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3 Rubber Moulding Processes

Polymers such as EPDM, nitrile, SBR and neoprene among others are moulded into different shapes that can be used in both domestic and industrial applications – such as O-rings, grommets, seals and fenders, etc.

An elastomer or untreated rubber is cured and formed into certain shapes. With the use of a moulding metal cavity as the container rubber is compressed, injected or poured. Specific heat and pressure are then applied to create the desired rubber product – from simple rings to intricate rubber mouldings.

The Rubber Moulding Process

Each rubber moulding can vary depending on the method used in the manufacturing process. Here we explain 3 commonly used processes:

Rubber Compression Moulding

Rubber compression moulding is a high volume and high pressure method that is suitable for moulding complex and high-strength objects. It usually makes use of two or multi-part metal moulds with a box or piece of uncured rubber placed in the metal cavity. The mould is then continuously heated while pressure is being applied. This constant heat and pressure allows the uncured rubber to be formed into the desired shape – creating a specific rubber moulding that can only be obtained when the metal mould is opened.

The advantages of rubber compression moulding include:

  • Economical process for medium precision
  • Cost-effective
  • Less waste and scrap
  • Widely applicable for different rubber products

Rubber Injection Moulding

This process works by having a predetermined and preheated amount of rubber fed into an injection barrel through a screw. The rubber is then injected into the metal mould cavities through an injection press, which is then closed under high pressure until the final product is formed.

As one of the most preferred processes for shaping rubbers, this process provides benefits such as:

  • Lower labour costs
  • Faster and more accurate production
  • Shorter curing time
  • Design flexibility

Rubber Transfer Moulding

Similar to injection moulding, this process sees rubber entering the cavity by a piston through a Runner, Sprue and Gate system from a Transfer Pot located above the cavity area. The untreated rubber is then vulcanised or cured by an amount of pressure and a specific temperature.

Compared with the 2 aforementioned processes, rubber transfer moulding requires more complicated and more expensive moulds; it cannot produce parts with textile inserts, although it does afford other advantages:

  • Preheating that reduces the curing time
  • Easier and more efficient filling of rubber into the mould
  • Tighter control of dimensional tolerance
  • Capable of producing over-moulded components

As rubber component specialists, Coruba can help with your rubber gaskets and other specifically-designed rubber moulding requirements. With all your enquiries, please call 01702 560194.

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