Folien Gesellschaft m.b.H, Baumgartenberg, Schöfer GmbH in Schwertberg (all Austria), and Serigraph Inc. in West Bend (USA), gives an example of the potential that exists in fiber composites. In the framework of this project, for the first time in a serial process, electrically conductive structures were deformed three-dimensionally on a carrier film, and combined in an injection molding machine to form a component. This way, touch-sensitive switches, slide controllers or dials can be integrated into the operating panel, without any restrictions to product design. In a type of sandwich process, the injection moldings are produced in one shot, with a décor film on the front and the function film on the reverse.
At K2010 (hall 15, booth C58), a demonstration component will serve to show a way to add one more step to this process integration: a transparent polyurethane cast varnish is additionally applied to the part, to protect its surface and make it brilliant at the same time. Combining injection molding to PU technology is a step Schöfer has taken before, together with Engel, when developing the Clearmelt process. Using this technique, the manufacturer can produce décor parts with high surface qualities (piano lacquer optics), and high scratch resistances.
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