When talking about rubber products manufacturing, there are various manufacturing processes that do exist. Every procedure has its own benefits, making it the best choice for manufacturing of particular types of product. You are going to have clearer understanding of tradeoffs and cost implications by simply learning the different manufacturing procedures.
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. As soon as the compound has reached the dye, the pressure forces it through the extruder’s opening. 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Latex dipping – for this, it takes place when a thin walled mold is immersed to the latex compounds and slowly withdrawn. Re-dipping the product in the latex compound will increase the thickness of the dipped product. The product will only be finished by vulcanization as soon as the dipping process has occurred. Post treatments may be required depending on the finished dipped product.
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. There’s a slow heating time leading to 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. This procedure starts with blank being loaded in chamber. Then after, this is distributed into 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. 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 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.