Posted tagged ‘custom’


August 23, 2011

01-infrared curing process-infrared spectrum wave-conduction, convection, radiation

The coatings and paint industries strive to provide high technology coatings while reducing volatile organic compounds and energy consumption to produce a finished coating. Conventionally Convection ovens are used to cure the coatings. But this process which uses electric heaters is not an optimal process and is associated with various disadvantages.

01-coating surface absorption-infrared energy -infrared curing

Improved technologies are available today, which can either replace or improve the convection curing process. Infrared Curing is such a technology which uses Infrared rays emitted by an Infrared emitter to provide the required cure. Infrared curing applies light energy to the part surface by direct transmission from an emitter. Some of the energy emitted will be reflected off the surface, some is absorbed into the polymer and some is transmitted into the substrate.

01-reduced cycle times on final cure-eliminating manual rack up time

This direct transfer of energy creates an immediate reaction in the polymer and cross linking begins quickly once the surface is exposed to the emitter. Infrared emitters are often custom manufactured to suit the production demand. The various aspects of Infrared curing and convection curing and the possibility of combining these two technologies into a singe system will be discussed in this seminar.

01-infrared wave-infrared heating-infrared emitter-infrared curing

How it Works

Infrared heating is a direct form of heating. The source of the heat (the infrared emitter or lamp) radiates: energy that is absorbed by the product directly from the emitter. That is, the heat energy is not transferred through an intermediate medium. This is one reason for  the  inherent high-energy efficiency of infrared systems. For  example, hot air heating  first needs to heat air; the air then heats the product by convection.

01-infrared emitter-infrared curing systems

Infrared  energy is directed  to  the  product. When  the  product absorbs this energy, it is then converted into heat. Infrared energy is dispersed from the source in much the same  way as visible light. Exposed product surfaces easily absorb  the  infrared  energy and  become  heated. Therefore, heating effectiveness is related to line-of-sight between the source and the product. Depending on the coating and/or product substrate material, this heat is further thermally conducted.

01-table-characteristics of commercially used infrared heat sources

The ability of the product to absorb energy is also known as its “emissivity”. A theoretical body that absorbs all energy is termed a “black body”. A black body has an emissivity of 1. A highly reflective body would have a low emissivity value, approaching 0. (Reflectivity is the inverse of emissivity).

The potential of a product to become heated with infrared is related to the following:
• Watt density (total output power) of the source
• Wavelength (temperature) of the source
• Distance from the source to the product
• Reflective characteristics of the oven cavity
• Air movement and temperature in the oven
• Time product is exposed to the source
• Ratio of exposed surface area to the mass of the product
• Specific heat of the product
• Emissivity of the product
• Thermal conductivity of the product


Curing is a process of baking surface coatings so as to dry them up quickly. Curing is a broad term which means all the techniques employed for the finishing operations incurred during part production. Curing essentially involves either the melting of the coating or evaporation of volatile fluids present in the coating by the application of heat energy.

Curing is given to a wide range of materials both organic and inorganic. Usually curing is given to materials like ,

” Paints
” Enamel
” Liquor
” Powder coatings
” Varnishes
” Epoxy coatings
” Acrylic coatings
” Primers Etc.

Curing is also given to Rubber and Latex .The principle used for curing can also be used for drying rice and grains.

01-infrared technology-infrared-convection systems-tunnel system


Convection ovens are usually used for curing purposes. Traditional convection ovens use heated forced air to provide the necessary cure. Convection ovens consist of a chamber lined on the inside with Electric heaters. The shape of the chamber will be in accordance to the shape or geometry of the part being cured. A series of blowers circulate the heated air around providing the required cure. This process depends on convection to transfer heat from hot air to body surface and conduction to transfer heat to the interior of the surface. The air being delivered is held at temperature using closed-loop control, which provides predictable, repeatable results. Typically a temperature of around 250-500 degree Fahrenheit is required for paint or powder. Though convection ovens are widely used today they have certain disadvantages, which chokes the overall productivity of a company
Disadvantages of convection ovens :

” Fairly long heating times:-

Convection is a slow process. It takes a considerable amount of time for the heaters to heat up and raise the temperature of air to the required level. This causes a lag in the process and hence the curing time increases. Longer curing time spells reduced assembly line movement. This in turn reduces productivity.

” High energy consumption:-

A convection column dryer uses around 2000 BTU(British Thermal Unit) of energy to remove 1 pound of moisture. They use around 7.7 KW of electrical energy to dry a ton of rice. These are significantly larger figures for any company trying to bring energy consumption under control. The additional use of blowers and compressors further increases energy consumption.

” Large floor area required:-

Convection ovens are bulky in nature. Due to the presence of compressors and blowers, additional space is needed, which in turn increases the floor area requirement.

” Air circulation is required:-

Convection heating requires a medium for transmission of heat. Hence blowers are employed for good circulation of heated air. This increases the overall cost of the equipment.


August 22, 2011

01-pressure forming-products-intricate contours-tight radii-

Material & Description


Good general purpose material, very tough yet very hard and rigid, good impact and electrical. Available in gauges from .040 to .475 with several extruded textures. Comes opaque and can be matched in custom colors.


A blend or alloy of ABS and polycarbonate that thermoforms well, weathers well, good color retention, very hard, excellent impact.


Flame retardant, tough.


Outstanding weather resistance, excellent optics and electrical properties, poor impact, high gloss and deep luster. Available in standard gauges from .080 to over 1″. Available in clear, transparent and opaque colors.

Acrylic, cell cast

Excellent optics and hot strength, more expensive. Acrylic, continuous and extrusion cast.
Large volume use and best price, good optics.

Acrylic film

3 or 6 mil film for laminating, decorating, and weathering of extruded ABS.

DR Acrylic

Modified acrylic with higher impact properties.


A blend of acrylic and PVC that is a tough, chemical-resistant material that weathers well and is flame resistant. Available in custom colors.

HDPE (high-density polyethylene)

Crystalline, very tough materials, good weather resistance with UV inhibitors, resistant to many chemicals. Available in standard gauges from .040 to .500. Available in opaque custom colors. Tough and stiff. Good low temperature. Economical.

HMWPE (high molecular weight)

Excellent environmental stress crack properties, thermoforms well, good low temperature.

HIPS (high impact polystyrene)

Good general-purpose material, rigid. Available in clear but usually opaque custom colors from .030 to .350, low cost.

PVC (vinyl)

Good general-purpose material, good abrasion and chemical resistance. Available in clear but usually opaque custom colors from .030 to .125.

Expanded PVC

Stiff, light, flat, thermoformable. Available in stock colors and gauges, generally 3 and 6 mm but others also available.


Clear, higher impact than acrylic, easy to form. Available in gauges from .030 to .500.

01-pressure forming-blow forming-Thermoform-Console-automobile parts

Pressure Forming:

Pressure Forming is the method used to produce injection mold quality, high definition plastic component parts, housings and containers without the huge expense of tooling. It involves positive pressure to force the heated plastic into the mold cavity. This is called pressure thermoforming or blow forming

Pressure Forming Working Operation:

01-pressure forming-20-150 psi pressure-temperature controlled mold cavity

The highly versatile pressure forming process utilizes air pressure, from 20 to 150 psi, to force the heated sheet into a temperature controlled mold cavity. Vent holes are provided in the mold to exhaust the trapped air. The final part features sharp definition of intricate contours and tight radii. Textures and accurate details are built right into the tooling. Low-cost, highly aesthetic plastic parts of varying sizes are possible due to the application of air pressure, as well as more sophisticated process controls that better monitor tool and sheet temperatures while controlling material shrinkage during forming.

01-pressure forming-products-intricate contours-tight radii-

Types Of Molding operation:

  • Positive Mold
  • Negative Mold

01-pressure forming process-positive molds-cost advantages-pressure forming over thermo forming

Negative molds  have concave cavities. A positive mold has a convex shape.

Pressure Forming over Thermo Forming:

The basic advantage of Pressure Forming over Thermo forming is the cost advantage for small production items. The mould cost for thermo forming is considerably higher in comparison to pressure forming thus for a lower quantity precision job the best suitable method used is pressure forming.


Pressure forming is used to create in a wide array of plastic products used for packaging of food trays, blisters, covers, internal parts, housings equipment, bezels, bases, and spare parts for use in business machines, electronics, computers and peripherals, bio-medical applications, and instruments.


Pressure forming achieves features beyond the capabilities of vacuum forming including louvers, ribs, recessed areas, crisp details and logos.

Pressure forming is ideal for small to medium sized production runs that do not justify the high cost of injection molding dies. Additionally, because the aluminum tooling used in pressure forming has an unlimited lifecycle, due to the non-abrasive process versus injection, it saves a great deal of money over many years of continued use. Pressure form tooling usually costs less than 10% the cost of an injection tool. There is also a significant time savings (sometimes 25%) in tooling lead time. Sheet gauges .020″ – .500″ are capable of being pressure formed.