Manufacturing of hierarchically structured surfaces for decorative applications

This paper describes the development of a process flow for the manufacturing of polymer parts by injection molding with three levels of surface structuring. A stainless-steel mold insert was first manufactured and treated with three different structuring methods. One of the key points was the ability to fabricate, in a conformal way, sub-microstructures on the flat and micro-structured areas on the insert. These hierarchical structures were then replicated by injection molding. The replication process was optimized using a design of experiments. The produced replica showed different optically varying effects due to the microstructures. The sub-microstructures lead to an opalescent effect on the surface.

Source: euspen’s 21st International Conference & Exhibition