4 Options for Aluminum Trim Attachment

Aluminum Trim Attachment Options

aluminum trim attachment

The front side of brand identification is discussed on a regular basis with solutions for finding just the right look for your nameplate or label. This post looks at the less decorative back side of aluminum trim and a common question that is asked. What options exist to attach decorated aluminum trim to the end product? Several options exist from basic adhesive to more complex molding and crimping tooling operations.

Discussion for the attachment should happen early in the design phase. This allows for your engineer and designer to collaborate with our process and tool engineers for recommendation and determination of the best solution for secure attachment. 

Below is a review of four common solutions to attach decorated aluminum trim to the end product.


Adhesive - Pressure sensitive adhesive achieves its bond with the end product housing or plastic carrier through a degree of pressure. Heat activated adhesive is another option where a high temperature along with pressure results in the decorated aluminum bonding with the ABS or PC plastic.

The type of surface for the carrier or product housing will help to determine the approprate adhesive that will be used in production. A textured surface or exposure to vibration and temperature will also make a difference in the type of adhesive that is recommended. 

A wide variety of options exist along with varying thicknesses to ensure a strong bond. The cut silver edge of the aluminum will be visible as well as the edge of the plastic carrier. 

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Crimped Edge - This option involves a tooling operation to draw down, or bend, the decorated aluminum in order to wrap around the plastic carrier.

Adhesive can be used to ensure a bond and to keep the aluminum from pulling away from the carrier. Crimped aluminum offers a finished visible edge to the decorative trim instead of the cut silver edge of the metal or plastic carrier being visible.

 Crimp Option


Aluminum In-Mold - For this type of attachment, the back side of decorated aluminum is prepped with an adhesion promoter. The aluminum is tooled with traditional stamping and forming operations. Then it is placed into a mold along with glass-filled plastic resin.

Heat and pressure during the molding process creates a durable bond between the aluminum and plastic resin. The result is a bond that is highly robust and dent-resistant. The plastic resin will be visible along the edges of the part.

 Alum IMD Option


Omni-BondA combination of the above is used with omni-bond where an adhesion promoter is put on the backside of decorated aluminum. The aluminum is stamped and formed per the blue print.

Heat and pressure are then applied in order to adhere the aluminum to a separate plastic carrier. As with aluminum in-mold, the resulting bond is very robust and shows dent resistance. Omni-bond can provide either a finished edge look or allow the plastic carrier to be visible.

 Omni-Bond attachment for aluminum trim

Cost Effective Trim Attachment

An important piece of the puzzle to narrow in on the attachment solution is your project budget. The more complex the attachment process, the more steps are needed. This can turn into cost drivers which need to be taken into consideration for your bottom line. Be sure to communicate target numbers so that the recommended solution can stay within your scope. Our process and tool engineers work with you to find the most cost effective answer.

Need to know more or have a project to review? Great! Let's talk!

 Northern Engraving Contact Us

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