Streamlining with Overmolding
In this article we will cover:
What is Overmolding?
Overmolding is the process of adding an additional layer of material over an already existing piece or part. For example your product has a screw, which would be much easier for the consumer to turn if it had an added T-handle. You could try to attach a T-handle with additional screws or snap one in place, but optimally it would be nice to have the T-handle incorporated into the design of the screw. Overmolding can do this. The screw is placed into a mold and material is attached directly, either chemically or mechanically, with no additional parts or pieces, to form the T-handle.
For chemical attachment the initial part is coated with adhesives before adding the overmolding material. For mechanical attachment, the primary piece is either scored or altered slightly with projections or recessions to better attach to the overmolding material. Ultimately, you will be left with a single part that fulfills a custom function. This process is ideal to simplify your end product design and decrease the chance of moving parts breaking.
Versatility of Overmolding
The options that overmolding creates are endless. Overmolding can be added to change the surface of a piece or product part by adding texture, color, and incorporating necessary functionality components for the specific consumer. If you can dream it, we can make it.
Overmolding physically alters the surface of a part or piece so it can be made smooth or rough depending on the material used for the overmold. It can also be spongy for handling comfort or very strong for enhancing product durability, also varying with the material used for the overmold. The options are limited only to the imagination of the inventor. Material for overmolding is available in many variations of strength, pliability, and durability.
Overmolding Improves Aesthetic Design and Functionality
As well as the tactile variations overmolding provides, the options are endless for colors that can be added with overmolding. No longer is the inventor limited by a single color of metal. Overmolding allows the unlimited choice of colors available with plastics.
Overmolding also allows detail to be added to products for specific consumer use. A screwdriver may have a rubberized plastic handle added to the metal core for ergonomics and consumer comfort. The handle can be a variable thickness and have added cushion or texture for better grip. The color of the handle can be made a bright color for ease of finding by the consumer or to reflect a particular brand identity.
The handle of a flashlight may be red or yellow to aid quick retrieval in an emergency situation. Medical instruments may have overmolding to improve ease-of-use for the physician or technician. Handles on instruments may need to be thicker than the internal metal structure for proper handling, or have a specific shape on the outer handling surface for ease-of-use or for connection into another instrument.
Overmolding could also be added to smooth out corners or sharp edges of metal instruments to avoid possible accidents during use. Consumers may require that their tools have smooth or rough surfaces added to metal structures for use in outdoor environments and protection from the elements, or from the chemicals or processes in which they are exposed during regular use. All of these issues can be addressed and incorporated with Overmolding.
Streamlining with Overmolding
Overmolding can also streamline your product by reducing the necessity for rings and sealing fixtures. By overmolding, the sealing ring can be directly incorporated and adhered to the part, reducing the number of overall pieces required in the final product. The rubberized plastic seal can be directly affixed to the part, ensuring a clean and leak free junction.
Overmolding can help in reducing vibrations and seating problems in usage and installation. Overmolded seals can protect products that are intended for outdoor use, much more efficiently than multiple layers of rings or additional screws and nuts.
At Design-Tek Tools and Plastics Inc., our professional engineers and designers can assist you with all of your plastic needs. Our years of development, experience and expertise can help you streamline your product and make it better for both you and the consumer. Design-Tek can manufacture just about any part, piece or container you need. We have the ability to use the materials and colors you want to make your parts look and function perfectly.
We do not limit you in material choices. We want to help you produce a quality product, in high volume, at a reasonable price.