A great book. I would recommend it as a window into the field.”

Paul Uglum, Delphi Electronics and Safety. Chair, Society of Plastics Engineers, Decorating and Assembly Division.

Innovation Trends in Plastics Decoration and Surface Treatment

Edward B. Crutchley

The plastics industry is a major player for consumer items, notably for the automotive, consumer electronics and packaging industries, and is necessarily very active in innovation. As a result, moulded thermoplastics are achieving new heights in decorative appearance and quality. Many striking aesthetic effects are possible by employing new polymer blends coupled with a diverse range of decoration and surface treatment technologies. These can produce 3D and tactile finishes, high definition images, flawless high gloss and metallic surfaces, as well as effects ranging from imitation materials, interferential colours, colour gradients, colour change and travel, gloss and matte combinations, and even acoustic or olfactory effects. Manufacturing processes to achieve these include several types of in-mould film, coating or decorating technique, relatively recent technologies to improve surface quality, as well as traditional separate decorating or coating processes such as dry offset, flexographic, inkjet, pad, and screen printing, foil transfer, labelling, laser marking, plating, spray coating, and vacuum deposition.


This unique book analyses and compares recent trends in each of over 20 types of mainstream manufacturing process and 10 classes of sensory effect they can produce. Supported by over 100 tables, a 3-year sampling of over 1,000 mentioned patent documents and hundreds of commercial developments helps to identify the main trends and their innovators, key innovative clusters and the most sought-after effects, as well as provide indications for the future.

Published August 2014. Available from Smithers Rapra Publishing, Amazon, and many other booksellers worldwide

A Table of Contents can be downloaded from the Smithers Rapra website