The surface finishing specialist Kurz will be presenting several innovative decoration solutions for mobile electronic devices at K 2010. Whether it be cell phones, smartphones, notebooks or tablet computers, no mobile device is sold solely on the basis of its functionality. As consumer devices evolve into lifestyle accessories, their appearance becomes increasingly important, with bold and extravagant designs being especially favored. To satisfy this trend, Kurz has developed a comprehensive range of pigmented, metallized and metallic surface designs. These designs are available in a large variety of color tones, optionally incorporating a brushed structure, and come with a glossy, matt or supermatt finish. Kurz is especially proud of its metallic surface creations that combine expressive colors with a refined matt finish. The highlight of this series is a notebook design that has a matt brushed structure and various metallic color tones ranging from dark pink to dark chrome through to light silver. "A notebook in striking metallic colors”, you might well respond skeptically, "wouldn't that be kitschy?”.
"It could look kitschy”, explains Nick Wagner, Sales and Marketing Manager for Inmold Decoration, "if the surface had a shiny metallic or plastic appearance. The matt brushed surface, however, accentuates the metallic character of the design fantastically. The combination of distinctive colors and a cool metallic look creates a totally elegant impression”, Wagner enthuses about his new matt designs. Visitors to K 2010 can see these innovative notebook designs for themselves at the Kurz booth.
Surface designs not just for looking at
To differentiate yourself in the market, set trends, and develop innovative designs is not an easy task in the mobile devices industry. The boldest designs and the fanciest ideas all appear to have already been implemented. Kurz, however, is introducing something new to the mix: housings with tactile effects produced by the incorporation of arbitrary structures into the surface. These visible and tactile structures offer new possibilities for differentiation. An important point for manufacturers is that these structures are not produced in the IMD (Inmold Decoration) tool, but are incorporated into the decorative layer. The structured design can therefore be switched at any time without having to change over the tool.
Non-conducting metallized surfaces
At Kurz, surface coatings with a metallic appearance are produced by vapor deposition of a true metal. True metals, however, are generally conductive. This property is not always desired in the electrical and electronics industry, but can in most cases be eliminated by suitable insulation. The situation becomes difficult when no current is allowed to flow from the interior to the outside of the device, but the device contains antennas whose function must not be impaired. Kurz has developed, especially for these applications, non-conducting, metallized surface coatings, so-called NCVM (Non-Conductive Vacuum Metallized) foils, that do not shield the cell phone or notebook antennas. The NCVM foils are supplied with a specification report confirming their non-shielding property with regard to antennas.
Flexibly combinable effects
Metallized surfaces with a matt or shiny finish, tangible full-surface or single-image structures, non-conductive coatings - all of these features and designs can be combined in any arbitrary manner. "Our strength lies in the broad range of possibilities that we offer our customers”, explains Wagner. "Using Kurz products, innovative designs and functionality can be realized with a high level of process reliability, while also fully satisfying the most stringent requirements of the telecommunications, computer and electronics industry on abrasion and scratch resistance”.
As Wagner reports, the product range of the surface finishing specialist also includes particularly economical decoration solutions, for example non-curing lacquer systems for less hard-working surfaces. For customers seeking a cost-effective solution with a very level of surface protection, Kurz offers a novel clear-lacquer IMD coating which, according to Wagner, is very popular in the notebook sector. Kurz customers are employing these colorless IMD foils in conjunction with laptop lids made from colored plastic. This process delivers a significant cost advantage compared to colorization using colored IMD foils. For further information on any of these new decoration solutions, visit the Kurz booth A 19 in Hall 5 at