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03-18-2009

Skin molding

Flawless Lenses

The headlamp lens for the new Fiat Bravo model is an example of how INglass srl, S. Polo di Piave, Italy, a manufacturer of molds and hot runner systems, aims to help the supplier industry achieve higher added value with its strategy of supporting customer developments and ensuring efficient production technology. In the injection mold, the finished component is extracted at the point of injection and held by the mold core while the mold rotates for the next injection and clamping cycle. This technology achieves a 50% saving in electrically powered rotating and ejector mechanisms because these are housed solely in the injection half, where the red component is injected.

The actual production process takes place in two separate steps. First of all the transparent part of the headlamp lens is produced by means of skin molding retro injection, a process that eliminates any visible trace of gate marks. In the second red phase, the plastic is injected directly onto the lens so further hiding any potential gate marks. Skin molding is normally carried out by overprinting a transparent film during the first red phase to conceal the gate mark. In the new process, the previous processing sequence is reversed. The company employs its Diamond Line hot runner system in the mold. This is manufactured from special steels to prevent the polycarbonate sticking to the hot runner walls, which would considerably damage the surface quality and finish of the molded part. The hot runner systems are suitable for producing components requiring exceptionally high surface quality, e.g. for optical applications, displays, car headlamp lenses, electronic components and lighting systems.

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