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Elastomer proves flexibility in two-shot process

Thermoplastic elastomer supplier Kraiburg TPE (Waldkraiburg, Germany) and toolmaker/molder Mues Products & Moulds GmbH (Kolbermoor, Germany), have joined forces to debut a new type of removable badge plate for engine covers in the automotive sector molded using a two-shot process.

Thermoplastic elastomer supplier Kraiburg TPE (Waldkraiburg, Germany) and toolmaker/molder Mues Products & Moulds GmbH (Kolbermoor, Germany), have joined forces to debut a new type of removable badge plate for engine covers in the automotive sector molded using a two-shot process.

Badge plate employs elastomeric studs for easy mounting/removal

The application of Kraiburg's high-performance Hipex thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compound and an innovative tool design were keys to successful development of the part, comprised of a rigid nylon component and flexible TPE studs. The rigid component is molded in the first shot, a robot removes this from the cavity and places it in another one for TPE overmolding while simultaneously, the next rigid component is molded. Previously, rubber studs were attached manually, resulting in slower cycle times and higher reject rates.

A special challenge during development of the badge plate was design of the anchorage of the TPE to the rigid component. Slotted and toothed rings in the rigid polyamide component are completely overmolded and encapsulated by the TPE compound, thereby mechanically anchoring the studs to the rigid component.

The studs are formed using an elaborate undercut construction in order to form a reverse taper. This allows the badge plate to be mounted on the engine cover in a similar manner to press studs. Despite the undercut, demolding does not present difficulties thanks to the firm mechanical anchoring of the TPE component and the high flexibility of the elastomeric material.

Hipex was selected by Mues Products & Moulds on account of its high temperature resistance and resistance to various media, as well its thermoplastic processability and hardness of 70 Shore A. "The decisive factor for me was that Hipex can withstand constantly high temperatures up to 150°C as well as contact with gear oil, lubricants and transmission fluids," says Markus Seidl, CEO of Mues Products & Moulds -[email protected]

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