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Title:
ARTICLES INCLUDING PANELS AND MOLDED STRUCTURES AND METHODS OF MAKING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/059088
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of making an article is provided, including placing at least a portion of a panel in an injection molding die and overmolding at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die, wherein the molded structure includes a foam composition. An article is also provided including a material-to-material connection between the surface of a panel and a molded structure. The panel includes first and second layers and a core disposed there between, wherein the core has a plurality of walls providing a series of connected cells. Some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells, and the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall. Articles such as panels, walls, or other parts with curved surfaces can be formed according to certain exemplary embodiments. The articles are useful for absorbing sound in a designed frequency range.

Inventors:
MCNULTY JASON D (US)
PERIN DINO (US)
JONZA JAMES M (US)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/058635
Publication Date:
April 01, 2021
Filing Date:
September 16, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES CO (US)
International Classes:
B29C45/14; B32B3/12; B60R13/08; G10K11/172; B29L31/60
Domestic Patent References:
WO2018034949A12018-02-22
WO2018034949A12018-02-22
WO2019079695A12019-04-25
Foreign References:
DE2114181A11972-10-12
US3963094A1976-06-15
EP3447760A12019-02-27
Other References:
JONZA, J.HERDTLE, T.KALISH, J.GERDES, R. ET AL.: "Acoustically Absorbing Lightweight Thermoplastic Honeycomb Panels", SAE INT. J. VEH. DYN., STAB., AND NVH, vol. 1, no. 2, 2017, XP055417551, DOI: 10.4271/2017-01-1813
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PISHKO, Adrian L. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of making an article, the method comprising: placing at least a portion of a panel in an injection molding die; and overmolding at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die, thereby forming a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure, wherein the molded structure comprises a foam composition, wherein the panel comprises first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer, wherein the core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells, wherein each cell wall has a plurality of sides, wherein each side of a cell wall has an area, and wherein the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall, and wherein the first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the series.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the molded structure comprises a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a polyolefin, a polyvinylchloride, a polyurethane, a polyester, a polyamide, a polystyrene, a polyisocyanurate, a silicone, or a copolymer thereof.

3. The method of claim 1 or claim 2, further comprising preheating the panel to a softening temperature of the first layer of the panel prior to placing it within the injection molding die.

4. The method of any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the panel is supported in the injection molding die on at least a portion of the first layer.

5. The method of any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the panel is unsupported in the injection molding die on each of the first layer and the second layer.

6. The method of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the molded structure is applied to at least one major surface of the panel.

7. The method of any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the entire panel is inserted into the injection molding die.

8. The method of any of claims 1 to 7, wherein the panel comprises a shape, and the method further comprises altering the shape of the panel in the injection molding die.

9. The method of any of claims 1 to 8, wherein at least one cell is consolidated and folded over to form a reinforcement bead.

10. The method of any of claims 1 to 9, wherein the injection molding die is configured to reduce a thickness of at least a portion of the panel by 5% to 95% or to increase a thickness of at least a portion of the panel by 5% to 1,000%.

11. The method of any of claims 1 to 10, further comprising at least partially shaping the panel using thermoforming or compression molding prior to placing at least a portion of the panel within the injection molding die.

12. The method of any of claims 1 to 11, wherein the molded structure is formed by providing a curable composition comprising a blowing agent into a vacant cavity in the injection molding dies and curing the curable composition to form the foam composition.

13. The method of any of claims 1 to 12, wherein the first layer of the panel comprises at least one opening between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer, and wherein the method further comprises plugging the at least one opening prior to overmolding the at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die.

14. The method of any of claims 1 to 13, further comprising disposing a substrate facing into the injection molding die and a distance from the panel and attaching the substrate to the molded structure when the foam composition forms, wherein the molded structure is disposed between the panel and the substrate.

15. An article made by the method of any of claims 1 to 14.

16. An article comprising at least one molded structure disposed on a surface of a panel, having a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure, wherein the molded structure comprises a foam composition, wherein the panel comprises first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer, wherein the core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells, wherein each cell wall has a plurality of sides, wherein each side of a cell wall has an area, and wherein the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall, and wherein the first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the senes.

Description:
ARTICLES INCLUDING PANELS AND MOLDED STRUCTURES AND METHODS OF

MAKING SAME

Background

[0001] Sound-absorbing articles (e.g., panels) are sometimes used to reduce noise in, for example, automobiles and other modes of transportation. There exists a need for articles that can absorb acoustical frequencies outside of the range of about 500 Hz to 1400 Hz. Finished articles with curved surfaces would be especially useful in transportation.

Summary

[0002] In a first aspect, a method of making an article is provided. The method includes placing at least a portion of a panel in an injection molding die; and overmolding at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die, thereby forming a material -to- material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure. The molded structure includes a foam composition. The panel includes first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer. The core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells. Each cell wall has a plurality of sides, each side of a cell wall has an area, and the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall. The first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the series.

[0003] In a second aspect, an article is provided made by the method according to the first aspect.

[0004] In a third aspect, an article is provided. The article includes at least one molded structure disposed on a surface of a panel, having a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure. The molded structure includes a foam composition. The panel includes first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer. The core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells. Each cell wall has a plurality of sides, each side of a cell wall has an area, and the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall. The first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the series.

[0005] Exemplary embodiments of articles described herein can be formed into articles such as panels, walls, or other parts with curved surfaces. In one exemplary method, panels are shaped via thermoforming. In another exemplary method, panels are shaped via insert molding to provide the article.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0006] FIG. 1 is a top view of an exemplary panel described herein.

[0007] FIG. 1A is a cross-sectional view of the exemplary panel described herein shown in FIG. 1

[0008] FIG. IB is a perspective view of a cell from FIG. 1.

[0009] FIG. 2A is a schematic cross-sectional view of a panel being inserted between injection mold halves, according to an exemplary method.

[0010] FIG. 2B is a schematic cross-sectional view of a shaped panel after closing of the injection mold halves of an injection molding die, according to an exemplary method.

[0011] FIG. 2C is a schematic cross-sectional view of an article after overmolding on the shaped panel in the injection molding die, according to an exemplary method.

[0012] FIG. 2D is a schematic cross-section view of a panel disposed in an infrared heater, according to an exemplary method.

[0013] FIG. 3 A is a schematic cross-section view of a panel disposed in an infrared heater, according to an exemplary method.

[0014] FIG. 3B is a schematic cross-sectional view of a panel being inserted between thermoforming tool halves, according to an exemplary method.

[0015] FIG. 3C is a schematic cross-sectional view of a shaped panel after closing of the thermoforming tool halves, according to an exemplary method.

[0016] FIG. 3D is a schematic cross-sectional view of a pre-formed panel, according to an exemplary method. [0017] FIG. 3E is a schematic cross-sectional view of the pre-formed panel disposed in an injection molding die, according to an exemplary method.

[0018] FIG. 3F is a schematic cross-sectional view of an article after overmolding on the shaped panel in the injection molding die, according to an exemplary method.

Detailed Description

[0019] It has been discovered that it is possible to injection overmold a foam composition into an acoustically absorbing honeycomb panel. Advantageously, the panel can also be formed to have a shape (other than flat) prior to overmolding the foam onto a surface of the panel. Injection overmolding the foam composition in the injection mold decreases the complexity of handling the materials, as opposed to casting the foam composition on a flat panel followed by shaping the panel. The final article can have variations in thickness and shape to meet requirements of a particular application in both size and acoustic absorption.

[0020] Suitable acoustically absorbing honeycomb panels are described in detail in co-owned application publication WO 2018/034949 (Jonza et al.). Briefly, referring to FIGS. 1, 1A, and IB, a panel 100 has first and second layers 110, 130 each having first and second opposed major surfaces, 111, 112, 131, 132 and a core 120 disposed there between. The second layer 130 is free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces 131, 132 of the second layer 130.

The core 120 has plurality of walls 141 extending from second surface 112 of first layer 110 to first surface 131 of second layer 130 providing first series 160, 160’ of connected cells 140, 140’. Also shown are second and third series of cells 1160, 1160’, and 2160, 2160’. Some of the cell walls 141a, 141b, 141c have openings 150 providing fluid communication between the first series 160 of five cells 140. Each cell wall 141 has a plurality of sides 171, 172. Each side 171, 172 of the cell wall 141 has an area A. The opening 150 in the cell wall 141a has area A’ that is at least 50 percent of area A. The first layer 110 has at least a first opening 190a, 190b extending between the first and second major surfaces 111, 112 of the first layer 110 into at least one cell in series 160, 160’. Note that openings 190a, 190b, 190c, etc., displayed as circles, but can be any of a variety of shapes including squares, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, or other polygons. Multiple openings could also be used, including openings having at least two holes, or openings which include a woven or non-woven permeable material. In some embodiments, at least 50 (in some embodiments, at least 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, or even at least 100) percent of the openings 150 in a cell wall 141 emanate from either the first layer 110 or the second layer 130. Referring to FIGS. 1A and IB, the opening 150 can have contours having curved and straight portions, and any straight portions can be either perpendicular to or tilted at another angle to the layers 110 and 130. Optionally, the center cell 188 could have an opening in the first layer 110. In some embodiments, each cell has at least 3 (in some embodiments, at least 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or even at least 10) walls.

[0021] In a first aspect, a method of making an article is provided. The method comprises: placing at least a portion of a panel in an injection molding die; and overmolding at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die, thereby forming a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure, wherein the molded structure comprises a foam composition, wherein the panel comprises first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer, wherein the core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells, wherein each cell wall has a plurality of sides, wherein each side of a cell wall has an area, and wherein the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall, and wherein the first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the series.

[0022] In a second aspect, an article is provided made by the method according to the first aspect. In a third aspect, another article is provided. The article comprises at least one molded structure disposed on a surface of a panel, having a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure, wherein the molded structure comprises a foam composition, wherein the panel comprises first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer, wherein the core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells, wherein each cell wall has a plurality of sides, wherein each side of a cell wall has an area, and wherein the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall, and wherein the first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the senes. [0023] The disclosure below relates to each of the first, second, and third aspects.

[0024] It was unexpectedly discovered that it is possible to injection mold a curable composition onto an acoustic honeycomb panel with a sufficiently low force to maintain the structure of the panel, e.g., avoid collapsing the panel due to the pressure of injecting and curing the composition when forming an overmolding structure comprising a foam on the panel. Molded structures can be applied to any portion of a panel, such as on at least one major surface of the panel, an edge of the panel, or a shaped part of the panel. Additionally, at least one profile element may be molded directly onto the mold structure, on an edge side of the panel, or both.

[0025] Suitable curable compositions include at least one blowing agent and at least one of a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a polyolefin, a polyvinylchloride, a polyurethane, a polyester, a polyamide, a polystyrene, a polyisocyanurate, a silicone, or a copolymer thereof. In some embodiments, the composition can further comprise at least one filler, such as beads, bubbles, fibers, carbon black, a mineral, a fire retardant (described in detail below), or other particles (e.g., macroparticles, microparticles, nanoparticles, nonporous particles, and/or porous particles (such as the porous carbon particles described in co-owned application WO 2019/079695 (Lee et al . )) .

[0026] In some embodiments, a suitable curable composition comprises Tufcote Acoustical Foam (commercially available from Aearo Technologies, LLC, Indianapolis, IN), which is reported to be based on a toluene diisocyanate (TDI) pre-polymer formed from TDI and a polyether polyol having a molecular weight of 4,800 grams per mole. Additives in the composition include silicone surfactant as a cell stabilizer, amine catalyst, a black pigment dispersion, and a chlorinated phosphate flame retardant. Foam cells are provided by water reacting with the TDI to form carbon dioxide, which foams the composition as it cures.

[0027] The blowing agent can be at least one of a chemical blowing agent, a physical blowing agent, or expandable microspheres. Physical blowing agents (PBAs), such as volatile liquid and gas blowing agents, expand when heated and then tend to escape from the mixture, leaving voids behind, to form the foam composition. Suitable physical blowing agents include for instance and without limitation, water, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide. Chemical blowing agents (CBAs) decompose and at least a portion of the decomposition product(s) expand and then escape from the mixture, leaving voids behind. Suitable chemical compound blowing agents include for instance and without limitation, a diazocompound, a sulfonyl hydrazide, a tetrazole, a nitrosocompound, an acyl sulfonyl hydrazide, hydrazones, thiatriazoles, azides, sulfonyl azides, oxalates, thiatrizine dioxides, isotaoic anhydride, or any combination thereof. Expandable microspheres are composed of gas or liquid hydrocarbon PBAs inside a polymer shell. When heated past the glass transition temperature (T g ) of the shell, the shell becomes malleable and expands due to the internal pressure of the heated PBA inside. The thickness of the shell and the quantity of PBA encapsulated is tuned to enable isotropic expansion rather than shell rupture, leading to an increase in volume.

This process leads to a syntactic foam fdled with polymer shells, generally with very uniform foam cell sizes.

[0028] Referring to FIGS. 2A-2D, at least a portion of a panel 210 is clamped in a clamp frame 212 and placed in an injection molding die 220, e.g., between a first injection mold half 220a and a second injection mold half 220b. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2B, the entire panel 210 is inserted into the injection molding die 220. The two halves 220a and 220b of the injection molding die 220 are then closed, and the panel 210 conforms to the shape between the first half 220a and the second half 220b of the injection molding die 220. Hence, the panel 210 may comprise a shape (e.g., flat) and the shape of the panel 210 is altered inside the injection molding die 220.

[0029] As shown in FIG. 2B, a portion 215 of the panel 210 is consolidated by the compression of the injection molding die 220. Optionally, at least one cell of the panel is consolidated and folded over to form a reinforcement bead. In some embodiments, the injection molding die is configured to reduce a thickness of at least a portion of the panel or of the entire panel by 5% to 95% or increase a thickness of at least a portion of the panel or of the entire panel by 5% to 50%. For example, the injection molding die may be shaped to reduce the thickness of a portion or all of a panel by 5% or more, 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, 30% or more, 35% or more, 40% or more, 45% or more, 50% or more, 55% or more, or even 60% or more; and 95% or less, 90% or less, 85% or less, 80% or less, 75% or less, 70% or less, or 65% or less. Typically, the decrease in thickness is a decrease in the thickness of the core of the panel.

Likewise, the injection molding die may be shaped to increase the thickness of a portion or all of a panel by 5% or more, 10% or more, 15% or more, 20% or more, 25% or more, or even 30% or more; and 50% or less, 45% or less, 40% or less, or 35% or less. Increasing the thickness of a panel may involve pulling a vacuum in the injection molding die to draw out the panel material.

[0030] Moreover, the two halves 220a and 220b of the injection molding die 220 are configured to leave vacant cavity space 240 between at least a portion of the panel 210 and the second half 220b of the injection molding die 220. In some embodiments, the panel is supported in the injection molding die on at least a portion of a first layer of the panel. In other embodiments, the panel is supported in the injection molding die on each of the first layer and the second layer of the panel. In certain embodiments, the panel is unsupported in the injection molding die on each of the first layer and the second layer. The locations of support (if any) will be determined by the design of the final product, in particular where overmolding structure is to be formed on the panel. [0031] The method further comprises overmolding at least one molded structure 250 on a surface 211 of the panel 210 in the injection molding die 220, thereby forming a material -to-material connection 255 between the surface 211 of the panel 210 and the molded structure 250. As used herein, “material-to-material” connection refers to the material of a surface of a panel directly contacting the material of a molded structure, with the exception of at most two intermediate layers, preferably one intermediate layer (or no intermediate layer), such as a primer layer and/or a tie layer that assists to adhere the two materials together optionally being present on at least a portion of the material of the surface of the panel. In the injection molding die 220 of FIG. 2C, an overmolding material 232 is injected through an injection port 230 into the vacant cavity 240. Typically, the molded structure 250 is applied to at least one major surface 211 of the panel 210.

To obtain a molded structure that comprises a foam, the molded structure may be formed by providing a curable composition comprising a blowing agent into a vacant cavity in the injection molding die and curing the curable composition to form the foam composition.

[0032] In some embodiments, the injection molding die is configured to increase a thickness of at least a portion of the panel or of the entire panel by 5% to 1,000% due to the overmolding in a vacant cavity of the injection molding die. For example, the injection molding die may be shaped to increase the thickness of a portion or all of a panel, due to the presence of an overmolded structure adding to the overall thickness, by 5% or more, 25% or more, 50% or more, 75% or more, 100% or more, 200% or more, 300% or more, 400% or more, or even 500% or more; and 1,000% or less, 900% or less, 800% or less, 700% or less, or 600% or less.

[0033] Advantageously, formation of an overmolded structure that comprises a foam provides a wide range of thicknesses of the structure. The flexibility in design of the overmolded structure allows for the article to fit a variety of desired shapes and thicknesses for a particular purpose, e.g., including filling up space in need of acoustic absorption that might otherwise require three, four, five, or more stacked acoustic panels to fill. In some embodiments, the molded structure comprises a thickness of 0.1 mm or greater, 0.25 mm or greater, 0.5 mm or greater, 1 mm or greater, 2 mm or greater, 3 mm or greater, 5 mm or greater, 7 mm or greater, 10 mm or greater, 12 mm or greater, 15 mm or greater, 17 mm or greater, 20 mm or greater, or 25 mm or greater; and a thickness of 76 mm or less, 70 mm or less, 65 mm or less, 60 mm or less, 55 mm or less, 50 mm or less, 45 mm or less, 40 mm or less, 35 mm or less, or 30 mm or less. Stated another way, the molded structure may comprise a thickness of 0.1 millimeters (mm) to 76 mm.

[0034] The molded structure optionally comprises a closed cell foam, an open cell foam, or a combination of both closed cell foam and open cell foam. As used herein, an open cell foam means that the foam contains connected cell pathways that extend from one outer surface through the material to another outer surface. In contrast, as used herein, a closed cell foam means that the foam contains substantially no connected cell pathways that extend from one outer surface through the material to another outer surface. A closed cell foam can include up to about 10% open cells, within the meaning of “substantially” no connected cell pathways. Stated another way, the foam composition comprises 90% or greater closed cells, 92% or greater closed cells, 95% or greater closed cells, or 98% or greater closed cells. Achieving a particular cell type (i.e., open and/or closed) depends on the specific blowing agent and curing conditions of the curable composition.

[0035] In some embodiments, the molded structure comprises a material exhibiting a hardness of 10 Shore OO or greater, 20 Shore OO or greater, 30 Shore OO or greater, 40 Shore OO or greater, 50 Shore OO or greater, 60 Shore OO or greater, 70 Shore OO or greater, 80 Shore OO or greater, or 90 Shore OO or greater; and a hardness of 90 Shore D or less, 80 Shore D or less, 70 Shore D or less, 60 Shore D or less, 50 Shore D or less, 40 Shore D or less, 30 Shore D or less, 20 Shore D or less, or 10 Shore D or less. Stated another way, the molded structure may comprise a material exhibiting a hardness of 10 Shore OO to 90 Shore D, 10 Shore OO to 70 Shore OO, 80 Shore OO to 30 Shore D, or 10 Shore D to 90 Shore D.

[0036] A porous layer such as the molded structure can be generally characterized by its specific acoustic impedance, which is the ratio in frequency space of acoustic pressure to the associated particle speed in an acoustic medium. In the theoretical model based on a rigid film with perforations, for example, the velocity derives from air moving into and out of the holes. If the film is flexible, motion of the wall can contribute to the acoustic impedance calculation. Specific acoustic impedance varies as a function of frequency and is generally a real quantity in progressive plane wave condition, however, the specific acoustic impedance becomes a complex number under the standing plane wave or diverging wave conditions. Therefore, the specific impedance of an acoustic medium reflects the fact that pressure and velocity waves can create phase mismatch between the two properties and this phase mismatch behavior reflects the acoustic absorption performance. When the two components are in phase to each other the maximum acoustic absorption is possible and vice versa when the two components are out of phase to each other.

The flow resistance is the low frequency limit of the transfer impedance. Experimentally, this can be estimated by blowing a known, small velocity of air at the molded structure and measuring the pressure drop associated therewith. The flow resistance can be determined as the measured pressure drop divided by the velocity. As used herein, specific acoustic impedance is measured in units of Pa-s/m 2 , which is equivalent to MKS Rayl/m. In some embodiments, the molded structure exhibits an airflow resistance of 4,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 6,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 10,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 15,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 20,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 25,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 30,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, 35,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater, or 40,000 Pa-s/m 2 or greater; and an airflow resistance of 70,000 Pa-s/m 2 or less, 65,000 Pa-s/m 2 or less, 60,000 Pa-s/m 2 or less, 55,000 Pa-s/m 2 or less, 50,000 Pa-s/m 2 or less, 45,000 Pa-s/m 2 or less. Stated another way, the molded structure exhibits an airflow resistance of 4,000 to 70,000 Pa-s/m 2 .

[0037] Referring to FIG. 2D, an acoustical panel 210 is optionally preheated outside of the injection mold, e.g., using an infrared heater 260. Closing of the injection mold die 220 shapes the preheated panel 210 as described below in Example 1, such that the overmolding of a foam composition on the shaped panel occurs in a single machine. In some embodiments, the method further comprises cooling the shaped panel prior to overmolding the molded structure on a surface of the panel, such as by exposure to ambient air or circulating a cooling fluid through the injection mold die.

[0038] Alternatively, the panel may be thermoformed as described below in Example 2, then inserted into an injection mold for the foam composition to be overmolded on the panel. In some embodiments, thermoforming includes heating the panel and applying force to shape the panel against at least one tool. Typically, the panel is heated to a processing temperature where it becomes compliant. For instance, the panel can be heated to a softening temperature of the first layer, the second layer, or both, of the panel. The panel is then positioned within a mold, between 2 platens prior to the platens closing. The panel is shaped by mechanical force from the tool, or by vacuum or pneumatic pressure followed by a cooling period to return the panel to a rigid structure. Polypropylene (PP) panels can be thermoformed, for example, with the panel pre-heat temperature of 310-350°F (154-177 °C), mold temperature of 150°F (66°C), clamping force of 4,000 lbs.

(1,814 kgf) and cooling time of 30 seconds.

[0039] Referring to FIGS. 3A-3F, at least a portion of a panel 310 is clamped in a clamp frame 312 and placed in a thermoforming machine 370, e.g., between a first thermoforming tool half 370a and a second thermoforming tool half 370b. The panel 310 is optionally preheated outside of the thermoforming machine, e.g., using an infrared heater 360, as shown in FIG. 3A. In the embodiment of FIG. 3B, the entire panel 310 is inserted into the thermoforming machine 370. The two tool halves 370a and 370b of the thermoforming machine 370 are then closed, and the panel 310 conforms to the shape between the first half 370a and the second half 370b of the thermoforming machine 370. As shown in FIG. 3C, a portion 315 of the panel 310 is consolidated by the compression of the thermoforming machine 370.

[0040] Referring to FIG. 3D, in a separate step, the pre-formed panel 310 is removed from the thermoforming machine. Next, the pre-formed panel 310 is inserted between two halves 320a and 320b of an injection molding die 320, which are configured to provide a vacant cavity space 340 between at least a portion of the panel 310 and the second half 320b. The method further comprises overmolding at least one molded structure 350 on a surface 311 of the panel 310 in the injection molding die 320, thereby forming a material-to-material connection 355 between the surface 311 of the panel 310 and the molded structure 350. In the injection molding die 320 of FIG. 3F, an overmolding material 332 is injected through an injection port 330 into the vacant cavity 340, thereby forming the article. Typically, the molded structure 350 is applied to at least one major surface 311 of the panel 310.

[0041] Accordingly, methods for making articles from panels can comprise shaping a panel described herein via insert molding to provide the article. In some embodiments, putting a pre heated panel inside of an injection mold tool, closing the tool, and injection molding a foam composition on the panel to provide the article. The mold closing action forms the panel into a three-dimensional shape while the overmolded structure comprising foam provides additional acoustic absorption of the final article. The mold closing force may be enough to shape the panel, or thermoforming/compression molding performed prior to insert molding may be required; in either case, pre-heating the formed panel may not be necessary. In certain embodiments, the panel is perforated by the injection mold. A panel undergoing overmolding may be flat or alternatively comprise a (e.g., three-dimensional) shape. For a panel that has already been shaped, the method may further comprise altering the shape of the panel (e.g., “reshaping” the panel) in the injection molding die. In certain embodiments, at least one cell is consolidated and folded over to form a reinforcement bead. When a number of adjacent cells are consolidated and folded over they can form a “hem” having a thickness approximately equal to twice the thickness of the first and second layers of the panel.

[0042] Suitable methods optionally further comprise at least partially shaping a (flat) panel using thermoforming or compression molding prior to placing at least a portion of the panel within the injection molding die, e.g., using vacuum, pressure, or matched mold forming to shape the panel. Materials used in matched mold forming are not particularly limited, and include for instance and without limitation, metal, plywood, or epoxy board (e.g., available under the trade designation “REN SHAPE”, from OBO-Werke GmbH, Stadthagen, Germany). In some embodiments, putting a panel inside of a mold between 2 platens, heating the mold, closing the platens to shape the panel while maintaining pressure during a mold cooling stage provides the article. In some embodiments, the panel must be pre-heated prior to closing the mold to ensure material compliance. Exemplary polypropylene (PP) panels can be compression molded, for example, without panel pre-heating, thermal cycling mold temperatures of 305°F (152°C) and 150°F (66°C), clamping force of 30,000 lbs. (13,607 kgf) and cooling/pressure holding time of 30 seconds. [0043] In some embodiments, the first layer of the panel comprises at least one opening between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer, and the method further comprises plugging the at least one opening prior to overmolding the at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die. An opening may be plugged by a pin selected to have a diameter large enough to fit in the opening but minimize entry of curable composition into the opening during the overmolding process.

[0044] In some embodiments, panels have a thickness of 4 millimeters (mm) or greater, 6 mm or greater, 8 mm or greater, 10 mm or greater, 12 mm or greater, 14 mm or greater, or 16 mm or greater; and a thickness of 25 mm or less, 23 mm or less, 21 mm or less, 19 mm or less, 17 mm or less, 15 mm or less, 14 mm or less, 12 mm or less, 10 mm or less, or 8 mm or less. Stated another way, panels may have a thickness in a range from 4 mm to 8 mm, 6 mm to 10 mm, 8 mm to 15 mm, or 4 mm to 25 mm.

[0045] In some embodiments, each cell of a panel has a largest distance between two opposed walls of at least 3 mm (in some embodiments, at least 5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, 20 mm, 25 mm, or even at least 30 mm; in some embodiments, in a range from 3 mm to 30 mm, 7 mm to 30 mm, 15 mm to 30 mm, or even 20 mm to 30 mm). In some embodiments of panels, each cell has a largest distance between two opposed vertices of at least 5 mm (in some embodiments, at least 10 mm, 15 mm, 20 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 35 mm, or even at least 40 mm; in some embodiments, in a range from 15 mm to 40 mm, 20 mm to 40 mm, or even 30 mm to 40 mm).

[0046] In some embodiments, each cell of a panel has a distance from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer of at least 2 mm (in some embodiments, at least 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm, 7 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 10 mm, or even at least 15 mm; in some embodiments, in a range from 4 mm to 15 mm, 7 mm to 15 mm, or even 10 mm to 15 mm).

[0047] In some embodiments of panels, each cell has a volume of at least 0.04 cm 3 (in some embodiments, at least 0.1 cm 3 , 0.5 cm 3 , 1 cm 3 , 2 cm 3 , 3 cm 3 , 4 cm 3 , 5 cm 3 , 10 cm 3 , 15 cm 3 , 20 cm 3 , 25 cm 3 , or even at least 30 cm 3 ; in some embodiments, in a range from 0.04 cm 3 to 30 cm 3 , 0.1 cm 3 to 30 cm 3 , 0.5 cm 3 to 30 cm 3 , 2 cm 3 to 30 cm 3 , or even 15 cm 3 to 30 cm 3 ). In some embodiments of panels, a series of cells has a cumulative volume of at least 0.5 cm 3 (in some embodiments, at least 1 cm 3 , 1.5 cm 3 , 2 cm 3 , 3 cm 3 , 4 cm 3 , 5 cm 3 , 10 cm 3 , 25 cm 3 , 50 cm 3 , 75 cm 3 , 100 cm 3 , 150 cm 3 , or even at least 200 cm 3 ; in some embodiments, in a range from 1.5 cm 3 to 200 cm 3 , 10 cm 3 to 120 cm 3 , or even 50 cm 3 to 200 cm 3 ).

[0048] In some embodiments of panels, a first series of cells comprises at least 4 (in some embodiments, at least 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 or more) cells. In some embodiments, panels further comprise a second series of at least 3 (in some embodiments, at least 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 or more) cells. In some embodiments, panels further comprise a third series of at least 3 (in some embodiments, at least 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,

17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 or more) cells. In some embodiments of panels, a series of cells has a cumulative length of at least 20 mm (in some embodiments, at least 30 mm, 40 mm, 50 mm, 75 mm, 100 mm, 150 mm, or even at least 200 mm; in some embodiments, in a range from 30 mm to 200 mm, 50 mm to 200 mm, or even 100 mm to 200 mm).

[0049] In some embodiments of panels, the first layer comprises at least one of polymeric, metallic, ceramic, or composite materials (e.g., fiber reinforced, woven or non-woven in a resin matrix). In some embodiments of panels described herein, the second layer comprises at least one of polymeric, metallic, ceramic, or composite materials (e.g., fiber reinforced, woven or non- woven in a resin matrix). In some embodiments of panels described herein, the core comprises at least one of polymeric, metallic, ceramic, or composite materials (e.g., fiber reinforced, woven or non-woven in a resin matrix).

[0050] Exemplary polymeric materials include polyethylene s, polypropylenes, polyolefins, polyvinylchlorides, polyurethanes, polyesters, polyamides, polystyrene, copolymers thereof, and combinations thereof (including blends). The polymeric materials may be thermosetting by, for example, heat or ultraviolet (UV) radiation, or thermoplastic. In some embodiments, the molded structure and the panel comprise the same type(s) of polymer.

[0051] Exemplary metallic materials include aluminum, steel, nickel, copper, brass, bronze, and alloys thereof. Exemplary ceramic (including glass, glass-ceramic, and crystalline ceramic) materials include oxides, nitrides, and carbides. Exemplary fiber containing materials include fibers such as cellulose, carbon, thermoplastic fibers (polyamide, polyester, and aramid, polyolefin), steel, and glass, as may be applicable to the particular type of material. In some embodiments, materials for panels may be in the form of multilayers.

[0052] Optionally, materials for panels may also include fillers, colorants, plasticizers, dyes, etc., as may be applicable to the particular type of material.

[0053] In some embodiments, panels further comprise a tie layer on at least a portion of the second of the major surface of the first layer. In some embodiments, panels described herein further comprising a tie layer on at least a portion of the first of the major surface of the second layer. Although not wanting to be bound by theory, the tie layer is believed to facilitate adhesion between first or second layer 110, 130 and core layer 120. [0054] In some embodiments, a panel may be surface treated, such as by treating a surface of the panel to increase adhesion of the molded structure to the panel. The surface on which a curable composition is to be molded can be treated to improve adhesion between the panel surface and the molded structure using typical treatment methods, e.g., chemical treatment (e.g., primer layer), corona treatment such as air or nitrogen corona, plasma, flame, or actinic radiation.

[0055] In some embodiments, methods further comprise disposing a substrate facing into an injection molding die at a distance from the panel and attaching the substrate to the molded structure when the foam composition forms, such that the molded structure is disposed between the panel and the substrate in the final article. Suitable substrates include for instance, a polymeric film, a woven material, a nonwoven material (e.g., a microperforated film), or a combination thereof. In select embodiments, the substrate can provide acoustic properties to the final article.

In some embodiments, the substrate may provide a function such as in-mold labelling or further tuning acoustic properties of the foam composition.

[0056] In some embodiments, articles described herein exhibit at least one absorption band less than 1400 Hz (in some embodiments, less than 1300 Hz, or even less than 1200 Hz). In some embodiments, articles described herein exhibit at least one absorption band in a range from at least 400 Hz to 1200 Hz (in some embodiments, in a range from at least 500 Hz to 1300 Hz, at least 200 Hz to 1400 Hz, at least 100 Hz to 1400 Hz, or even at least 20 Hz to 1400 Hz). The molded structure itself may exhibit at least one absorption band in a range from 100 Hz to 800 Hz, such as 200 Hz to 800 Hz, 300 Hz to 800 Hz, 400 Hz to 800 Hz, 500 Hz to 800 Hz, or 600 Hz to 800 Hz. In some embodiments, articles described herein exhibit an acoustical absorption of at least 50 (in some embodiments, at least 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, or even 80) percent. The absorption bands of articles and the acoustical absorption of panels are measured as described in the Examples using the “Normal Incidence Acoustical Absorption Test” and the “Reverberation Chamber Test.”

[0057] Both modeling and physical experimental measurements have shown that the acoustic absorption behavior of a honeycomb panel is a function of each of the panel thickness, cell sizes, passageway percentage, skin hole sizes, and number of connected cells. This is demonstrated in Jonza, T, Herdtle, T., Kalish, T, Gerdes, R. et ah, “Acoustically Absorbing Lightweight Thermoplastic Honeycomb Panels,” SAEInt. J. Veh. Dyn., Stab., andNVH 1(2):2017, doi: 10.4271/2017-01-1813, incorporated herein by reference. For instance, 1) as the number of connected cells is increased, the frequency of the peak absorption decreases; 2) as the skin hole size (whether provided by one hole or multiple holes) increases, the frequency of the peak absorption increases; 3) as the width of the cell decreases, more cells need to be connected to exhibit absorption at the same frequency; 4) as the cell height decreases, the frequency of the peak absorption increases; 5) as the passageway size decreases, the frequency of the peak absorption decreases (plus with less total absorption and narrower absorption peaks); and 6) as the skin thickness increases, the frequency of peak absorption decreases. Hence, multiple variables can be adjusted to optimize (e.g., tune) the acoustic absorption of a panel or article for a particular end use application.

[0058] Exemplary embodiments can be formed articles such as automotive parts, such as engine covers, wheel well liners, underbody shields, headliners, trunk covers, floor mats, carpet backings, hood liners, and tonneau covers, housings for generators, motors, appliances, tools, etc., and in general, any item emitting sound; architectural walls, panels, floors, doors, enclosures, ducts, sound barriers, etc., aircraft, watercraft, trucks, trains, agricultural equipment, fork lifts, and trailers.

[0059] The panels can find utility as an engine cover. In such cases, it will likely be useful to use polymers with high temperature resistance and flame retardant properties. Suitable polymers include for instance and without limitation, polyamides including PA6, PA66, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), poly ethylene terephthalate (PET), poly ethylene naphthalate (PEN), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), Polyether imide (PEI), Polyether sulfone (PES), Polyether ketone (PEK) and Poly ether ether ketone (PEEK) and fluoropolymers.

[0060] Moreover, additives such as flame retardants are typically added to heat resistant polymeric materials to provide further protection during high temperature applications. Useful flame retardants include for instance and without limitation, inorganics such as alumina trihydrate (ATH), huntite and hydromagnesite, various hydrates, phosphorus, boron compounds, antimony trioxide and pentoxide and sodium antimonate; halogenated compounds such as organochlorines including chlorendic acid derivatives and chlorinated paraffins; organobromines such as decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), decabromodiphenyl ethane, polymeric brominated compounds, brominated carbonate oligomers (BCOs), brominated epoxy oligomers (BEOs), tetrabromophthalic anyhydride, tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD); organophosphates such as triphenyl phosphate (TPP), resorcinol bis(diphenylphosphate) (RDP), bisphenol A diphenyl phosphate (BADP), and tricresyl phosphate (TCP); phosphonates such as dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP); and phosphinates such as aluminium diethyl phosphinate; compounds containing both phosphorus and a halogen such as tris(2,3- dibromopropyl) phosphate(brominated tris) and chlorinated organophosphates such as tris(l,3- dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (chlorinated tris or TDCPP) and tetrakis(2- chlorethyl)dichloroisopentyldiphosphate. [0061] The acoustical spectrum of an engine depends on many factors including engine design, load and rotations per minute (rpm). The articles of the present disclosure may thus need to be tuned to several prominent frequencies.

Exemplary Embodiments

[0062] Embodiment 1 is a method of making an article. The method includes placing at least a portion of a panel in an injection molding die; and overmolding at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die, thereby forming a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure. The molded structure includes a foam composition. The panel includes first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer. The core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells. Each cell wall has a plurality of sides, each side of a cell wall has an area, and the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall. The first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the series.

[0063] Embodiment 2 is the method of embodiment 1, wherein the molded structure has a thickness of 0.1 millimeters (mm) to 76 mm.

[0064] Embodiment 3 is the method of embodiment 1 or embodiment 2, wherein the molded structure includes a closed cell foam.

[0065] Embodiment 4 is the method of embodiment 1 or embodiment 2, wherein the molded structure includes an open cell foam.

[0066] Embodiment 5 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 4, wherein the molded structure includes a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a polyolefin, a polyvinylchloride, a polyurethane, a polyester, a polyamide, a polystyrene, a polyisocyanurate, a silicone, or a copolymer thereof.

[0067] Embodiment 6 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 5, wherein the panel includes a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a polyolefin, a polyvinylchloride, a polyurethane, a polyester, a polyamide, a polystyrene, or a copolymer thereof.

[0068] Embodiment 7 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 6, wherein the molded structure and the panel include the same type of polymer. [0069] Embodiment 8 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 7, further including preheating the panel prior to placing it within the injection molding die.

[0070] Embodiment 9 is the method of embodiment 8, wherein the panel is preheated to a softening temperature of the first layer of the panel. [0071] Embodiment 10 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 9, wherein the molded structure exhibits an airflow resistance of 4,000 to 70,000 Pa s/m2.

[0072] Embodiment 11 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 10, wherein the panel is supported in the injection molding die on at least a portion of the first layer.

[0073] Embodiment 12 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 11, wherein the panel is supported in the injection molding die on at least a portion of each of the first layer and the second layer.

[0074] Embodiment 13 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 10, wherein the panel is unsupported in the injection molding die on each of the first layer and the second layer.

[0075] Embodiment 14 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 13, wherein the molded structure is applied to at least one major surface of the panel.

[0076] Embodiment 15 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 14, wherein the entire panel is inserted into the injection molding die.

[0077] Embodiment 16 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 15, wherein the panel has a shape, and the method further includes altering the shape of the panel in the injection molding die. [0078] Embodiment 17 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 16, wherein the panel has a thickness of 4 mm to 25 mm.

[0079] Embodiment 18 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 17, wherein at least one cell is consolidated and folded over to form a reinforcement bead.

[0080] Embodiment 19 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 18, wherein the injection molding die is configured to reduce a thickness of at least a portion of the panel by 5% to 95% or to increase a thickness of at least a portion of the panel by 5% to 1,000%.

[0081] Embodiment 20 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 19, wherein the injection molding die is configured to reduce a thickness of the entire panel by 5% to 95% or to increase a thickness of the entire panel by 5% to 1,000%. [0082] Embodiment 21 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 20, wherein the panel is perforated by the injection mold. [0083] Embodiment 22 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 21, further including at least partially shaping the panel using thermoforming or compression molding prior to placing at least a portion of the panel within the injection molding die.

[0084] Embodiment 23 is the method of embodiment 22, wherein the thermoforming or compression molding process utilizes vacuum, pressure, or matched mold forming to shape the panel.

[0085] Embodiment 24 is the method of embodiment 22 or embodiment 23, further including cooling the shaped panel prior to overmolding the molded structure on a surface of the panel.

[0086] Embodiment 25 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 24, wherein the molded structure includes a material exhibiting a hardness of 10 Shore OO to 90 Shore D.

[0087] Embodiment 26 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 25, wherein the molded structure further includes at least one of beads, bubbles, fibers, carbon black, particles, or a mineral.

[0088] Embodiment 27 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 26, wherein the molded structure is formed by providing a curable composition comprising a blowing agent into a vacant cavity in the injection molding dies and curing the curable composition to form the foam composition.

[0089] Embodiment 28 is the method of embodiment 27, wherein the blowing agent includes a chemical blowing agent.

[0090] Embodiment 29 is the method of embodiment 27 or 28, wherein the blowing agent includes a physical blowing agent.

[0091] Embodiment 30 is the method of any of embodiments 27 to 29, wherein the blowing agent includes expandable microspheres.

[0092] Embodiment 31 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 30, further including treating the surface of the panel to increase adhesion of the molded structure to the panel.

[0093] Embodiment 32 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 31, wherein the first layer of the panel has at least one opening between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer, and wherein the method further includes plugging the at least one opening prior to overmolding the at least one molded structure on a surface of the panel in the injection molding die.

[0094] Embodiment 33 is the method of any of embodiments 1 to 32, further including disposing a substrate facing into the injection molding die and a distance from the panel and attaching the substrate to the molded structure when the foam composition forms, wherein the molded structure is disposed between the panel and the substrate.

[0095] Embodiment 34 is the method of embodiment 33, wherein the substrate includes a fdm, a woven material, a nonwoven material, or a combination thereof.

[0096] Embodiment 35 an article made by the method of any of embodiments 1 to 34.

[0097] Embodiment 36 is an article. The article includes at least one molded structure disposed on a surface of a panel, having a material-to-material connection between the surface of the panel and the molded structure. The molded structure includes a foam composition. The panel includes first and second layers each having first and second opposed major surfaces and a core disposed there between, the second layer being free of any openings between the first and second major surfaces of the second layer. The core has a plurality of walls extending from the second surface of the first layer to the first surface of the second layer providing a series of connected cells, wherein some of the cell walls have openings providing fluid communication between a series of at least 3 cells. Each cell wall has a plurality of sides, each side of a cell wall has an area, and the opening in a cell wall has an area that is at least 50 percent of the area of a side of that cell wall. The first layer has at least a first opening extending between the first and second major surfaces of the first layer into at least one cell in the series.

[0098] Embodiment 37 is the article of embodiment 36, wherein the molded structure has a thickness of 0.1 millimeters (mm) to 76 mm.

[0099] Embodiment 38 is the article of embodiment 36 or embodiment 37, wherein the molded structure includes a closed cell foam.

[00100] Embodiment 39 is the method of embodiment 36 or embodiment 37, wherein the molded structure includes an open cell foam.

[00101] Embodiment 40 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 39, wherein the molded structure includes a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a polyolefin, a polyvinylchloride, a polyurethane, a polyester, a polyamide, a polystyrene, a polyisocyanurate, a silicone, or a copolymer thereof.

[00102] Embodiment 41 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 40, wherein the panel includes a polyethylene, a polypropylene, a polyolefin, a polyvinylchloride, a polyurethane, a polyester, a polyamide, a polystyrene, or a copolymer thereof.

[00103] Embodiment 42 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 41, wherein the molded structure and the panel include the same type of polymer. [00104] Embodiment 43 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 42, wherein the molded structure is applied to at least one major surface of the panel.

[00105] Embodiment 44 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 43, wherein the panel has a shape.

[00106] Embodiment 45 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 44, wherein the panel has a thickness of 4 mm to 25 mm.

[00107] Embodiment 46 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 45, wherein at least one cell is consolidated and folded over to form a reinforcement bead.

[00108] Embodiment 47 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 44, wherein the molded structure includes a material exhibiting a hardness of 10 Shore OO to 90 Shore D.

[00109] Embodiment 48 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 47, wherein the molded structure further includes at least one of beads, bubbles, fibers, carbon black, particles, or a mineral.

[00110] Embodiment 49 is the article of any of embodiments 36 to 48, further including a substrate attached to the molded structure, wherein the molded structure is disposed between the panel and the substrate.

[00111] Embodiment 50 is the article of embodiment 49, wherein the substrate includes a film, a woven material, a nonwoven material, or a combination thereof.

[00112] Advantages and embodiments of this invention are further illustrated by the following examples, but the particular materials and amounts thereof recited in these examples, as well as other conditions and details, should not be construed to unduly limit this invention. All parts and percentages are by weight unless otherwise indicated.

[00113] Example 1: single step process (Prophetic)

[00114] An approximately 8-millimeter (mm) thick polypropylene acoustically absorbing honeycomb panel made according to the Honeycomb Panel Preparation method described in WO 2018/034949 (Jonza et al.) is loaded into the clamp frame of an industrial robot (e.g., Fanuc Mil0/12s, Fanuc, Echtemach, Luxembourg). The robot positions the panel within an IR heating oven and holds the panel until a critical softening temperature of the panel skin is reached (e.g., approximately 150-165°C). The panel is quickly transferred between the injection mold halves of an injection molding machine (e.g., Engel 100TL, ENGEL AUSTRIA GmbH, Schwertberg, Austria) and the mold closing sequence is initiated, subsequently forming the panel until the mold is fully clamped. In the fully clamped position, the acoustic panel may be fully supported on both sides, it may be only supported on one side, it is possible to be unsupported on both sides or it is able to be consolidated to a thickness below 8 mm and potentially perforated by the injection mold steel. Next, the injection molding machine’s injection unit actuates, providing an open or closed cell foam overmolding material into the vacant cavity regions or space where the acoustic panel is unsupported.

[00115] Example 2: dual step process (Prophetic)

[00116] An approximately 8-mm thick polypropylene acoustically absorbing honeycomb panel made according to the Honeycomb Panel Preparation method described in WO 2018/034949 (Jonza et al.) is loaded into the clamp frame of a thermoforming machine (e.g., MAAC C5535SPT, MAAC MACHINERY, Carol Stream, IL). The thermoforming machine positions the panel within an IR heating oven and holds the panel until a critical softening temperature of the panel skin is reached (e.g., approximately 150-165°C). The panel is quickly transferred between the thermoforming tool halves and the tool closing sequence is initiated, subsequently forming the panel until the mold is fully clamped at which point air pressure or vacuum may be applied to further shape the panel. After a cooling duration, the tool is opened and the formed panel is removed from clamp frame.

[00117] In the next step of the process, the pre-formed panel is loaded within the injection mold of an injection molding machine (e.g., Engel 100TL) and the mold is closed fully. The injection molding machine’s injection unit actuates, providing an open or closed cell foam overmolding material into the vacant cavity regions or space where the acoustic panel is unsupported.

[00118] Foreseeable modifications and alterations of this disclosure will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention. This invention should not be restricted to the embodiments that are set forth in this application for illustrative purposes.