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Focus on hybrid molding plus IMD technology

Focus on hybrid molding plus IMD technology
Bond-Laminates at JEC World, March 14 – 16, 2017, Paris Nord Villepente Exhibition Center, Hall 5A, Stand J11

• Live demonstration at Bond-Laminates stand
• Cost-effective mass production of thin-walled, decorated lightweight components made from thermoplastic composites
• One-shot process combines three steps

Cologne – LANXESS subsidiary Bond-Laminates will be making hybrid molding plus IMD (In-Mold Decoration) technology the focal point of its presentation at the JEC World Composites Show & Conference 2017 in Paris. The new process enables fully automatic mass production, without any reworking, of extremely thin-walled yet exceptionally stiff lightweight components with high-quality surface decoration. It all starts with Tepex continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites developed and produced by Bond-Laminates. “The technology has a wide range of applications, including housing parts for IT equipment such as smartphones, notebooks and tablets, components for consumer goods such as TVs, coffee machines, vacuum cleaners and electric shavers, and even sports equipment,” explains Jochen Bauder, Managing Director of Bond-Laminates.
Based in Brilon, Germany, the company will be providing a live demonstration of the process at its stand at JEC. “We will be producing a decorated housing component with walls just 0.6 millimeters thick on a highly automated manufacturing cell that is suited to large-scale series production,” reveals Bauder.

Short cycle times

Hybrid molding plus IMD technology is a one-shot process combining three steps in a single mold – forming the semi-finished composite, overmolding the formed semi-finished product and painting or decorating it using in-mold decoration with the help of a dry-paint transferred from a foil carrier. Depending on the component, the part’s geometry and the paint system, cycle times can be as short as just 60 to 90 seconds.
The new technology is the result of close collaboration between several partners. LEONHARD KURZ Stiftung & Co. KG and Bond-Laminates developed an IMD system coordinated with the process with a special formulation and the necessary mold technology. Based on this, ENGEL AUSTRIA GmbH then devised a highly automated manufacturing cell that is suited to large-scale series production.

Automotive applications a further focal point

Bond-Laminates will also be using JEC to showcase a number of series automotive applications for Tepex – including, for example, an all-plastic brake pedal that is used in cars such as the Porsche Panamera and the Bentley Continental GT. This brake pedal was recently awarded first place in the “Body Interior” category of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Awards. Other applications on show will be the rear bumper beam of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell and a car underfloor protection paneling.