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9 Common Plastic Toy Surface Treatment Process

Pad Printing

The Pad printing process is very simple and done by using steel (or copper) intaglio. A curved pad printing head is made of silicone rubber material. The ink on the intaglio plate is dipped into the surface of the pad printing head and then pressed to the surface of the object to print text, patterns, etc.

It can print text, graphics, and images on the surface of irregular-shaped objects, and is now becoming an important special printing. For example, the text and patterns on the surface of cell phones, computer keyboards, instruments, meters, other electronic products, and concave and convex surfaces of the toys use this printing method.

Advantages:

  • The process is simple
  • Printing on small areas, concave and convex surface products have very obvious advantages

Disadvantages

  • Pad printing ink is easily affected by factors such as temperature, humidity, and static electricity, which can lead to defects such as uneven ink adhesion and lack of durability of the printed image.

Paint Spraying

Spray paint generally refers to spraying. It can be done through the spray gun, with the help of pressure or centrifugal force, dispersed into uniform and fine droplets, and applied to the surface of the coated object coating method. Common toy surface decoration colors are applied using spray paint.

Using spraying technology, coatings with physical and chemical properties of wear resistance, corrosion resistance, heat insulation, electrical conductivity, insulation, sealing, lubrication, and other special machinery can be obtained on various substrates. It has a wide application range, involving toys, hardware, plastics, household furniture, military, ships, and other fields.

The plastic toys spray painting process is the main spray oil processing for model toys, electronic cartoon toys, assembled toys, and other plastic toys. The surface of the toys can be sprayed to make the appearance of color diversity. Paint protection and experience can further enhance the use of the toy experience and tactile sensory.

Advantages

  • Spraying production efficiency
  • Suitable for manual work and industrial automation products.

Disadvantages

  • Highly dispersed paint mist and volatile solvents
  • Not only pollutes the environment but is also harmful to human health,

Heat Transfer Printing

Heat transfer printing is an emerging printing process, which is further divided into two major parts: transfer film printing and transfer processing.

Transfer film printing adopts dot printing (resolution up to 300 dpi). The pattern is pre-printed on the film surface and is richly layered, colorful, varied, with small color differences, and has good reproducibility. It can also achieve the effect required by the designer of the pattern and is suitable for mass production.

Transfer processing is done through the heat transfer machine. Once processing (heating and pressure) will be transferred to the film on the surface of the exquisite pattern in the product, it forms the ink layer and the product surface into one and greatly improves the product grade.

The heat transfer process is applied to the surface of various ABS, PP, plastic, wood, coated metal, and other products. It is widely used in plastic, cosmetics, toys, electrical appliances, building materials, gifts, food packaging, stationery, and other industries.

Advantages

  • The printed patterns are richly layered and brightly colored
  • Suitable for mass production.

Disadvantages

  • The high technical content of the process,
  • Several materials need to be imported.

Electroplating

Electroplating is the process of using electrolysis to coat the surface of certain metals with a thin layer of other metals or alloys. It uses electrolysis to attach a metal film to the surface of metals or other materials to prevent metal oxidation (such as rust), improve wear resistance, electrical conductivity, reflectivity, corrosion resistance, and enhance aesthetics. The outer layer of many coins is also plated.

The purpose of electroplating is to change the surface properties or dimensions of the substrate by applying a metal coating to it. Electroplating enhances the corrosion resistance of metals (plated metals are mostly corrosion-resistant), increases hardness, prevents abrasion, and improves electrical conductivity, smoothness, heat resistance, and surface aesthetics.

The ABS plastic parts of toys can be plated, and it is good to realize the metallic texture and reduce the weight of the products. In principle, all plastics can be plated, but ABS plastics are usually used for an overall consideration of plastic performance and plating adhesion.

Advantages

  • Weight reduction
  • Overall cost savings
  • Less processing
  • Emulation of metal parts.

Disadvantages

  • Metal inserts cannot be changed during the molding process; there is a risk of fire when plated plastics are used for certain types of household appliances.

Water Transfer Printing

Water transfer printing is the latest digital imaging technology beyond any printing way. It uses nano-materials made of special paper and environmentally friendly ink, to achieve the printing of images on any solid media.

It is suitable for printing on the surface of hardware, plastic, leather, glass, ceramics, wood, and other products (cloth and paper are not applicable), and is not limited by the shape of the product, especially complex or extra-large areas, extra-long, extra-wide products can also be decorated.

The biggest technical advantage is that it requires no special equipment, has no media restrictions, no special supplies, and no high-temperature heating. As long as you have image input tools (scanner or digital camera), drawing tools (computer), image output tools (inkjet printer), plus water transfer ink, and water transfer paper, you can print any image on any solid object or any surface as you like. The image boasts vibrant colors and absolute photo quality. It is suitable for all fields.

Advantages

  • Low cost
  • Quick to start
  • Easy to operate.

Disadvantages

  • Transfer graphics are easily distorted.

In-Mold Label

In-mold labels are mainly used on PP, PE, PET, and other materials for blow molding and injection molding products. Before blow molding, injection molding has been printed in-mold label into the blowing and injection mold cavity.

After the role of high temperature, high pressure in the mold is added to carry out the special adhesive label melting, with the bottle or injection molding parts surface fusion into one.

Advantages

  • Novel and beautiful appearance
  • Anti-counterfeiting function
  • Safe and environmental protection
  • Not easy to fall off and damage
  • Sidewall is reinforced
  • High efficiency and high benefit.

Disadvantages:

  • Production requires a professional injection molding machine
  • A professional printing machine is needed for labeling the film.

Uv Printing 

The UV printing process mainly refers to the use of special UV ink on the UV printing machine to achieve a local or overall UV printing effect. It is mainly suitable for non-absorbent material printing. UV ink is green ink, with instant fast curing, does not contain volatile organic solvent VOC, less pollution, high efficiency, low energy consumption, etc.

UV printing uses UV ink printing and ultraviolet light drying. It is suitable for packaging printing of laser cardboard, aluminized paper, and non-absorbent materials such as plastic PE ding and PVC.

Compared with traditional offset printing, UV printing has the characteristics of brilliant colors, special printing materials, novel products, broad market prospects, etc.

It is suitable for high-end business cards, high-quality packaging, high-end commercial albums, special calendars, special label printing, and other products in the field of technology.

UV printer can print all kinds of metal, aluminum veneer, ceramics, crystal, ABS, organic glass, acrylic, PVC, plastic, wood products, leather, stone, toys, USB flash disk, decorative materials, art glass walls, art ceiling, rechargeable treasure, cell phone case, wine box wine bottle, logo signs, indoor and outdoor advertising, backdrop, product logo, gift printing logo and other materials objects, soft objects, hard objects.

Advantages

  • The use of imported UV ink, that is, spray dry, good print fastness.

Disadvantages

  • UV flatbed printer clogging nozzle
  • Swing speed slowed down, resulting in low-speed printing; can not identify the ink cartridge

Plastic Spraying

Plastic spraying is a surface treatment method of spraying plastic powder on the parts. The advantages of this technology compared with ordinary spray painting surface treatment are reflected in the advanced process, energy-saving and high efficiency, safety and reliability, and brilliant color and luster. Therefore, it is often used in the field of light industry and household decoration.

Its working principle lies in charging plastic powder through high-voltage electrostatic equipment and spraying the coating onto the surface of the workpiece under the action of the electric field.

The powder will be uniformly adsorbed on the surface of the workpiece, forming a powder coating; and the powder coating will be leveled and cured after high-temperature baking. The plastic particles will melt into a dense layer with different effects of the final protective coating; firmly attached to the surface of the workpiece.

Advantages

  • Construction of non-polluting to the environment, and non-toxic to humans
  • Spraying construction time is short
  • Coating corrosion and wear resistance is high
  • Construction is simple
  • Cost is lower than the spray painting process

Disadvantages

  • Spraying products are not allowed to leak
  • Rusting is not allowed
  • Bruising and deformation are not allowed

Oxidation

Anodic oxidation is the electrochemical oxidation of a metal or alloy. The process of forming a layer of oxide film on aluminum products (anodes) under the action of an applied current under the corresponding electrolyte and specific process conditions for aluminum and its alloys.

To overcome the defects in the surface hardness and wear resistance of aluminum alloys, expand the range of applications and prolong the service life. Surface treatment technology has become an indispensable part of the use of aluminum alloys, and anodic oxidation technology is the most widely used and successful.

The metal parts of plastic toys are made of aluminum alloy with an anodic oxidation process, which is cut and polished smooth, to achieve maximum personal protection for children, the main target group. The metal parts are wear-resistant, stain-resistant, and beautiful.

Advantages

  • The anodized film is hard and wear-resistant.

Disadvantages

  • Anodizing takes a long time, often several minutes.

Conclusion

The process of plastic toy surface treatment can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not familiar with it. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the most common treatments and the steps involved in each one. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of what goes into making your toys look their best and last longer.

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