A rubber mould is a product of the rubber moulding process used to produce usable rubber. Untreated rubber and elastomers are the material which undergoes a chemical activity, hardening the polymer chain and creating the required geometry within the product.
Elastomers have elastic ability means if stretched it returns to the original shape. Deriving both rubber and elastomers from natural resources is possible; however, they are synthetically produced under chemical procedures. The natural rubber originates from the Hevea tree, while synthetic rubber has crude oil as its origin.
Due to the resilience, insulation, strength and resistance to wear and tear, rubber is the most suitable material for moulded products in high volume.
Advantages of Rubber Moulding
- Resilience and tensile strength enable it as ideal for mass production and diverse application.
- Produce a variety of products
- Procedures simplicity and cost-effective
- Recyclable and low energy consumption
Types of Rubber Moulding
In the rubber compressing process, as the name suggests, a fixed rubber/compound ratio is added directly into the mould hollow then compressed into a cavity shape enclosing in between two sides of the mould with hydraulic pressure. While controlling the pressure, more heat is introduced to cure the uncured rubber. In the final step, separating the mould and product, the flash (extra rubber) is trimmed.
Rubber injection moulding:
The process name is pretty self-explanatory, heating the rubber/compound into a liquid state, it is gradually injected into the mould. The mould is then opened to release the product and closed to further proceed with the injections.
Rubber Transfer Moulding
Transfer moulding works with closed mould while the uncured material is arranged to be pre-forms. The preformed compound is set down into the pot (a mould part) then inserted into a cavity mould of resultant product through a hole. The final product is released after splitting the mould.
Essential aspects of mould making
Each aspect is equally important and carried out with great precision. These factors bring out the quality of the product through the step by step process of designing, fabricating, installing, and operating the mould. The method of making mould involves:
this process is often simplified by 3D designing software. 3D designer handles the job, ensuring the compatibility of the designed mould and the machine used for moulding. The designer makes a digital design or model of core, base and mould cavity.
in mass production, the mould should duplicate the material perfectly with minimum spilling.
it involves the components casting and employs equipment for precision. The involved equipment is polishing, drilling, milling, and grinding machines to shape the mould.
the testing procedure ensures that all components meet specifications like durability, mechanical characteristics, stability and surface finishing.
Rubber Moulding Application
Rubber is famous for the physical attributes that make it perfect in a myriad of scenarios. Its application knows no bounds and has spread in various industries.
Some of the application are;
- Bumper for suspension
- Hospital bed tires
- Custom Gaskets
- Dock bumper
- Dental grips
- Strain relief protectors
- Agricultural equipment
- Custom grommets
Due to their physical and chemical characteristics, natural or synthetic are widely used for mass production through Compression, Transfer and Injection moulding processes and highly specialised fabrication and designing procedures.