Kurz has combined IMD (In-Mould Decoration) with PUR (polyurethane) technology, which it says produces a clear, high-gloss surface with a self-healing topcoat.
The process, dubbed IMD PUR, involves decorating plastic parts during injection moulding, then overflooding them with PUR in the same clamping unit.
According to Stephen Pratt, managing director of Kurz Australia, the process can produce PUR layers between 0.5mm and 15mm thick, which features a glossy glass appearance and remains intact when subjected to scratches or stone impact.
“The production and PUR flooding of injection moulded parts in a single machine pass is a known process. The novelty, however, is in combining this with the IMD process. Kurz has developed IMD coatings that adhere perfectly to the PUR topcoat,” he said.
The IMD PUR process was developed by Kurz in conjunction with group member Schöfer, a mould-making specialist. Pratt says Schöfer’s mould-making expertise complements Kurz’s knowledge of thin-layer and process technology.
“Thanks to the intensive development work undertaken by both parties, it is now possible to perform injection moulding, IMD coating, and PUR coating in a single clamping unit. Furthermore, the tailored formulations of the IMD and PUR layers, as well as process-optimised moulds, ensure significantly reduced cycle times.
“Plastic parts decorated by means of IMD PUR exhibit the high surface quality, depth effect, and glassy appearance of PUR coatings. At the same time, IMD PUR offers the great design freedom that is characteristic of IMD technology, with the ability to perform design changeovers both quickly and efficiently,” he said.
The Kurz IMD PUR process will be on display at the K 2019 plastics trade show.