If you thought there was just one type of rubber moulding, think again. There are actually two main processes, and it’s important to choose the right process for the job. Here is a brief look at these key rubber moulding types – compression and injection – and the advantages they have over one another.
What is rubber moulding?
Rubber moulding is the process of using a natural rubber or rubber compound and moulding it into a shape for parts.
Compression moulding using rubber is the more traditional process of the two, and that’s because it is a fairly simple concept. The unshaped rubber is pressed into the mould using hydraulic pressure, and the waste rubber is then cut away. While this process does create some waste and involves a high labour cost, the price of machinery is low. It’s perfect for the small-scale production of large, uncomplicated parts. It also means that rubber is not passed through runners, grates and sprues, making the clean-up job easier and maintenance of the machinery lower.
In the injection moulding process, treated, molten-state rubber or rubber compound is injected into a mould via a high-pressure injection. It is heated as it enters the mould, causing it to change to a solid state. This process is fast and creates very little waste material. It offers huge flexibility in terms of compound material choices and colour and is also cheap to administer, requiring low labour costs. It’s a great option for small, complicated parts that you need to make many of. It’s worth noting, however, that the initial cost of machinery is high, although it’s possible to outsource injection moulding to companies offering bespoke services such as http://www.meadex.co.uk/.
Which is better?
As the main two processes for making rubber mouldings, it’s little wonder that manufacturers have been debating which is superior for years. The truth is that there is no better method overall; it’s all about choosing the right one for the job and thinking about the money that you want to spend.
Specialist rubber moulding companies can often do the work for you and will know which method is best for you and which machinery you will need to buy if you choose to do your own moulding, so it’s always worth getting in touch for a quote.