IMD at Batnon
IMD is a sub-branch of plastic injection technology, but with higher requirement and better appearance effect. We’ve been handling and producing IMD part for over 15 years. Our strong engineering capabilities and complete machinery let us be able to deal with large scale order.
1. What is IMD?
IMD (In Mold Decoration) is an injection molding technology in which a film is placed in the injection mold. When the plastic part is thermoformed in the mold, the film will be integrated into the plastic part and become the surface of the plastic part, so as to change the appearance of the plastic surface.
IMD breaks the limitation that the traditional injection molding technology can only produce simple patterns and single colors, and realizes the special needs of obtaining the surface patterns, textures, colors, three-dimensional effects of plastic parts according to any design, creating more exquisite, personalized and high-quality plastic parts. At the same time, the cost and time of surface post-processing of plastic parts are eliminated. In any way, IMD can provide higher standards, more stable quality and lower cost than traditional injection molding.
For traditional surface treatment directly on the surface of plastic parts, there are printing, painting or electroplating processes. These processes are often more expensive, time-consuming, unstable quality and poor effect. What’s more, for plastic parts with curved surface modeling, the traditional surface treatment process can not be realized. On the contrary, IMD is a prepared printed film, which can be printed in any color or pattern according to design needs. These printed patterns will be directly molded on the surface of plastic parts to form a delicate and delicate surface effect.
There’re two ways for making IMD part, one is in mold heat transfer injection molding. This is to stick the film on the front mold. When the plastic parts are injection molded, this film will have a heat transfer effect with the high temperature effect of the plastic parts in the mold. This method is similar to the traditional heat transfer printing. However, this action was completed in the mold, and the plastic parts were not taken out.
The second method is to cut the film into a single piece after it is printed. During each injection interval, the film is put into the mold when the front and rear molds are separated. After the front and rear molds are closed, the film is molded and integrated with the plastic parts in the mold cavity. Obviously, the printed layer made in this way is located below the film, so it can be protected by the outer layer of the film, so it can be well protected without being worn or scratched.
2. Production Procedures of IMD
IMD process flow is as follows:
Step 1: Film film cutting.
Cut the film according to the size required by the design and use it for subsequent printing.
Step 2: Film printing
Various designed patterns and characters are printed on the film.
Step 3: Film drying
Dry the ink printed on the film to make the ink cling to the surface of the film.
Step 4: Film protective foil
The purpose of applying a protective film to the film is to prevent the film from being worn or damaged during moving or putting the film into the mold cavity.
Step 5: Film locating hole
Positioning holes are punched in the film so that the position of the film when it is placed in the mold cavity can be fixed and prevented from moving.
Step 6: Injeciton forming
Put the film into the forming copper mold for heating and forming, and its shape is the same as that of the plastic part.
Step 7: Film trimming
Trim the excess edges and corners of the film on the plastic parts to make the film closely fit on the plastic parts.
Step 8: Plastic injection molding
When the plastic part is hot formed in the mold cavity, the film is softened due to the high temperature of the mold cavity, so it is easy to stick to the surface of the plastic part. This is also a key step for IMD. At this point, the IMD workpiece is completed.
The above is the whole process of IMD.
3. What Are The Advantages Of IMD?
1) IMD film can be printed with any desired color, pattern and texture, which depends on the limitations of printing equipment and materials, and has nothing to do with the production process of IMD. Therefore, if we have proper equipment and corresponding materials, we can make a more unique IMD effect. In terms of color expression, the traditional surface treatment process is incomparable.
2) Multiple patterns can be produced in the same batch. If there are many patterns in the same batch production, and the batch quantity is large enough, it can be considered by IMD process, and there is no requirement for the minimum order quantity of a single pattern.
3) The IMD printing layer is located at the lower layer of the transparent film and is not exposed to the outside, which means the printings are protected by the film, so the printing pattern will not be subject to abrasion and paint falling, which are quite often happen on conventional surface treatment.
4. Disadvantages of IMD?
1) If IMD is used for production, the quantity of a single batch is limited by a minimum, such purpose is to amortize the cost of a single product.
2) Higher experience requirements for engineers and operators. They need to be familiar with and understand the production process and machine characteristics, be able to predict possible problems and take appropriate preventive measures.
3) More preliminary work for film preparation..
5. Material Requirements For Film
1) Film thickness: 0.1 mm, 0.125 mm, 0.175 mm
2) Thickness of plastic parts: plastic part wall thickness is 1.0mm, and when film is added, it will be 1.2mm
6. Application of IMD
Plastic parts made by IMD process are applicable in product appearance parts and shells those are decorative or indicative. This includes household appliances, electronic products, medical devices, aviation parts, automobile parts and other products