Adding In-Mold Decorations To Products

by | Jan 2, 2018 | Injection Molding

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Adding branding options, logos, text or any other type of design or colors to molded plastics is a very simple process, once the design of the component and the decoration is completed.

It is easy to think of in-mold decorations as injection molding with an initial step involved in prepping the mold. It allows for different color and design elements to be created during the injection of plastic into the mold to create the part or component, then the fusing of the paint from the carrier foil with the plastic resin for a permanent addition to the surface.

This is actually a bit more complicated than it sounds. With in-mold decorations, there is typically a roll of film with the pre-printed paint to the inside surface of the mold. This carrier film and the paint has to be carefully designed to come off the foil when contact is made with the resin in the injection molding process.

Important Factors

The in-mold decorations must be applied to flat surfaces, but they can be curved flat surfaces. They cannot be applied across irregular surfaces as it is too difficult to get the carrier film in place on the inside of the mold when multiple bends or angles are present.

Generally, to speed up the movement of the carrier film and to ensure the correct positioning of the decoration on the part, the decoration is typically applied to the side of the mold that is opened to remove the completed piece.

This allows the mold gate to open, the part to be expelled and the carrier film to advance automatically and all in the same motion. Not only does this speed up production but it also prevents problems with residual paint transferring to the next mold produced.

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