Visual perception and measurements of texture and gloss of injection-molded plastics
Journal article, 2009

The effect of an imposed texture on the gloss of injection-molded polymeric surfaces was evaluated as well as the way in which these properties are visually perceived. Specimens having small differences in surface topography were produced using two mold cavities with slight differences in texture and three different polymers. The texture and gloss were characterized using laser profilometry, gloss measurements, and by means of psychometric evaluations. The measured surface topography parameters and gloss were determined mainly by the texture of the mold surface and the gloss also by the processing conditions. Variations in surface topography due to differences in the rheological properties of the polymer melts were, in most cases, too small to be reflected in the measurements. The visual assessments of the texture and the gloss of specimens from the same cavity were in fair agreement with the measurements, although the observers could discern differences between some specimens not revealed by the measurements. When the specimens molded in the two cavities differing significantly both in gloss and texture were compared, the agreement between the measured topography parameters and the perceived roughness was poorer. It is suggested that higher gloss of a textured surface enhances the perception of a higher roughness.

injection moulding




surface texture


Sofie Ignell

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Polymeric Materials and Composites

Ulf Kleist

Volvo Cars

Mikael Rigdahl

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Polymeric Materials and Composites

Polymer Engineering and Science

0032-3888 (ISSN) 1548-2634 (eISSN)

Vol. 49 2 344-353

Subject Categories

Materials Engineering



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