IPF 2014: Multilayer insert films bring out best of acrylic, polycarbonate


Another highlight at the recent IPF Show near Tokyo was being demonstrated at the Sodick stand. The machine builder was exhibiting an insert molding system for decorative automotive parts.

The acrylic/polycarbonate multilayer insert film was supplied by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC, Tokyo). MGC has developed several multilayer films types for insert molding. Typically the deep-drawable films (coefficient of extension of more than 200%) are preformed on a special thermoforming unit prior to insertion into the mold.

Combining acrylic and polycarbonate in a multilayer structure brings benefits in automobile parts.

Tahara, Manager of the Performance Products Department at MGC says its Iupilon DF and MR films combine the surface hardness of acrylic resin (typically H to 2H) with the mechanical strength of polycarbonate. The MR film features a formable hard coat layer but its coefficient of extension is currently limited to 40%. The films can also typically be back-printed prior to forming.

MGC has also developed a specialty acrylic/polycarbonate film featuring improved weatherability and scratch resistance that can potentially be used for automotive exteriors. "We've carried out accelerated tests that show its good for 7000 hours," says Tahara. "Next on our agenda is to develop a film that can be formed at a temperature of 150°C versus 190°C for our current versions."

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