ENGEL Streamlines Clear-Coated Parts Production

October 19, 2010

2 Min Read
ENGEL Streamlines Clear-Coated Parts Production

Clearmelt is a high-volume manufacturing systemthat combines both thermoplastic injection molding and thermoset polyurethane(PUR) reaction injection molding, with innovative mold design and dedicatedautomation to efficiently and economically produce scratch-proof, attractive,clear-coated components, such as finished automotive interior trim.Forexample, when using a sliding-platen two-cavity mold a thermoplastic substrateis molded, while, simultaneously, the empty mold cavity is sprayed with a PURmold release agent. When moved into position, a clear PUR coating is injectedonto the molded thermoplastic part and cured. Then, when that portion of themold opens, the finished part is robotically removed, oriented, and stackedwhile, simultaneously, a thermoplastic substrate is molded in the other, empty,closed cavity.

Fora more continuous clear-coated parts production using the clearmelt process, a multicavity rotary-platenmold can be used.

Unlikemore conventional spray-coating and varnishing methods, ENGEL clearmelt reduces finishingrequirements, while also reducing the cost of labor, materials, and wastedisposal. Also, conventional spray-coating and varnishing technologies canrequire time-consuming and expensive multiple coating methods, which often canresult in a substantial number of rejects. And, unlike clearmelt, such conventional technologies are incapable ofproducing aesthetically pleasing three-dimensional effects at coatingthicknesses of less than 0.5 mm.

ENGEL'sclearmelt technology also mayadvance into the field of consumer electronics-enhancing the aestheticallyappealing appearance of finished electronic parts, while also providing moreopportunities for increasing integrated part functionality.

Forexample, ENGEL has demonstrated the production of functional electroniccomponents that incorporate a capacitive foil overmolded with a clear,protective, ultra-high-gloss PUR film. Electronic circuits can be actuatedsimply by touching the respective symbol beneath the thin PUR film. ENGEL hasalso demonstrated the versatility of clearmelttechnology by molding sample products with a non-functional, butaesthetically pleasing appearance, including clear-coated parts with carbon-and wood-finished substrates.
ENGEL Streamlines Clear-Coated Parts Production

ENGEL Streamlines Clear-Coated Parts Production_A

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