In-Mold Decoration is a new technology that places Film in an injection mold to decorate the surface of the plastic. It has the incomparable advantages of traditional plastic screen printing, such as smooth and beautiful appearance, permanent and clear printing, and three-dimensional effect of 3D patterns.
In the trend of fashion leading by technology, the requirements for aesthetics and use value are also constantly improving, including the high requirements for the ratio of volume to weight, so a large number of plastics have to be used. There are 60% of items in daily life. It is to use plastic, and the long-lasting protection of the appearance of plastic has always been a difficult problem to solve? The IMD process that came out at this time is undoubtedly a good opportunity!
Here I will talk about the advantages and prospects of IMD process. IMD process needs to span multiple fields, such as chemical, printing, mechanics, mold, injection molding. Therefore, to master this craft, you must have a very deep understanding and superb technology in the above several fields, in order to connect its different crafts and make unique IMD crafts.
Technical characteristics of IMD
The IMD process is to overprint the ink on the surface of the Lons after the release treatment, and each color layer is layered and exquisite patterns appear. Then calculate the stretching ratio of Lons and perform high-pressure molding (pre-molding to the shape of the product), and then put it in the injection mold for injection. After injection, it will be a beautiful plastic product without printing, spraying, and other methods. Coloring.
The printing sheet of LONS and the plastic raw material after injection sandwich the ink, forming a hard shielding layer on the surface (its hardness reaches 3H), which can withstand the frequent rubbing of the medium with normal hardness on its surface. It will scratch and will not fade. The use of special printing sheets can also improve the impact resistance. If used in home appliances or other control panels, the touch keys can be used up to 2 million times without breaking.
Combining the advantages of the above products, they have been widely used in plastic products. The application fields include MP3, mobile phones, PDAs, home appliances, fitness equipment, car nameplates, meters, etc., so the corresponding has a wide market and huge Profit margins, and in the future plastics market, IMD process will be the preferred process for plastic appearance, and it will set off a new appearance reform storm and it has already taken on its trend!
The IMD production process is specifically subdivided into:
- Cutting material: Cut the roll film Film into square blocks of the designed size to prepare for the printing process.
- Pre-shrinking: Before printing, the cut film is heated in the oven to minimize the chance of shrinking.
- Plane printing: Make a film net according to the required icon and text, and print the icon and text on the cut film square block.
- Ink drying and fixing: Place the printed film Film square block in a high-temperature oven to dry, the purpose is to completely solidify the IMD ink and vaporize the solvent in the ink.
- Pasting protective film: Avoid fouling the surface of the printed film during the process of punching positioning holes. Sometimes it is necessary to paste a single-layer or double-layer protective film.
- Punching positioning holes: The positioning holes of the shearing process and the thermoforming process must be punched accurately.
- Thermoforming (high pressure or copper mold): After heating the printed film, use a high pressure machine or copper mold to form it in a preheated state. The design of Forming Mold is critical. (Note: IMD products with simple molding have priority to punching the periphery, which can save film.)
- Cut the outer shape: cut off the waste of the formed three-dimensional film. A precise cutting die is required.
- Injection molding: Place the film exactly the same as the three-dimensional shape of the front mold on the front mold, and then inject the finished IMD.
IML project start planning outline
1. Workshop planning should pay attention to details
- The dust-free workshop should be made to facilitate the turnover of sheets, and at the same time, the personnel flow and safety should be in place
- The packaging and molding workshop environment is not strictly required
- The necessary power supply and air pipe of the forming and blanking equipment should be planned in a reasonable position
- In addition to the space of the screen printing machine and the drying tunnel, the screen printing department also has space for the screen plate, oven and QC quality inspection.
- In addition to the molding and blanking space, the molding department should set up a worktable for wiping the sheet and a mold placement area
- In addition to the machine, the injection department must set up a mold placement area and a transfer-in window for sheets and finished products.
2. Equipment details
- Exposure machine
- Laminating machine
- Screen printing machine
- Baking furnace
- Sheet cutting knife
- Forming punching machine
- Computer punching machine
- Injection molding machine
- Sensitive glue, sealing paste, water film
- Ink, adhesive, curing agent
- Boiling water (ink dilution, screen cleaning)
- Sticky paper
- White Electric Oil
- Finger cots, disposable gloves
- Clean cloth
- Protective film (protection of finished products and semi-finished products)
- Electrostatic clothing shoes and hats
- Turnover tray, release paper
- Melaleuca (drying rack)
- Silicone rubber wheel (dust removal wheel)
- Ion air gun (for sheet and product dust removal)
- Imprinting machine (processing pits on the product to improve yield)
Link to this article：IMD/IML