Example of an interior part made using the Clearmelt process
Over 200 members of the UK’s automotive supply chain attended Engel’s headquarters in Warwick last week for two days of presentations and live demonstrations.
The event, which was organised in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), focused on the latest high-end developments for automotive interiors for both cost-down and higher quality surface finish.
”The automotive market is really, really busy - so that means bigger tonnage machines on average but also because we're going high-tech. People are ready to invest in a more sophisticated process and this event has been designed to showcase the latest new technologies coming forward,” explained Graeme Herlihy, Managing Director of Engel UK.
During the event Engel showcased its ‘Clearmelt’ process for durable, scratch-resistant and high-gloss surfaces. By combining thermoplastic and polyurethane in a 2K over moulding process, a deep gloss finish with high scratch resistance directly from the mould is achieved.
Additionally, there was a live demonstration of the ‘Variotherm’ process, which utilises rapid heating and cooling to elimiate moulding defects and achieve a high quality, piano black surface.
“Plastics are already very important, but going forward they are going to be key,” explained Ian Ray, Lead Materials Engineer at JLR.
“Perceived quality is extremely important - so both durability of the plastics and maintaining that perceived quality - in particular scratch resistance and surface properties - are vital.”