An Ohio company that offers document services is entering the in-mold labeling market with what might be a major technology play. Competitive in-mold offerings generally use identical materials such as polycarbonate label with a polycarbonate part or a polystyrene label with polystyrene part. Compatible melt indexes are critical, creating complications when a plastic is highly filled. “A lot of work goes into matching the like label with a part to insure it bonds well and looks good,” says David Coughlin, director of operations of Industramark, which is being introduced at the National Plastics Exposition this week in Chicago. “This truly is a challenge and a good part of the reason why in-mold labels have not taken off outside of prime labeling applications that are typically only polypropylene.” Working with Fusion Graphics, also of Dayton, OH, Industramark has developed a 7 mil micro porous film. “We do not depend on like chemistries for bonding but rather the plastic (any thermoplastic) being molded flows into the micro bonds and makes a permanent bond to the label. Based on our relationship with Fusion Graphics and their patent position, we have a novel solution that makes other in-mold products obsolete and very complex.”
Labels are not new to Industramark’s parent, Standard Register. They accounted for 13 percent of revenues last year. In response to a question from Design News, Industramark did not provide information on the material used for its in mold labels. A patent awarded to Robert Freund of Waynesville, OH in 2007 describes a new IML technique based on a precipitated silica-filled microporous sheet material. If properly coated, the material is well suited to the IML task, according to the patent. The novel system also requires special inks. The technique is said to not only to improve quality of graphic images, but also to cost less. A wide range of materials, including thermosets, can be used.
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
Engineers trying to keep track of the ever-ballooning number of materials and machines for additive manufacturing and 3D printing now have some relief: a free searchable database with more than 350 machines and 450 different materials.
At JEC Europe Dow Automotive introduced a new ultra-fast, under-60-second molding cycle time for its commercial-grade VORAFORCE 5300 epoxy resin matrix for carbon composites. It's aimed at high-volume automotive manufacturing.
Proto Labs is now offering an optical liquid silicone rubber (LSR) quick-turn molding service using Dow Corning's LSR material. Optical LSR is a transparent, flexible thermoset material that's replacing glass in many optical applications, especially lighting.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.