While work on the first issue of 2021 is well underway, we paused to see which Plastics Decorating articles from 2020 caught the eyes of our readers. The following stories were the top reads from 2020 for visitors to the website.
UV LED-curable flexible inks for color printing of flexible/stretchable and wearable plastics products is one of the newest advancements in industrial inkjet technology. Customizable vivid images and two-dimensional codes are jetted onto a variety of flexible polymer products such as polyolefin bottles, athletic exercise stretch bands and elastomeric/rubber wearables without cracking or distorting the printed image with high percentage stretch elongation.
For the printing of shaped products, there are several ways to get it done from conventional printing technologies like screen or pad printing, to more modern ways, such as direct inkjet printing. But there is one technology that is not as common but should be known for its benefits – digital heat transfer decoration.
Plastics welding has come a long way since people were doing hot plate welding on an electric griddle they bought “down at the Sears and Roebuck.” Equipment has improved while materials have changed and become both more consistent and sometimes more challenging to weld. Primary processes have become more consistent. Most of all, understanding of what is actually happening in a weld has become clearer.
Metallic appearances have long been key to designs in the automotive field. They are an important part of the design portfolio and have been used for some time to create a high-end look. Just look at the vehicles with metallic grilles, door handles, accents, emblems and hubcaps. On the inside will be metallic door handles, knobs, badging, accents around the displays and controls, roof modules and many other applications.
Until recently, laser plastic welding had a serious disadvantage: the inability to bond clear parts. While laser plastic welding has been aggressively adopted in a wide range of commercial applications for decades, adoption of this technology is driven by the obvious benefits over other joining methods like particulate-free joints, precision and incredible strength.