Patent Number: 6,251,333

Title: Method for manufacturing a film-covered article

Abstract: A method of manufacturing a film-covered article by the following steps. A thermoplastic film is heated to become pliable. The film has a decorative surface and a backing surface. The heated film is positioned between an open mold. The open mold has a first mold surface, a sealing surface and a sealing member. The sealing surface contacts the sealing member and forms a chamber between the mold and the film. A fluid pressure is applied between the mold and the film to cause the film to conform to the first mold surface. A molten resin is injected adjacent to the film-backing surface to form the film-covered article. The invention may be practiced by either applying a positive pressure to push the film to conform to the first mold surface or a negative pressure to drawing the film against a vacuum between the film and the first mold surface.

Inventors: Zheng; Tianmin (Ann Arbor, MI), Knisely; David Charles (Commerce Township, MI)

Assignee: Ford Motor Company

International Classification: B29C 45/14 (20060101); B29C 045/14 ()

Expiration Date: 06/26/2018