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Film Insert Molding for Polycarbonate Plastics | Covestro

Injection molding and decoration in a single operation

Film insert molding

In the Film Insert Molding (FIM) process finished decorated components are produced by inserting decorated, reshaped and trimmed semi-finished film products into the mold during the injection molding process. In this way components with complex bends can be produced with symbols, transmitted light design and multi-colored two-dimensional decorations and at the same time with simple decoration change from shot to shot.

Automotive heater bezel, Toyota Aygo
Automotive heater bezel, Toyota Aygo

Overview

A wide variety of demands are placed on components made of thermoplastic. The requirements to be met by the surface design today go beyond the customary properties and design desired (e.g. decoration, soft touch). For later use, therefore, the components are provided, in many cases, with a surface coating that is abrasion-proof and scratch-resistant, permits a diversity of colors and a high color density and enables two-dimensional decoration (e.g. carbon design) as well as symbols. Because of its flexibility (combination of thermoplastic injection molded part and functional film), in-mold decoration offers interesting solution options since the surface of the thermoplastic component is formed by the film in this process. As a result, abrasion resistance, a large depth of color, color diversity, symbols and transmitted light design can be achieved at the same time through the use of coordinated film systems.

Strength

  • complex-shaped, decorated surface
  • extremely flexible change of decoration
  • transmitted light design (day/night design)

Summary

FIM makes it possible to design the appearance of thermoplastic components in a targeted manner. Not only can the decoration (monochrome, multi-colored, integrated symbols, transmitted light design), but also the surface impression (glossy, structured, matte) and the high gloss can be set selectively. There is scarcely another method with which the decoration of the parts can be changed without interrupting production by inserting film with different decorations from shot to shot. Additional properties, such as media resistance and soft touch, can be achieved through the use of composite film. In-mold decoration is not limited to simple geometries, but is also suitable for components with complex shapes.

For further information you could visit also our Covestro FILM website.

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