Overmolding isn’t just for soft touches anymore. Over the past 10 years, the injection molding process, known as overmolding, has been growing in popularity. Manufacturers love its ability to bind two seemingly incompatible materials (a rigid plastic with a rubber-like elastomer, for example) to create a soft, textured surface on a finished product.
The process is known as “soft touch” because it allows otherwise rigid products to be covered in a soft, easy-to-hold plastic surface. It’s used on toothbrushes, electronic devices, steering wheels and an array of other products that improve people’s quality of life.
It’s being used to save lives
The medical device industry uses overmolding with cast urethane to design and produce devices that are safer, more resistant to electric shock, more efficient, more flexible and more functional. The process is being used to produce defibrillators, surgical instruments and cases used by first responders to protect and carry their life-saving tools.
It’s also incredibly precise
The process of manufacturing medical devices with overmolding begins with a cast urethane mold that’s been designed with precision by an expert who works with engineers to meticulously examine every angle, indent, crevasse and crease. No millimeter of the mold goes uninspected.
Once it’s confirmed that the mold meets the highest quality standards, the overmolding process begins. Many medical products use the multishot process, which involves shooting two resins at the cast urethane mold from a single injection point. The multishot process results in a product covered by a singular skin that’s durable and aesthetically pleasing.
Another form of overmolding commonly used to manufacture medical products is insert molding. This process involves inserting the mold into a “soft-touch” material. It’s commonly used on tool handles and brackets.
On the surface, overmolding might seem like a slick way to make a product look and feel better. Others may even view it as a way to improve the quality of day-to-day life. In reality, overmolding is a better and more efficient way to make life-saving and enhancing tools for the medical industry.
As always, precision and expertise matter. Working with experts skilled in cast urethane overmolding can deliver precision, functionality and, yes, soft-touch. Contact PDS today for a fast quote on your next project.