3D bonding - 3D bonding

The 3D Bonding technology is a manufacturing method in which parts are joined leather or other flexible material in its dimensionally ends, thus replacing the traditional work of sewing and / or bonding by the injection of a polymer .

Origin

3D Bonding technology emerged in Elche ( Alicante ) in 2009 with the aim of reducing the labor needs of products with traditional presence of seams such as footwear . [ 1 ] It is an injection technique that arises in response to the relocation of production [ 2 ] and that tries to achieve a reduction in labor costs with respect to traditional processes at the cost of an investment superior in specialized machinery.

Description

Footwear manufactured using 3D Bonding technology

3D Bonding technology consists in the placement of pieces of some flexible material inside a specially designed injection mold system containing a series of channels adjacent to said pieces. Subsequently, a polymer (generally polyurethane ) is injected in a liquid state that flows through the channels of the mold, forming a three-dimensional skeleton that, once solidifies , joins the parts that make up the product and provides stability. After injection, it is necessary to wait a time (approximately 5 minutes) for the polymer to cure before opening the mold and extracting the product (which will require a finishing process to eliminate the excess material from the injection).

The elements necessary for its application are the following:

  1. The mold : the procedure requires a mold and counter-mold between which a space is delimited with the shape of the article to be obtained. In it, a first wall of one or more pieces of fabric, leather or the like is arranged, attached to the internal surface of the mold , which will constitute the external layer of the article. In addition, it will have the channels through which the injected polymer will flow .
  2. Injection machinery: for the application of 3D Bonding technology, it is necessary to use one or more machines to uniformly inject the polymer that will be in charge of joining the different pieces placed inside the mold, forming the product.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of 3D Bonding technology is the reduction of labor costs that it allows by replacing a series of processes such as the preforming of parts and sewing with a polymeric injection . Furthermore, by using this technology, a stable, waterproof product with superior durability can be obtained due to its three-dimensional structure.

However, cost savings are directly related to the volume of the production batch, since 3D Bonding technology involves a considerable investment in specialized machinery, as well as molds . This makes the technology interesting in larger production items that allow the amortization of the necessary initial investment to be carried out.

References