With IM3D technology, manufacturers can create surfaces that appear to have depth and structure, although they are perfectly flat. Several processing steps were previously necessary to generate this effect in a polymer surface. Now, the 3D impression is created in just a single step during the injection molding process. The striking effect turns packaging components, such as covers and wrappers, as well as polymer housings into distinctive eye-catchers.
"With the IM3D technology from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, brand owners and manufacturers have an outstanding enhancement option that can set their premium products apart from the competition," says Christoph Palm, vice president and general manager, Color & Additives EMEA & India at PolyOne. "We're already seeing interest globally from market leaders in packaging and consumer electronics."
"IM3D is just the beginning of our strategic collaboration with PolyOne. Our objective in the coming years is to jointly launch additional innovative plastics technologies with pearlescent pigments," added Michael Heckmeier, head of the Pigments & Functional Materials business unit at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
IM3D decoration technology can be incorporated into standard injection molding machine production lines. The technology is made possible by combining Merck KGaA's expertise in development of pigments with the color concentrate formulation expertise of PolyOne.
Sample parts made with IM3D technology are on display this week at the PolyOne stand (8A/J15) at the K show in Düsseldorf, Germany.