- Decorating technology for injection molded PE and PP parts
- Addresses common drawbacks of traditional decorating methods
- Durable parts withstand removal and typical degeneration
There are several ways to decorate PE, PP and other polyolefin based products: pad printing, screen printing, hot stamping, sleeving, foils and IML (In Mould Labbeling). All of these decorating methods have in common that they are susceptibility to removal and wear, or that they fail following prolonged exposure to the environment. Other issues are high scrap rate, lack of color options (e.g. hot stamp foil), or high initial investment costs (IML). A new decorating technology is set to overcome these drawbacks: Polyfuze Graphics, the polymer based graphic that “fuses” with the plastic part.
Polymer based technology “fuses” into injection molded PE/PP
The Polyfuze graphic is polymer based instead of traditional ink like other methods. This allows the Polyfuze graphic to do what other methods cannot do. Instead of attempting to “stick” to the surface of polyethylene or polypropylene, it literally “fuses” into injection molded polyethylene and polypropylene. This process involves heating a PE or PP part and Polyfuze graphic simultaneously then pressing them together. The two pieces will then cool together to form a single permanent welded bond.
The Polyfuze graphic uses standard hot stamp machinery. However, the heat, time and pressure for application is very different from traditional methods. Polyethylene Fuzed Graphics (the Polyfuze graphic) requires 232°C (450°F) on the silicone die face. This requires to set the machine at about 288°C (550°F) due to the nature of silicone. Although the heat required for the application process is higher, similar dwell times of around 0.5 of a second (depending on the material) are used. Pressure requirements are significantly less: while hot stamp foil requires 28 bar (400 psi), the Polyfuze graphic requires just 5 bar (75 psi). This allows to apply a much larger Polyfuze graphic with a smaller tonnage hot stamp machine.
Durable parts withstand removal and typical degeneration
The most distinguishing characteristic of the Polyfuze graphic technology is its ability to withstand removal and typical degeneration from injection molded PE and PP. This is due to the fact that Polyfuze does not stick to the material but rather “fuses” with the PE and PP to become one with the injection molded part. To support this claim, the company invested extensive time to compile data:
Polyfuze Graphic Test Summary
- Tape Test D3359-09 Crosshatch: 100% Passed Tape Test
- QUV Accelerated Weatherometer Test: 2,000 hour cycle, 8 hour 70°C (158°F) with an Irradiance of 1.4 hours at 50°C (122°F) condensation: 100% Passed Tape Test
- Heat Test at 77°C (170°F) for 120 hours: 100% Passed Tape Test
- Low Temperature Impact Resistance Test: 10 lbs. at -40°C (-40°F): 100% Passed Tape Test
- Flex Test: 240 hours of continuous flexing at 21°C (70°F): 100% Passed Tape Test
- Heat Cycle Test: 2 hours at -40°C (-40°F), 2 hours at 77°C (170°F): 100% Passed Tape Test
- Pressure Wash Test: 3 minutes at 1,200 psi, 49°C (120°F) maximum temperature, 90 degree nozzle angle at six inch distance: 100% Passed Tape Test
- Chemical Test: 21 °C (70°F)
Wide range of applications
The process can be used for a wide range of product applications including rollout carts in the waste management industry, warning labels for shopping carts and a variety of reusable packaging containers.