Fuerth and Duesseldorf, 24 October 2007: The stamping foil manufacturer Kurz has developed new structured foils for decoration during injection molding, also known as the Inmold Decoration (IMD) process. The new IMD foils exhibit a real, tangible surface structure.
The range of foils encompasses line, wave, and point structures with a structural depth of 20 to 40 micrometers. These structures can be superimposed onto a wide variety of base designs. For example, they can be combined with metallized foils, which are available in a matte, gloss or brushed metal finish.
Structured foils are suitable for decorating flat plastic parts as well as geometries with a slight degree of elongation. The advantage in the injection molding process is that these foils eliminate the need for the mold itself to apply the structure.
Therefore it is no longer necessary to replace the mold when changing designs, as different structures and also smooth surfaces can be achieved in the very same mold.
Kurz' IMD process combines the injection molding and decoration of plastic parts in a single-work operation. This involves positioning the carrier foil (polyester foil) with applied design - which can be a continuous or single image design - inside the mold cavity by means of a foil feeding unit, then closing the mold and injecting the thermoplastic melt.
On opening the mold, the design, which is permanently bonded to the plastic part, is released from the carrier foil which is then advanced to the next design.
The advantages of this process lie in the virtually unlimited design possibilities, and the variable layer construction of the design foil which can be matched to any particular application. Using this variant of the hot stamping process, protective lacquer layers can be transferred together with the design in a single work operation making it especially cost effective. Furthermore, as no solvents are used, the process is neither hazardous to health nor environmentally damaging.