Film for injection moulding processes

our films for the process of FIM, IMD and IMF

Film for injection moulding processes

Back injection moulding, also known as the film insert moulding process, is one of the most important technologies for the production of modern plastic components. We offer special plastic films for this process. Materials suitable for the injection moulding process include polycarbonate, PMMA as well as polyester films.

The process of Film Insert Moulding

The so-called injection moulding process produces high-quality, moulded plastic parts that are used for a wide variety of applications. It is important to choose a high-performance film that best meets the subsequent requirements for the finished part based on the material properties. For back injection moulding, the film is first printed on the reverse side and cut to fit the shape. Then the printed plastic film is injection moulded. This is also called as In-Mold Decoration (IMD) process, Film Insert Molding (FIM) technique or In-Mold Film (IMF) technique.

But how does the Film Insert Moulding process work? Here is a simplified explanation of this process: In the IMD process, the film is fed through the injection mould from top to bottom. While a thermoplastic resin is injected as an additional component, the special film is pressed against the inner wall of the cavity by pressure. The high temperature of the melt causes the film's lacquer layer to permanently bond with the injected plastic during injection moulding. After the plastic mass has cooled down, the finished decorated injection moulded part can be removed from the cavity of the injection moulding machine. The film undergoes a change in shape, material thickness and strength by the injection moulding tool during the process. 

The process of Inmold Decoration offers numerous advantages. The plastic parts produced as described above can be produced relatively quickly, flexibly and cost-effectively using the injection moulding process. This process saves additional steps such as coating or painting, which would otherwise be necessary for the subsequent decoration and functionalisation of components. This gives manufacturers a lot of flexibility in design and production, as well as considerable savings in manufacturing costs, time and equipment investment.

A variety of optical effects can be achieved with the decorated film used for back spraying. For example, a deceptively real wood or carbon look can be created by printing onto the film. The process also allows for integrated symbols or transmitted light effects as well as individually designable surfaces and surface qualities. Other properties such as high UV resistance, scratch and abrasion resistance can be realised by selecting suitable film solutions and materials.

Advantages of injection moulding processes

The various processes such as in-mould decoration (IMD), film insert moulding (FIM) or in-mould film (IMF) offer a wide range of advantages. Among the greatest advantages are the excellent surfaces and the high flexibility of injection moulding. Other advantages of injection moulding include

  • Enormous freedom of effect, decoration and design.
  • High surface quality.
  • Fast decor change.
  • Optimum function integration & functionalisation.
  • Production of ready-to-install assemblies and moulded parts.
  • Often no adhesive or bonding agent required for the connection between decor and thermoplastic.
  • And many other aspects.

Thanks to the high surface quality, the finished products fulfil the highest requirements and thus offer an optimal solution for various areas. We offer you special films suitable for injection moulding made of various materials as rolls or directly cut to size. If you have any questions about our range of films, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Which films can be back-moulded?

Various materials are suitable for back injection moulding. We recommend films made from the following materials from our range:

Back-moulding polycarbonate films

Polycarbonate films are very impact-resistant and mechanically resilient and are also ideal for screen printing. These films also impress with their high temperature stability. They can be used at a continuous operating temperature of 105 degrees Celsius. They can even withstand short-term temperatures of up to 160 degrees Celsius, which makes them ideal for use in the automotive sector. For this reason, many products, moulded parts and plastic components that are manufactured using the injection moulding process are made from polycarbonate films.

Back injection moulding of PMMA films

PMMA film is characterised by its UV and weather resistance. This makes it the ideal solution for outdoor applications exposed to UV light. Plexiglas films also impress with their absolute transparency and colourlessness. The special property of PMMA as an adhesion promoter with other plastics is interesting for back-moulding. By choosing a PMMA film, particularly stable bonds can be established with thermoplastic resins during injection moulding.

Back injection moulding of polyester films

Biaxially orientated polyester film (BO-PET) has many of the properties of other films at a particularly attractive price-performance ratio. PET films are characterised by their high resistance to high temperatures. They have high tensile strength, good chemical, mechanical and thermal stability and excellent transparency. Polyester films are often used as electrical insulators and are characterised by low moisture absorption (0.3%) and high dielectric strength.

Which applications require back-moulded films?

Components made from back-moulded films can be found in a wide variety of areas and industries. When looking at the components, the surface and the decorations, it is often impossible to recognise that they are made from high-performance films.

Automotive

If you take a look inside the cockpits of today's vehicles, you will see control units, trim strips, panels and centre consoles with a deceptively real wood or carbon look. Most of these moulded parts are back-injected films that are available in a wide variety of designs and decors. The possible applications are as varied as the design variants. Popular design effects include a high-gloss, carbon, chrome, metallic, wood finish or bright colours.

Film parts produced using the FIM process can be found in various interior parts in the automotive sector. Parts produced using injection moulding machines can be used for the development and production of the following components, among others:

  • Control units.
  • Buttons.
  • Instruments.
  • Trim parts and panels.
  • Climate control elements.
  • Display covers.
  • Light switches.
  • Multimedia control units.
  • Gear selector switches and shift gate.
  • Seat adjustment.
  • Touchpads and sliders.
  • Steering wheel switches.
  • Dials.
  • Diffuser discs.
  • Head-up displays.

Back injection moulding therefore offers many advantages for various industrial sectors and is one of the most important technologies for the production of modern components.

Household appliances

Back-mouldable films are also mostly used for household appliances such as washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and dryers. The use in the area of appliances, also known as white goods, includes

  • Control units.
  • Buttons.
  • Light well foils.
  • Front panels and front panels.

Back-moulded components made of special films are also frequently used as insulators, depending on the plastic and material.

Electronics

Films produced using in-mould decoration (IMD) are also a prerequisite for the manufacture of electronic devices. This includes the smart home, consumer electronics and lifestyle sectors. The use of film solutions includes applications such as: 

  • Handheld devices.
  • Front panels.
  • Operating films.
  • Front displays with touch function.
  • Insulating parts.

Medicine

Medical devices in hospitals or doctors' surgeries usually have decorative and functional elements. All forms of hand-held medical devices are also equipped with decorative and functional features. Back-mouldable special films are the ideal solution for this. As in other sectors, these are used for the following applications:

  • Control units.
  • Buttons.
  • Displays.
  • Front panels.

Service, cutting and delivery time.

As a film wholesaler, we can offer you back-mouldable film for the FIM process or film back-moulding. We can supply the films as rectangular cuts in your desired dimensions. Rolls in various widths and lengths are also no problem for us. Ask us about the desired format and we will prepare a customised offer for you. We will also be happy to answer any other questions you may have about storage, packaging and delivery times. 

As a supplier of back-mouldable films and your contact for technical applications, we will be happy to advise you on the right plastic film for your project. This includes selecting the right material, suitable thicknesses, formats and dimensions. Please contact us if you require samples or a concrete offer with attractive prices. You can order from us by phone, e-mail or online. The König Film Centre team looks forward to your enquiry or order!