Producing Imitation Leather for the Automotive Industry
The interior of many automobiles is made of plastic parts having a leatherlike surface structure. In order to replicate the 'feeling' (haptics) of natural leather, the electroforming process must be carried out very precisely. The following sequence of pictures shows the copying of a leather structure.
This figure shows the centre console and parts of the car dashboard. White arrows show coatings with imitation leather.
Master mold (which is not magnified) with a leather or leatherlike texture. It is also referred to as an A-mold.
The surface (must be electroconductive), electroplated with 3 - 4 mm nickel. It is a 100 % copy of the A-mold, like a negative imprinting and is referred to as a B-mold. As of today electroforming is the most accurate method in the world for repoducing structures.