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Bayer Introduces New Technologies for Colorful Design of Thermoplastic Parts

Published on 2003-09-08. Author : SpecialChem

Fantasia - good times, colorful times. Greater design scope with small production runs thanks to economical process

Leverkusen - Fantasia is the name of a range of new technologies that will open up all kinds of fresh opportunities for designers to put more color into what is often a rather gray and dull world of plastics. It is being marketed by Bayer Polymers, a division of Bayer AG. Behind this inspiring product name are five coloring processes and well over a hundred special visual and tactile effects. The individual technologies are coordinated with each other in such a way that a color effect initially designed for a small production run can later be transferred to a larger one and run with a different process. "This means that the designer can develop his creative ideas freely, regardless of the size of the production run and the economic constraints that this inevitably brings," says Fulvio Caon, European Manager of Fantasia at Bayer Polymers, talking about the idea behind the new line of technologies and raw materials. In order to be able to cooperate better with plastic processors and designers, Bayer Polymers is currently building a Color Competence Center in Filago in Italy, which is equipped among other things with a pilot plant for compounding applications.

The technologies include Aura, a dip-dye process refined by Bayer and subsequently patented. Colorless plastic parts can be colored by briefly dipping them in a warm solution of dye, regardless of whether the parts are transparent, translucent or opaque. Unlike a surface coating, the dye penetrates into the plastic so that the part keeps its color even if it gets scratched. The dye solution can be changed quickly and inexpensively during production, making the process ideal for producing small runs with very individual coloring. Interesting variations in color intensity can be achieved by removing the part slowly out of the solution.

The name Imagio stands for a coating technology which can yield not only conventional painted finishes but also unusual look-and-feel effects like soft-touch.

Faria is an ideal coloring process for emerging markets where there is often a lack of specialized operators. It is based on the technology of film insert molding, which enables the decorative surface to be changed from one component to the next, quickly and at low cost. The visible surface of the part is a plastic film printed from the back, which is formed and then reinforced with a plastic backing. Faria allows Designers to not only add a soft touch feel to their products, but also allows them to generate a fabric feel, with effects such as denim and red velvet, as well as a stunning chrome effect.

The Fantasia concept can also be used for the coloring of transparent chairs - a promising perspective for designers.

Milena is a palette of specialty dyes that are added to the plastic just before extrusion or injection molding. Their main field of application to date is optical data storage media.

Finally, the Leda label covers compounded plastic granules with a variety of color and special effects (metallic, metal flakes, fluorescence, edge glow etc.). It has been developed particularly with traditional large-scale production in mind.

Further information on Fantasia can be found on the Internet at www.bayerfantasia.com.

Source: Bayer Polymers


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