2004: SkinForm and ColorForm revolutionize the market
| Petra Rehmet
Components with high-gloss finish
It all began at the K 2004 trade show: KraussMaffei presented SkinForm, its first auto-mated manufacturing concept for producing high-gloss surfaces in a one-step pro-cess. ColorForm took the process one step further: In addition to the high-gloss effect, ColorForm made scratch-resistance possible as well.
In the SkinForm process, a thermoplastic substrate is manufactured in the first step. In the second step, it is completely or partially flow-coated with polyurethane. This combination of reaction process machinery and an injection molding process allows thermoplastic components with premium-quality surfaces to be manufactured in one working step.
ColorForm subsitutes convetional painting
While SkinForm was specially developed for haptic Soft-Touch surfaces, the ColorForm process introduced in 2010 is suitable for scratch-resistant, high-gloss surfaces. Flow-coating of the thermoplastic substrate with a polyurethane varnish takes place directly in the injection mold. This way, the ColorForm process replaces conventional painting processes including the pre-paint and post-paint steps of conventional painting. This cuts investment costs and boosts logistics efficiency. The scrap rate is lower and parts output is higher.
Components manufactured in the ColorForm process are ideal for applications in vehicle manufacturing because they combine a high degree of freedom in design with excellent surface quality and high scratch resistance. Possible applications include pillar trim panels on the exterior or decor panels or decor elements in the center console and instrument panel in the interior. Self-healing effects are also possible, which is why interest in ColorForm is extremely high in the consumer area as well.
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