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Samsonite opts for metal lining on plastic luggage components

Samsonite is the world leader when it comes to trendsetting travel solutions. The brand is known for its exemplary R&D and their pursuit of innovation. The manufacturing site is in Oudenaarde, Belgium, where Samsonite employees apply advanced technology to create travel products for the future.

 

Marketing and design departments increasingly demand metallised luggage components, especially for high-end luggage products. Samsonite therefore decided to research various options to create metallised plastic components that are attractive to the eye, QA approved and cost efficient. Samsonite wanted to explore the options of PVD (physical vapour deposition) in combination with a protective coating to create metallised parts in specific colours.

 

Sirris offers industrial companies a unique infrastructure that demonstrates the combination of PVD coating and wet-chemical deposition of an organic protective coating. This ensures shorter turnaround times and fast response times which, in turn, equalises the process parameters of both technologies and matches these to the required colour. All combined with good adhesion properties and scratch and moisture resistance of the finished parts.

Tailor-made PVD coating

Sirris performed various tests to assess the various pretreatment steps (cleaning using solvents and plasma) combined with specific primer coatings before applying the PVD coating. The test results formed the basis for the pretreatment recommendations and clarifications for further testing with metallisation via PVD. Tests were performed using various types of transparent top coats to determine the protective final layer.

 

The research resulted in a combination of pretreatment, a tailor-made PVD procedure followed by a matt top coat that can be hardened under ultraviolet light. Samsonite received all parameters.

 

The combination of the PVD process and coating ensured Sirris could create metallised plastic components in the required colour with the required properties. Sirris performed a production test run and is supporting Samsonite during the implementation of the production at a job coater.