For manufacturers of large parts with complex geometries made from plastics reinforced with carbon fibers (CRP), glass fibers (GRP), or epoxy and PVC slush-molded skins, easy demolding is an important challenge. Release agents are often applied to facilitate demolding after these parts have been injection molded. Silicone-based mold release agents are the most popular materials applied to the mold surfaces.
However in the manufacturing of class-A finish automotive interior and exterior parts such as door trim, wheel covers, bezels, and instrument panels, a defect free surface is critically important. To ensure the quality of downstream coating processes, it is essential to avoid any carry-over of silicone from mold release agents or the surface can be contaminated and cause rejects.
Low-pressure plasma for long-term coating of molds in injection molding processes.
The Plasmatreat Aurora low-pressure plasma process is especially well suited for depositing durable release coatings on the inside surfaces of molds, making it possible to eliminate silicone-based lubricants and mold release agents. Parts manufactured with plasma deposited coatings exhibit more stable behaviour, with lower reject rates due to contamination and higher part quality.
Coating with the low-pressure method enables optimal downstream processing
The key to this improvement is that plasma generated by this low-pressure technique is able to easily penetrate even the narrowest gaps, no matter how complex the part geometry. The release coating is compatible with a wide variety of mold surfaces, and is engineered to last for thousands of molding cycles. This allows parts to be painted, without any additional pre-treatment steps.
This low-pressure plasma mold release process is already being successfully used aircraft manufacturing and offers great potential for vehicle manufacturing.