The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland recently demonstrated for the first time the manufacturing processes for creating flexible electronics using roll-to-roll overmolding, which allows for printing of electronics on plastic or elastomeric foil, according to a report from the center.
VTT created a wristband with an LED inside through roll-to-roll overmolding.
(VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
The report explained, “In hybrid-integrated systems, separate components are mounted on a printed electronic foil, after which the foil can be overmolded with thermoplastic or thermoplastic elastomer, using the injection moulding process.”
To demonstrate this process, VTT assembled a wristband with an LED inside. The LED foil was fed into a mold, along with conductors and other electronic components before the thermoplastics were molded on top of it.
“This technique is normally used to decorate plastic for various consumer products,” according to the report. “However, the manufacture of flexible electronics – in place of graphics – involves feeding electronics with a range of electrical and optical features into a mould.”
The first run of 186 LED had 100 percent success and the VTT Technical Research Centre presented its technology at the LOPEC fair for printed electronics in Munich at the end of March with the goal of finding a product company that would be interested.