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INNOVATION | AUTOMOTIVE SURFACES


Right: Test parts made using Foilmelt. The mould is always the same, only the foil decoration changes


Schwertberg, Austria. Engel says the spectrum of possible material


Right: Display made by KraussMaffei at Fakuma uses films made by Kurz on the front and rear surfaces – one for decoration, the other for functionality


combinations is very broad. “Foils function- alised using capacitive electronics, multi- layered foil systems with topcoat as well as structured, back-lightable, or open-pore systems such as wood can be processed from the roll,” it says. Kurz (whose films were evident on numerous injection moulding systems at Fakuma, not just Engel) offers a large spectrum of design and functional foils for its decoration technologies, and these are also available for IMD Varioform. “The possibilities include metallized surfaces right through to true-chrome coatings, brushed effects, wood, marble or carbon look, single-image designs plus partial and full-surface backlit de- signs,” it says. Various tactile properties are also possible, for example smooth surfaces, distinctive structures, and soft touch effects. It is even possible to add touch functionality to the component by integrat- ing the capacitive touch sensors from Kurz subsidiary PolyIC.


Below: Foilmelt in production on the Engel stand at Fakuma


Two films in one mould At Fakuma, KraussMaffei demonstrated a produc- tion cell combining IMD (which uses film directly fed from a roll mounted on top of the clamp unit) with IML, which uses pre-cut films. In this case, the IML film incorporated printed electronics. The group has shown the process before, but at Fakuma it had been given an upgrade, with the introduction of an automated system for removing a protective film on the printed electronics IML label before it was inserted into the mould and a


PMMA resin was back-moulded onto it. Philp Lachner, in Product and Technology Management at KraussMaffei, says use of film insert moulding is growing as the improvements in design that it offers continue to increase. It is now even possible to do undercuts with the films, he notes, as demonstrated in Audi’s Q2 SUV, which has interior ambient lighting trim produced this way. KraussMaffei demonstrat- ed one of its latest all-electric injection moulding ma- chines, a PX 320, producing a complete ten-inch touch display with integrated


electronics, black decorative frame and scratch-proof coating. A six-axis


robot inserts the IML film with printed conductor paths on the nozzle side. On the ejector side, an IMD film with single-image decor runs through the mould, transferring its design layer and UV-harden- ing top coat to the component. Melt is injected along the side of the part via a film gate. The machine was fitted with a twin-cavity mould,


with each cavity yielding parts with different decoration. This was made possible with a new feed system, IMD SI DUO, from Leonhard Kurz, claimed to be the first in the world to be able to position two single-image decors independently of each other with an accuracy of around 0.01 mm. The IMD SI DUO incorporates sensors that read the registration marks on the IMD foil. One of the decorative films produces what Kurz


calls “dead-front” surface aesthetics (another expression is “secret before lit”). It contains effects that only show up when the part is lit from behind. Over on the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag stand at


Fakuma, Leonhard Kurz films were used to produce an avant-garde design for a conceptual interior door trim component using IMD. It featured a large area single image in a day/night design, consisting of a gradient of increasingly wide lines. The design in blue and black shows up in daylight, while the night design shows different light colours. Back- lighting can be activated and intensified with a


16 INJECTION WORLD | November/December 2018 www.injectionworld.com


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