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What is Rubber Molding?

Rubber molding is a process to convert unprotected rubber or elastomer into a useful product by transferring, compressing or injecting raw rubber material into a metal mold cavity. The applied pressure creates a chemical reaction, such as curing or vulcanization, that causes the polymer chains in the material to crosslink.

All rubber manufacturers use heat and pressure to produce their products. The most common methods for rubber molding are injection, compression, and transfer. With the continuous development of products, rubber mold manufacturers are constantly adjusting to meet the growing demand for grommets, gaskets, tubing, O-rings and hoses.

//Rubber Molding

How Rubber Moldings are Made

Rubber products and components are produced, shaped and formed using the molding process. Molding is used, in addition to shaping parts, to subject rubber materials to chemical processes that harden or harden the polymer chains of raw rubber. The chemical reaction forces the long polymer chains to crosslink, which prevents them from moving freely. Rubber material expands and contracts as stress is applied or eliminated.

There are several steps that need to be taken prior to initiating the molding process.

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Rubber can be molded into complex shapes, geometries and designs. During the design process, the configuration is incorporated into the rubber geometry that is used to make the production of the final product more economical. In molding part design, engineers have to calculate the part line and its location, which should have a minimum draft angle. Mold design is the foundation of part development and can determine the success or failure of parts production.

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Producing the Mold:

Once the design is complete, it is molded into a metal mold. The manufacture and production of molds involves the use of some form of hardened steel, beryllium hardened copper, or aluminum. Steel is the most common material for mold making because it lasts the longest, which makes it an economical option, although initially, it is more expensive. Hardened steel measures 38 to 45 on the Rockwell hardness scale. The manufacturing of the mold includes the surface finish of the mold cavity and the cavity which has to be correctly adjusted to produce the proper finish on the final part. Mold manufacturing involves the use of computer programs that produce molds that precisely match design parameters. The computerization process cuts down on the amount of time required to produce rubber molds for production. Once the mold is cast and fabricated, it is tested for its dimensional accuracy and compliance with the original design.

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Compression molding is the simplest type of rubber molding process. A two part clamshell style mold is used to shape the final piece. Once the un-vulcanized rubber is placed in the mold cavity, the mold is closed and heated. The pressure is created using a hydraulic press. As the rubber in the mold heats up, it fills the mold cavity. When the proper temperature is reached, the rubber vulcanizes, or hardens, which ensures that the rubber will keep its shape as it cools in the mold.

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Transfer Molding:

The transfer molding process is similar to the compression molding process, but uses a transfer system that takes place at the top of the mold that feeds the raw rubber into several mold cavities after the press is closed. Before being forced into the mold cavity, rubber compound is placed in the part of the mold called the pot. From the pot, the compound is forced into the mold cavity by a hot plunger or piston through a small part of the mold called a sprue. Transfer molding is a highly efficient process with short tool loading times. The process allows for a high production run, although the parts do not have tight tolerances. When curing is complete, the mold is split, and the parts are discarded.

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Injection Molding:

The injection molding process is used to produce products that require tight tolerances with high precision and accuracy. The injection process begins by heating the raw rubber to make the liquid such that it flows more freely and smoothly into the mold cavity. The preheating process shortens the curing time and allows for higher curing temperatures. The nature of injection molding requires that the mold be clamped tightly, which helps to avoid or limit flashing. Rubber for injection molding is supplied into the mold through a nozzle and barrel assembly that provides a continuous flow. The rubber fixture, referred to as the glue stock, enters the mold cavity through a gate after traveling through a system of sprays and runners. The liquefied rubber fills the cavity of the mold and packs tightly onto the walls of the mold to form the desired shape.

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We at Integrated Solutions provide best Rubber mold Manufacturing Services. Contact us for know more about it:-

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