Patent Number: 6,310,738

Title: Consolidated exterior sideview mirror assembly incorporating an in-mold film process

Abstract: A method of forming a mirror housing according to the present invention includes providing a molding apparatus having a molding cavity, placing a film applique in the mold cavity and injecting a polymer into the mold cavity over at least a portion of a side of the film applique to form a housing wall of the mirror housing wherein the film applique adheres to the substrate forming the housing wall. Preferably, the mold apparatus comprises an injection molding apparatus which injects a heated polymer into the mold cavity for forming the housing wall of the mirror housing. The film applique preferably matches the color of the vehicle or provides a color accent, wood grain finish, or a metallic finish or the like to provide a decorative appearance to the mirror assembly but without the noise associated with the conventional detachable skull cap designs. The present invention also provides a vehicular exterior sideview mirror assembly which includes a mirror housing that is adapted for mounting to a vehicle. The mirror housing is formed by molding and has a housing wall that defines a cavity and an opening for facing rearward of the vehicle when the mirror assembly is mounted to the vehicle. A reflective element is provided in the cavity for rearward viewing of the vehicle. In addition, the mirror housing has a forward facing side when the mirror assembly is mounted to the vehicle with at least a portion of the forward facing side including a decorative film applique molded therewith to provide a decorative function for the mirror assembly.

Inventors: Chu; Tun-Jen (Holland, MI)

Assignee: Donnelly Corporation

International Classification: B60R 1/06 (20060101); G02B 007/182 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018