Meeting aesthetic design and running a cost- and energy- efficient production presents manufactures with quite a challenge – Covestro’s DirectCoating technology, however, allows both seemingly contradictory wishes to be fulfilled.
Appealing designs from one single mold
Components are coated in a two-stage process. First, the plastic substrate is injected into the first cavity of the mold; then the component is transferred to a second cavity that is slightly larger – by the exact thickness of the coating layer. The solvent-free coating is then injected into this cavity through a reaction injection molding (RIM) mixing head. The result is a polyurethane-coated component that displays outstanding properties but needs hardly any re-working.
The component can be transparent, translucent or opaque. Its surface can be coated in a variety of colors, given a matt or clear finish, or protected by a functional scratchproof finish. And a variety of haptic designs or surface structures are also possible. Josef Art, Managing Director at coating supplier Votteler, Covestro’s partner in this technology, emphasizes the benefits: “The most important added value of DirectCoating technology for the automotive industry is the almost unlimited design freedom as well as the cost and energy savings.”
The development of DirectCoating technology, which enables components to be coated in a single mold, shows the huge range of colors, surface structures and haptic impressions that can enhance car interiors in the future.
- Votteler Lackfabrik GmbH & Co. KG
- Car interior