A new process reportedly can produce an automotive door panel with molded-in cloth trim while maintaining the cushioning property of the foam layer under the cloth.

A new process reportedly can produce an automotive door panel with molded-in cloth trim while maintaining the cushioning property of the foam layer under the cloth. The Partial Textile Mold process from MHI Injection Molding Machinery, Inc., Bensenville, Ill., is a three-step, low-pressure injection-compression, two-shot approach. A robot places the cloth into a section of the mold cavity. A sealed block on the core side of the tool segregates the area containing the cloth from the rest of the mold. A special clamping cylinder in the tool holds the cloth in the tool for registration. In the fi rst step, melt is injected under low pressure through one hot-runner gate into the segregated area of the mold behind the cloth. When the fi rst shot is complete, a compression step distributes the melt gently over the cloth insert. Next, cores retract outside the cloth area and a second hot-runner gate opens and the remainder of the door panel is shot in a second injection step, without applying pressure to the cloth. Mitsubishi developed the process about a year ago in Japan, where a molder is producing door panels in the fi rst commercial use of the method. One customer in the U.S. has purchased the technology. Tel: (630) 693-4880 . www.mhiinj.com

MHI Injection Molding
Machinery, Inc.
520 Thomas Drive Bensenville, IL 60106
Phone (630) 693-4880 Fax (630) 693-0915