Coloured injection-molded components featuring scratch and abrasion-proof designs have become part of our everyday life. The In-Mold decoration process is the perfect solution for creating these visuals, but this complex technology demands an exceptional ink: one that combines maximum elasticity with high resistance to temperature extremes.
In-mold decoration (IMD) has a number of advantages: it is suitable for a broad variety of decorations, including visual and tactile effects, andcreates tough surfaces. The technology is ideal for durable manufactured parts used in a wide range of applications and sectors. For example, IMD is increasingly popular in the automotive, aerospace and sportsindustries, and for medical devices and consumer products.
The combination of film, ink and injection molding material enables diverse geometric shapes. And the benefits of IMD-produced parts go beyondthe surface. In addition to decoration, they are leveraged for increasingly diverse functions, such as enhancing strength, minimising weight, and allowing indirect lighting.
IMD comprises multiple steps, from the initial screen printing to the final back-injection molding. These steps can vary greatly in duration and expense. In particular, printing with solvent-based inks entails tempering the printed PC material – a time- and energy-consuming process that drives up costs.
Marabu’s UltraMold UVPC product line combines the benefits of IMD with those of UV-curable inks. Polycarbonate films that are freshly screenprinted and UV-cured are immediately ready for downstream processes. As a result, UltraMold UVPC increases productivity and cost-efficiency –benefi ts that were not previously possible with processes as complex, and involving as many technologies, as IMD.
In addition, it is important to note that the ideal bond strength between film, ink and plastic depends on multiple process parameters. Consequently, IMD parts should be tested according to their specific application.