When talking about rubber products manufacturing, there are various manufacturing processes that do exist. Every procedure has certain benefits, which makes it the perfect choice for the manufacturing of certain kinds of product. Being able to make yourself aware of different manufacturing processes help to understand tradeoffs and cost implications.
Some of the frequently used rubber products manufacturing 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. 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Latex dipping – for this, it takes place when a thin walled mold is immersed to the latex compounds and slowly withdrawn. The thickness of dipped product can be increased easily by just re-dipping the product in latex compound. The product will only be finished by vulcanization as soon as the dipping process has occurred. 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. The oldest and least expensive technique is the latter. With this procedure, rubber compound is formed into blank or chunk of rubber. The blank is placed into the mold cavity in order for it to be shaped. There is a slow heating time which leads to a long curing time. The heating may vary from 90 seconds for thin walls to few hours for thicker walls.
Transfer molding is the natural progression in development to be able to limit the drawbacks of compression molding. The procedure begins with a blank being loaded in chamber. Then after, this is distributed into several cavities. In early stages, preheating takes place in rubber which forces the rubber to flow through channels. This reduces curing time and lets the rubber to flow easier and to fill in mold cavities with higher efficiency.
Injection molding is a common process for rubber products manufacturing. 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 then compact the materials and overall thickness of product is set by gap distance between cylinders.