Efficient production of perfectly grained surfaces

A high-quality look and feel, along with innovative technology, play a big role in in today's automotive interior design. It can be challenging to use traditional thermoforming processes when trying to minimize grain stretch, maintain grain harmony between parts, and incorporate airbag logos, decorative stitching and different grain areas on a single part. During in-mold graining (IMG), the grain is first created on the foil during the deep drawing or vacuum laminating process.

The ungrained and warmed foil is suctioned directly during the forming/laminating process into a contoured, grained shell. The grained surface of the shell is then imprinted on the warmed foil (TPO foam/compact sheet). The IMG process combines the economic aspects of classic thermoforming technologies with the quality advantages of modern skin forming processes. It makes it possible to produce surfaces without visible grain stretch and manufacture parts with impressive grain quality.


Perfect grain without compromise

The IMG process transfers the grain structure onto the foil during the thermoforming process. The mold's upper shell, which carries the grain being embossed onto the molded part, has an air-permeable design for thermoforming. Grain-embossed skins produced in this way can be finished by directly laminating the substrate within the same operation or through back foaming, back injection molding, or back pressing.


  • No visible grain stretch
  • Various grain areas, technical surfaces, and patterns such as logos can be incorporated
  • Decorative embossing (ex. airbag logo, decorative stitching) can be produced during forming process without additional tooling components
  • Shorter cycle times and fewer tools compared to pour and spray skins
  • Processing of TPO foam/compact sheet
  • Small undercuts possible
  • Multiple applications and modifications possible for existing machines
  • IMG shells made of various materials can be used:
    • Nickel
    • Steel
    • Epoxy (prototypes)
    • Aluminum (prototypes)
    • Ceramic (prototypes)

In-Mold Graining (IMG) DOWNLOADS

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FRIMO: In-Mold Graining (IMG)

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