Machine Design

New view on hue

Exclusive to Dow, Appearance Engineering lets designers represent aesthetics in a virtual environment including variables such as gloss, surface texture, tool design, and processing conditions.

Getting that "must have" new look just got a little easier thanks to Dow Plastics' Appearance Engineering. The company has devised software that integrates a digital characterization of a proposed surface texture with a CAD file of the underlying part. Polymer and color data is then incorporated to generate an accurate representation of the product's appearance.

"Translating design ideas into production can be difficult using traditional color measurement methods," says Pat Carey, business development manager for Appearance Engineering. Most of those systems don't capture all aspects of appearance, he says. "But just as the human eye perceives color, Appearance Engineering technology includes surface finish and polymer gloss giving a reliable prediction of the molded part's final appearance."

Designers can work with Dow's color and product application specialists to predict where appearance problems will crop up in a molded part during tooling and production, and correct them. Dow's color experts can also calculate how different surface textures, color formulations, gloss variations, and material choices change the appearance of the part. With the final design determined, they use the software to generate guidelines for tooling and processing so the styling concept can move quickly to production.

For more information visit or contact the Dow Customer Information Group at (800) 441-4369.

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