When it comes to rubber products manufacturing, there are many manufacturing processes that are applied. With each procedure, it comes with its own set of benefits that make it the right choice for the manufacturing of specific product. Making yourself aware of the different manufacturing processes can help you to have better understanding of tradeoffs and cost implications.
Few of the commonly used rubber products manufacturing include extrusion, molding, latex dipping as well as calendering.
Extrusion – this process begins with unvulcanized compound that is then fed into the extruder. When it is inside the extruder, it is carried forward to the dye which is a specialized manufacturing tool that is used to mold the rubber. When the compound reached the dye, the pressure will be forcing it through the opening of the extruder. The extruded product then has to be vulcanized before it can be considered usable.
Latex dipping – for this, it takes place when a thin walled mold is immersed to the latex compounds and slowly withdrawn. The thickness of the dipped product could be increased by simply re-dipping the product in latex compound. As soon as the dipping process occurred, the product is finished by vulcanization. Post treatments may be required depending on the finished dipped product.
Molding – this composed of three primary manufacturing processes including transfer molding, injection molding and compression molding. The latter is basically the least expensive and oldest method. With this procedure, rubber compound is formed into blank or chunk of rubber. The blank gets placed into mold cavity for it to be shaped. There is a slow heating time which leads to a long curing time. For thinner walls, the heating could last for 90 seconds but for thicker walls, this can take few hours.
Transfer molding is actually the natural progression in development in order to limit drawbacks of compression molding. For this procedure to begin, the blank is loaded in the chamber. Once done, it’s scattered in several cavities. From the early phase of it, preheating will begin in rubber which is going to force the rubber to flow through channels. This will help in reducing the curing time and also, lets the rubber to flow easier and fill in mold cavities with higher efficiency.
For rubber products manufacturing, injection molding is the most common procedure used. With this procedure, the press units as well as injection unit function as separate entities which come with a separate control as well. With this type of molding, there is no blanks handling and processes may be automated and the difficult cavities as well as flow channels can be easily filled.
Calendering – this functions by forcing the softened material to center of counter rotating rollers. The rollers then compact the materials and overall thickness of product is set by gap distance between cylinders.