What Is Doming?
Doming protects your label by applying a thin layer of transparent polyurethane resin onto the surface of a two-dimensional part. Once the resin is dispensed, the parts are placed in a curing oven to dry. When the resin finishes drying you are left with a clear, flexible lens that will not only protect the label from the elements, but also give it a visually attractive three-dimensional, or domed, appearance.
The real challenge of doming is to ensure the results are high quality and consistent over hundreds of applications. This is where highly skilled employees using precision based equipment is a real advantage.
What Stops The Resin From Running Right Off The Part?
CNC controlled/precision metered equipment partnered with the benefits of surface tension creates a clean looking edge for your domed part. Surface tension is the tendency of liquids to bond together to resist external forces. It’s the reason puddles of water form instead spreading out over a large surface. Resin, because it’s significantly thicker than water, has a stronger surface tension. It flows to the edges of the substrate and forms the aforementioned lens. The surface energy of the substrate, whether it’s metal or flexible, dictates the effectiveness of surface tension in controlling the flow of resin. Challenges can arise during production if a substrate’s surface energy is too low. Other factors, such as material texture, surface cleanliness and part contour, can also have adverse effects on the doming process.
Making Labels That Last
Creating an industrial label that looks good and draws inconsumer attention at the moment of application is only half the battle. Often prospects complain that labels they’ve used in the past look great in the short term, but begin to peel, fade, chip, and decompose when exposed to challenging indoor/outdoor environments. Whether or not the consumer views your label on day 1 or 1000, you need to be aware that they are making a judgment about your brand.
Doming represents the perfect opportunity to create an attractive label which retains all of the benefits of durability provided by polyurethane resin. Damage resistance to dirt, abrasions, moisture, UV light, and household chemicals are all part of the long list of benefits you achieve when making the investment in a domed label. How durable really is doming? Mcloone tests its products to ensure they have the durability its customers have come to expect over the years. This includes 1500 hours in a UV-accelerated weathering simulator combined with an additional 1500 hours in a Xenon Weatherometer, which uses a xenon arc light source to provide the same radiation spectrum present in Florida. Even after spending what is the equivalent of 1825 consecutive days (5 full years) in Florida sunlight, domed labels from Mcloone still look their best by showing no signs of peeling, fading , or other damage caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Another benefit unique to domed labels is the self-healing nature of polyurethane resin. What this means is that in addition to the protection from natural elements and chemicals, your labels are also protected from impacts and abrasions. Mcloone takes advantage of low durometer (hardness) resin when manufacturing your labels to promote the maximum intensity of the self-healing effect while retaining all of the traditional durability benefits. Picture this process working much like pressing your fingers into memory foam. Your handprint is visible at first but eventually fades away and the previous surface is restored. This unique attribute doesn’t diminish with age and is one of the main reasons doming is considered such a durable process.
Domed labels represent the perfect mix between an attractive, high-end look and a durable, long lasting life. The applications for this process are very broad and in many ways limitless. Only the harshest environments with strong chemicals or extreme heat make metal custom nameplates your only option. Some of the most popular industries we supply with domed labels are:
- Kitchen & Bathroom
- Sporting Goods
- Automotive Accessories
- Display/Point of purchase signage/Promotional Items
- Industrial Manufacturers
Specialty Doming/Selective Doming
As is the case with many specialty processes offered from Mcloone, doming can be further customized simply by applying it with the intent to cover only selected areas. This decorative technique is referred to as selective doming and generally used to lend major emphasis to one specific element within a part. For example, a kitchen cabinet manufacturer may choose to have their circular logo selectively domed to emphasize it as the most important label element instead of their location or phone number. Often, selective doming is used in locations where a label or plate may be overlooked in order to immediately capture the viewer’s attention.
Metal vs. Flexible
When designing a domed label, the choice to use either a metal or flexible material is usually made by personal preference. Although they are both durable, generally metal parts have less sensitivity to chemicals making them the right choice for ultra-extreme environments. At Mcloone, we see a slight preference to flexible materials when doming; but no matter the substrate you decide upon, you’re still getting a durable, highly decorated look.
At Mcloone, the process of designing and producing custom domed labels is easy and affordable. The resulting product will stand out from the competition while making your brand look its best. If you’re looking for a way to ensure it stays that way for the lifetime of your product, call Mcloone, a manufacturer with years of doming experience to answer any questions and guide you down the path of creating a truly one-of-a-kind domed label.