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Injection molds for a new backmolding process that enables application of metal foils are now available from developer Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG (Busslingen, Switzerland). The technology combines the advantages and tactility of a metal surface with the functional and design versatility of a molded plastic part.

May 26, 2009

2 Min Read
Cool effects through foil backmolding

Injection molds for a new backmolding process that enables application of metal foils are now available from developer Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG (Busslingen, Switzerland). The technology combines the advantages and tactility of a metal surface with the functional and design versatility of a molded plastic part.

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Tooling detail is visible through 0.2-mm-thick backmolded aluminum foil.



The metal foil is placed and held in the injection mold in much the same way as in any other backmolding process for surface decoration. With the new development, however, when processing metal foils of a thickness of up to around 0.3 mm, any surface structures machined into the walls of the cavity such as logos or decorative elements are faithfully transferred to the molded part. While the mold is still closed after injection of the melt, surplus foil is separated from the molded part using an integrated punching tool. In this step, the cut edges of the foil wrap around the molded part to produce a perfectly smooth edge without any overhang.

Among advantages of the new process, the metal foil is thicker and less sensitive than a metallic layer applied by electroplating. It also has a typically cold metallic feel when touched. Further, the bond between the metal foil and the plastic surface of the molded part is permanent. The coupling agent necessary for a reliable metal-plastic bond was developed by Hochschule für Technik (Rapperswil, Switzerland).

Besides successful application of aluminum and stainless steel foils, other foils are currently being tested for suitability. In order to ensure high dimensional stability and low warpage, parts should be molded in reinforced or filled thermoplastic materials. [email protected]

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