All About the Finish

As they say in football, it's all in the finish!

Injection-molded components often necessitate post-processing to meet their final specifications, especially in the world of beautiful cars and other awe-inspiring vehicles.

At first thought the mention of creating a new plastic part accelerates the brain to images of 3D models, laser-measurements and perhaps, at the extreme, color or type of resin. But what about the end texture?

To those outside the industry it may be interesting to learn that there are an extremely wide array of surface finishing choices in the realm of injection molding, significantly influencing aspects like the texture, but also appearance, tactile sensation, and other surface attributes of the components. This holds paramount importance not only from the customer's standpoint but also from the perspectives of designers and engineers, as it profoundly influences mold design.

For example, the majority of molds used for the production pour are crafted from aluminum and/or steel, and any minute imperfections in the mold surfaces can be readily transferred to the molded part. Should the machining marks left by the end mills remain unaddressed, they will manifest on the molded part unless they are removed through processes such as bead blasting or polishing.

In many cases, especially on inner surfaces that aren't visible to the naked eye, these tooling marks may be inconsequential to the part's function or aesthetics, but to those who want to provide perfection including both leading car manufacturers and indeed the part producers such as specialist firm NS KUNSTSTOFFTECHNIK - CZ , this imperfection needs to be resolved before shipping.

Co-owner and Executive Director Marc Ammerlaan described that "virtually all molds undergo some level of finishing here at NS-K and despite the fact that the extent of polishing directly impacts the time required to finalize the mold, the resulting high quality product makes it totally worthwhile".

While it's obvious that certain textures on the surface of a part can improve the appearance and give a finished look, since practically they can also hide any imperfections such as flow lines, knit lines or sink/shadow marks that are caused as a result of the molding, it's a no-brainer to dedicate time and effort in this area.

Though perhaps not quite as exhaustive as your material swatch from the sofa outlet, tier1 suppliers such as NS-K can offer literally dozens of options for a perfect finish, and from a commercial perspective, ultimately parts with a good surface finish appeal more to the customer - something of benefit to all of us.

So if you're looking for a great finish, look for a great company who can guide you along the way.

Posted On:
September 21, 2023

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