Optimize color appearance with RH&C and color development

Injection molding has long been a standard processing method for the mass production of polycarbonate parts. While this method enables engineers and designers to design polycarbonate components with varying geometric complexities achieving part-to-part repeatability and meeting tight tolerances, part aesthetics can sometimes fall prey to complex design requirements. Enter rapid heating and cooling (RH&C) technology.

RH&C helps molders and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) meet challenging performance and appearance targets while reducing costs. With typical injection molding processing, the temperature difference between the tool and the molten polycarbonate can sometimes lead to surface defects, including visible weld lines, visible particles of material fillers, as well as gate, and surface blush.

In the RH&C process, the mold surface is heated before injection occurs. Once the mold is filled, it is cooled rapidly during the holding and cooling phases before the part is ejected. RH&C technology makes it possible to eliminate surface defects, while also being able to create high- and low-gloss surface effects on the same part.

Covestro has taken this innovative process a step further. The latest evolution of this technology marries the RH&C process with Covestro’s expert color development services. This innovative concept provides customers with a more accurate representation of how their color will look on finished parts.

Drawing on its unique and comprehensive knowledge and experience with polycarbonates, processing and colorants, Covestro helps its customers achieve not only the performance but also the appearance they require for their finished goods. For example, using advanced surface laser technology, Covestro can create new, eye-catching patterns that influence an object’s color and meet the needs of its customers. Some of the colors requested by customers can cause problems, such as blush, visible flow lines and weld lines, to appear in parts with challenging design geometries. Some colors involving certain additives and pigments are more prone to the appearance of aesthetic defects. By incorporating RH&C in parallel with the color development process, Covestro can provide its customers with precise color control while also optimizing molded part surface appearance.

This service is available through Covestro’s Color & Design Centers, expanding Covestro’s color development capabilities. Designers and OEMs can work with Covestro experts at out Color & Design Centers to achieve precise color development, create more advanced patterns and determine the colorability of complex materials with high filler content, such as talc and glass fiber.

Covestro is at the forefront of coupling this technology with color services. Because of this, manufacturers in the consumer electronics, automotive, medical, lighting and information technology/electrical industries are drawn to Covestro as they seek color and design support for applications where surface quality is vital.

For more information, email plastics@covestro.com.

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