When it comes to rubber products manufacturing, there are many manufacturing processes that are applied. Every procedure has its own benefits, making it the best choice for manufacturing of particular types of product. Making yourself aware of the different manufacturing processes can help you to have better understanding of tradeoffs and cost implications.
As a matter of fact, there are 4 popular forms of rubber products manufacturing and these are extrusion, molding, latex dipping as well as calendaring.
Extrusion -for this procedure, it begins with unvulcanized compound which is later fed to the extruder. The moment that it’s inside the extruder, it will be carried forward to the dye, which is basically a specialized manufacturing tool used to mold the rubber. The pressure forces it through extruder’s opening as soon as the compound reached the dye. Before it can be deemed usable, the extruded product should be vulcanized.
Latex dipping – this one occurs when a thin walled mold is immersed into latex compounds and withdrawn slowly. Re-dipping the product in the latex compound will increase the thickness of the dipped product. As soon as the dipping process occurred, the product is finished by vulcanization. Depending on finished dipped product, it may require post treatments.
Molding – transfer molding, injection molding and compression molding are the three main types of manufacturing processes for this. For the latter, it’s the least expensive and at the same time, the oldest technique. With this process, the rubber compound is formed in a blank or chunk of rubber. The blank gets placed into mold cavity for it to be shaped. Because of its slow heating time, the curing time takes a while. Heating might vary from 90 seconds for thin walls and can last for several hours for thicker walls.
In order to limit the drawbacks of compression molding, transfer molding is used. This procedure starts with blank being loaded in chamber. After that, this is distributed in multiple cavities. In the early stages, the preheating starts in rubber which will force it to flow through channels. Through this, the curing time is reduced and the rubber can flow easier to fill in mold cavities with improved efficiency.
For rubber products manufacturing, injection molding is the most common procedure used. If this procedure is used, press units and the injection unit will serve as a different entity that have a separate control. Through this form of molding, there are no blanks handling and the process can be automated while the difficult cavities as well as flow channels can be easily filled.
Calendering – this works by forcing a softened material to the center of a counter rotating rollers. The rollers will be compacting the materials while the product’s overall thickness is set by the gap distance between the cylinders.