How Overmolding Adds Value and Versatility to Plastic Components

Posted by Ben Harrison on Dec 20, 2017 9:22:00 AM
Ben Harrison
Overmolded critical-use plastic component

The more companies learn about overmolding, the more they want to use this special plastic injection molding technology to add value to their product lines. Not only does overmolding improve functionality and performance, it lowers total production costs—that’s pretty rare these days.

What is Overmolding?

Using a one-shot or two-shot process, a thin layer of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is overshot onto a hard plastic substrate, forming the soft-touch grip exterior layer found on a variety of products like toothbrushes, tool handles and portable critical-use devices. But overmolding adds value in other ways: it can reduce shock and vibration, dampen sound, provide electrical insulation, boost chemical/UV resistance, be an effective barrier against oxygen and moisture, and provide a wide range of colorful, stylish exteriors that increase visual appeal. 

More consumers are demanding these qualities in the personal care products, tools, electronics, sports equipment, medical devices, etc., they purchase. Overmolding gives engineers the design freedom to meet consumer demand, and eliminates downstream finishing operations, which saves time and money, and gets products into the marketplace faster—all key competitive differentiators. As a result, overmolding applications continue to expand across a wider range of products. 

Not Every Injection Molder is an Overmolder

Not every injection molder can overmold. It requires specialized equipment, extensive training, and precise control of multiple variables throughout the production run. Even the slightest variations can affect quality, so experienced engineers, technicians, and operators are essential.

Overmolding engineers must have expertise in material chemistry and know how different types of TPE and substrates interact under varying pressure and temperature conditions—deep knowledge that continuously expands as suppliers develop new blends with expanded characteristics such as chemical resistance, UV resistance, hardness, scratch resistance, clarity, heat resistance and UL standards. Kaysun Corporation, for example, has a vast material science database accumulated over hundreds of projects, and our engineers stay on top of the latest developments in new materials to remain responsive to any project development request.

To better understand the benefits, options and versatility overmolding provides, read our Overmolding Fundamentals whitepaper. Click the button below to get your copy now!

The Overmolding Process

Topics: Overmolding