Rubber moulding is a process which takes a compound of raw rubber and then by using one of three different methods, the rubber is then moulded into whatever shape is required. The three main rubber moulding manufacturing processes are rubber injection moulding, rubber transfer moulding and rubber compression moulding. In this article, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of these three moulding processes.
Rubber Injection Moulding
This is where a rubber compound or material, such as neoprene, silicone or nitrile, is heated and injected under high pressure into a closed mould. The benefits of rubber injection moulding include fast production and cycle times, high tolerance of different mould shapes and sizes and minimal waste of materials. The disadvantages of this method include high initial set-up costs and the need for more expensive parts and materials for the process. Specialists such as https://www.meadex.co.uk/rubber-moulding can offer a wide range of standard and custom made rubber mouldings.
Rubber Compression Moulding
This is a simpler process than injection moulding and it works by heating and pressurising the rubber into the metal tool. Vulcanisation occurs as the rubber cools and it can then be removed from the mould. Less expensive machinery is needed for this method, reduced wastage, and the ability to produce stiffer materials with a higher durometer. Compression moulding does have some disadvantages, however, notably, it has a slower processing time and it is more difficult to maintain consistent rubber moulding results. Health and safety is clearly important in any manufacturing environment. To learn more about all aspects of health and safety in the rubber moulding industry, see:
Rubber Transfer Moulding
This is a similar process to injection moulding as the rubber is forced through a gate and mould system with pressure and heat applied to start the vulcanisation process. The advantages of this method include a higher level of accuracy and a faster turnaround in time than compression moulding. The limitations of transfer moulding include a higher level of wastage than the other two methods and it can be more costly if detailed moulds are used.