Decorated door spears

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By Richard Smylie | Oct 20, 2017
Armrest inserts by GMN Automotive

If you think it’s only the exterior of the car that matters, think again! More and more people are shifting their focus to the interior. After all, that’s where we spend our maximum time. Decorative accents and trims breathe a new visual identity into the vehicle, giving it a distinct personality.

Armrests are a crucial element on the door panel that add style and comfort to vehicles. Their ergonomic design reduces fatigue, making the ride extremely relaxed and comfortable. A metal insert known as a door spear (or armrest insert) lends shape, strength and support to the armrest. Meeting at the crossroads of aesthetics and functionality, door spears hold up against heavy utilization. They endure the shifts in temperature, face ultraviolet rays from the sun and battle any scratches, chemicals and moisture that come their way. They stay put no matter how hard you pull or slam the door. To top it all, door spears add a dash of elegance to the armrest. However, choosing the right type of door spear is never easy. You also need to weave in several factors like utility, style, material, decoration and cost.

Whether it’s a commercial van or a tiny hatchback car, the type and utility of the vehicle will significantly impact your armrest design and style. In commercial vans, armrests often act as handles, supporting the entire weight of the passengers. Superior strength thus becomes a vital prerequisite. On the other hand, in a personal car, boundaries start to blur between functionality and appearance. The armrest needs to be durable, but also blend in beautifully with the car’s refined interiors. The utility of the vehicle steers the style of the armrest, and in turn dictates the design of the door spear.

The trends in door spears have evolved over the years and expanded to embrace different materials. Depending on your style inclination, they can be custom-manufactured in varied materials like aluminum or stainless steel. Molded plastic, fabrics, leather, vinyl and metals are extensively seen. While plastic can be cost-effective, metal inserts can be extremely elegant. Decorations on door spears are visually impactful, thus enhancing the aesthetics of the car. Be it a brushed or woodgrain finish, embossing or etching, door spears can be dressed in several textures and finishes to complement the material and design.

As a vertically integrated manufacturer, GMN Automotive can build door spears that fit all forms and functional requirements. From classy to flashy, our engineering support team can help you incorporate a multitude of materials and decorating options. Door spears might be small, but the creative flexibility at GMN Automotive is truly vast. Our decorative capabilities include custom roll-coated bases and top coats, and screen, digital, off-set and pad printing.

The printing process at GMN Automotive is supported by color chemists and lab technicians who custom color-match all applications. They ensure that the ink’s chemistry allows it to be flexible to match the tooling profiles it will be subjected to, yet remain hard for scuff and scratch considerations. Depending on the material and construction, appropriate coatings are applied at the end for door spears to retain their appearance and performance over years. For example - in the case of a metallic door spear, urethane, epoxy, polyester or hybrid topcoats can be considered. In a nutshell, GMN Automotive closely controls all the phases of production including material selection, printing and decorating.

Every good design needs a robust support. Injection molded backing for door spears offer support, strength and durability in tough environmental conditions. It is also resistant to chemicals and corrosion. Injection molding is a process where plastic is heated, melted and injected into a cavity to conform to the intended shape, and is later cooled. Even for large scale production, it allows design flexibility that most processes cannot. You can create complex forms containing sharp edges, curves and bends at competitive prices. Our extensive plastic molding capabilities allows us to construct this sturdy backing and the door spear under the same roof.

GMN Automotive’s in-house competencies encapsulate everything from decorative metal inserts (form) to injection molding backing (function), resulting in visually striking door spears. With rapid prototyping capabilities, in-house tooling services and robust quality systems in place, GMN Automotive excels at value added assembly. This holistic route allows GMN Automotive to be a one-stop-shop for all your decorative door trim needs. To learn more about our decorative accents, click here.