After nearly 30 years of R&D, we have finally gone beyond micro scale in the injection moulding process. Whilst nano moulding may be too small to see, believe us when we say it’s very real. Nano details that are so small they can’t even be seen under a microscope are being injection moulded. And their applications would appear to be endless.
From nano scale gears for use in medical components, to moulded nano features including logos invisible to the naked eye on products/parts to prevent counterfeiting? Similar processes have previously been used for the direct production of electroplated watch parts.
The moulded features can be read by electron microscopes or by defraction using a laser pointer. The original technology was developed in the 1980s by what is now the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany (www.kit.edu) to make nozzles for uranium enrichment for atomic energy. Initially vertical walls were hard to demold, so it would only work for shallow nano surfaces.
Recently an insert was moulded, mounted on an ejector pin, putting an invisible logo on parts for authentication.
Although we are yet to see the extent of the applications, commercial nano-moulding is finally here – click here to watch commercial nano-moulding in action!