Of all available processes used for molding purposes, compression is the oldest and simplest. Especially for larger parts, as well as small to medium production runs, rubber compression molding is ideal. With this particular process, uncured rubber in the form of a preform goes on top of a mold cavity. Depending on the type of equipment, the operator can place the rubber on top of one or multiple cavities.
With the rubber in place, the mold lid closes. At that point, a press pushes down, forcing the mold plates together. This part of the compression molding technique is what turns the preform into the desired size and shape of the finished product. Only after the rubber cures does the mold lid open. That completes the process of making compression molding products.
Although top companies use a variety of manufacturing methods, the compression molding technique has several key advantages. Three of those stand out the most.
- Reduced Tooling Cost – For starters, tooling for rubber compression molding is not as costly compared to other methods. The primary reasons – there’s no transfer cycle or injection stage. As far as design of the equipment, there’s not much excluding the mold cavity. Lowering the cost further, manufacturers can make compression molding products using tools made from quality aluminum instead of steel.
- Production Runs – Another advantage of the rubber molding technique is that a manufacturer can accommodate small to medium-size production runs. Unfortunately, many manufacturing companies only produce large quantities. That means if a customer needs a significantly lower number of finished products, they will pay a lot of money. As far as the exact size, the customer would need to discuss that with the company hired.
- Large Parts and Components – There’s also the fact that rubber compression molding works great for large parts. Many industries, including transportation, medical, aviation, and aerospace need larger finished products. Because the rubber compression technique consists of placing the material directly onto the mold cavity, there are no limitations as to the weight of the part or component. However, there could be restrictions for the size of the press required and the tonnage needed.
- Additional Advantages – Along with the three listed are a few additional benefits worth mentioning. For instance, this particular method does not use any runners, gates, or sprues. For that reason, a manufacturer can use less raw materials but without compromising on the quality of the end product. Ultimately, that reduces the cost to make the part or component. This technique also works great for parts that have inserts as well as durometer components.
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When you need help with compression molding products, you can always count on us at RPM Industries. We would love the opportunity to assist.