PC resin for in-mould decoration

Japanese firm Teijin Limited has developed a polycarbonate (PC) resin, which allows manufacturers to enhance productivity while reducing product weight, suitable for in-mould decoration. Potential applications include casings of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, as well as medical devices and automotive parts.

Incorporating special glass fibres and additive agents, the new PC resin achieves rigidity and dimensional stability for thin-wall moulded casings, as well as optimised surface flatness for in-mould decoration and 40% higher fluidity than conventional glass fibre-reinforced PC resins. In addition, Teijin’s proprietary flame-retardant technology enables the new PC resin to achieve flame retardancy – equivalent to UL94V-0 at 0.6mm.

Reducing the weight of mobile device casings demands a combination of thin-wall moulding and high rigidity. Materials that meet these requirements include carbon fibre-reinforced plastics and magnesium alloys, but they require additional steps for pattern printing, coating or other post-processing after the casing has been moulded. The added production costs have limited use to some high-end models.

Conventional PC or nylon resin composites are commonly used for the casings of mass-market models, but these materials are prone to wrinkles, cracks or other degradation in surfaces during in-mould decoration. Also, it has been a challenge to achieve desired levels of dimensional stability, coating and flame-retardancy in thin-wall moulding made of these materials, says Teijin.

(IMA)

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