One shot molding of two materials yields soft skin
A proprietary process for creating "soft touch" materials by one-shot, multi-material molding has been introduced by Collins & Aikman Corp. (yes, the auto parts manufacturer). The new XtraSoft proces...
October 1, 2002 by Canadian Plastics
A proprietary process for creating “soft touch” materials by one-shot, multi-material molding has been introduced by Collins & Aikman Corp. (yes, the auto parts manufacturer). The new XtraSoft process is available exclusively for licensees of Collins & Aikman’s proprietary injection molding technology IntelliMold.
XtraSoft is the result of Intellimold combining two materials that are simultaneously injected into the mold cavity to produce both a core and soft skin effect. The core and the skin are then bonded together through boundary layers that contain both materials. The lighter material stays in the top layers and the heavier material forms the core. Under traditional injection molding, the product would have to be processed in a two-step process.
“Automotive manufacturers are always seeking new ways to apply softer surfaces within their vehicles,” said Ed Rutkowske, Intellimold’s vice president of operations. “By using Intellimold with XtraSoft, a major automotive manufacturer recently introduced a soft touch storage bin, which was less costly, more durable, had a much better feel and was easier to install than competitive offerings. We are currently developing applications for a variety of products using a wide variety of new material blends that can replace soft touch paint, co-injection molding or two-shot molding.”
Intellimold measures and controls pressure and temperature inside the mold cavity. The cavity can be pre-pressurized and material flow controlled.