CHICAGO - Bayer Corp., Serigraph Inc. and Comptec International Ltd. developed a single-cavity tool for insert mold decoration. Bayer Corp.'s Polymers Division supplied the polycarbonate film for the concept part, which it displayed at its booth during the National Design Engineering Show in Chicago, March 18-21.
The companies hope the technology will convince original equipment makers and custom molders to consider insert mold decoration early in the design process, especially for intricate, geometric designs with compound curves.
``We designed the tool not only to produce a quality part, but also to prove that some approaches are better than others,'' said Paul Tontsch, re-search and development manager for Comptec, an injection molder and moldmaker in Surrey, British Columbia.
A decorated film, formed or flat, is placed into a mold, then resin is shot behind the film, bonding it to the resin. Mark Matsco, manager of innovative technologies at Bayer, said the bonding method eliminates registration problems such as those connected with thermally transfering the ink to the plastic part.
Bayer AG first developed the process in the 1980s, Matsco said. Comptec created the injection mold as well as the vacuum forming tool, from which Serigraph produced the formed appliques, Tontsch said. Serigraph is in West Bend, Wis.
The tool, which produces a 4- by 6-inch concept part, will be housed at Bayer's Pittsburgh headquarters.