In-mold decoration creates durable badge for Chevrolet


The famous bowtie emblem of GM's Chevrolet brand has received a makeover with the application of in-mold decoration (IMD) in the 2013 Traverse model to generate a jewel effect. Processor Eimo Technologies (Vicksburg, MI) worked with fluoropolymer-based film supplier Soliant Films (Lancaster, SC) to perfect the process.

The process involves placement of thermoformed and trimmed IMD film inserts into an injection tool. Eimo worked Soliant to get the top coat of the 0.5-mm-thick film (i.e., the decorative layer that is are similar in thickness to a paint coating) so it would be flexible enough to "mold" to the textured cavity when the injected resin forces the inlay into the cavity of the tool, while ensuring enough durability to withstand the weather and stone impingement. The film itself is based on an alloy of the PVDF fluoropolymer and acrylic resin and boasts good chemical resistance. The casting process for the film also ensures minimized internal stresses.

The new emblems are much more robust; retaining jewel appearance throughout the life of the vehicle. Previously, emblems were made of translucent acrylic and were vacuum metalized. This process generates 6% more scrap than the new process, and the emblems are thicker, weighing 10% more than the new ones. Emblem sizes vary from ~2 x 6 inches (weighing 0.029 lb) to 3 x 9 inches (weighing 0.070 lb).

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