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From the healthcare industry to the automotive industry to the military, it seems that everyone is in the market for custom rubber molding. But before you can source a molded rubber part, you need to understand the differences between different types of molding in order to ensure you get the best part for the required application. Here are three common types of molding used in the industry today and the differences between them.
1. Injection molding
The use of a classic "mold" form into which a soft material is pushed so that it can take on the shape of the inside of the mold before hardening is probably the process that comes to mind when you think of molding. This type of molding, because it's so efficient and lends itself well to an automated setup, is frequently used for mass production. This method often uses thermosets or thermoplastics and is great for making parts in three dimensions.
2. Transfer molding
Transfer molding, while it's not as efficient as injection molding, is great for making parts that require precision. The process is slightly more complex, using pressure to force more rubber into any air bubbles that could otherwise end up in the final product and cause weaknesses. This process too can be used on other plastics as well as rubber. Transfer molding can be used for rubber parts that need to be fused to metal parts.
3. Compression molding
This method applies heat and pressure simultaneously to unmelted plastic or rubber instead of starting out with a melted plastic product. This method still uses a mold, and like transfer molding it uses pressure to force the material to fill in the mold evenly. But because the material is inserted while hard, it's impossible to put in the exactly correct amount of material, so excess material is often squeezed out the sides of the mold and has to be trimmed off later. Compared to other types of molding, this method has the advantage of being quick to set up. It's also better at dealing with super-hard materials.
These three types of rubber molding can all be used to make custom parts useful in a number of industries. In addition to being used with rubber, the processes are often applied to other types of plastics. If none of these types of molding sounds right for you, keep in mind that other processes (such as extrusion molding) can be used in rubber-parts manufacturing as well. For more information on rubber manufacturing, consult companies like Accurate Products Inc.Share
20 July 2016