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Most-Read Stories of 2016

Plastics Decorating

While work on Plastics Decorating's first issue of 2017 is well underway, we paused to see the topics with which our readers spent the most time in 2016. We found that readers often check through our archives, referring to information published in the last four years. The following stories, published in 2016, were the top reads for nearly 22,000 visitors to the website.

  1. Treating the Surface: Options for All Surface Types
    Low surface energy can result in poor adhesion quality, which can lead to further issues with printability, metallization, adhesive assembly and more. Fortunately, manufacturers have several options when it comes to activating surface energy for processing, such as corona, flame, plasma and reactive gas technologies. The trick is to determine which surface treatment option is most appropriate for a manufacturer’s needs.
  2. A New Look at an Old Technology: Water Transfer Printing
    Even though the technology for water transfer printing has been around for more than 40 years, the process began attracting mass appeal in the last 10 to 15 years. The technology sometimes is referred to by other names, including hydrographics, hydro dipping or hydrographic printing. Whatever the name, the process is the same – a high-definition, 4-color graphic pattern can be transferred to complex 3D shapes using a water-soluble film.
  3. Automotive Trend toward Customization Adds Complexity
    December ended on a high note for US automakers as the year closed with a new domestic sales record for 2015. A Reuters Market update by Bernie Woodall, dated Jan. 5, 2016, reported, “For full year 2015, US sales hit a record of 17.47 million vehicles, breaking the mark of 17.41 million vehicles in 2000, according to Autodata Corp. Low gasoline prices, easy credit and moderate economic growth boosted the industry. WardsAuto, which provides data used by the US government for economic analysis, said 2015 sales set a record at 17.39 million vehicles sold, breaking the 2000 mark of 17.35 million.” With indicators pointing to a continuation of these sales levels, OEMs are focused on retaining – or gaining – market share by satisfying consumer demand for vehicles that are much more than a mode of transportation.
  4. When Vibration Welding is the Best Choice
    Vibration welding has been a process of choice for quite some time in applications that have complex geometries, especially for materials that are difficult to weld, such as glass-filled nylon, polypropylene and polyethylene. Typical applications include, but are not limited to, automotive air conditioning ducts, power steering and brake reservoirs, air intake manifolds, appliance pump housings, rinse dispenser housings, chain saw housings, leaf blower housings and toys.
  5. Five Factors Influencing a Successful Ultrasonic Weld
    The basic principle of ultrasonic assembly involves conversion of high-frequency electrical energy to high-frequency mechanical energy in the form of reciprocating vertical motion, which, when applied to a thermoplastic, can generate frictional heat at the plastic/plastic or plastic/metal interface.