With a plethora of processes and available options, the possibilities for custom molded rubber parts are endless. Whether it’s custom o-rings for medical devices, seals, gaskets, diaphragms, one-way sealing valves or others, the challenge for each is the same when it comes to rubber molding: it’s a question of maximizing time and expenditures while ensuring reliable parts. Our talented team of chemists not only ensure reliability when it comes to your parts, but we’ll also help you answer one of the most daunting questions faced during the rubber part sourcing process:
“Which rubber molding process is best for you?”
There’s no short answer to that question. But you probably already know it is very much associated with time and cost, among other parameters. As a top rubber molded rubber part manufacturer, companies around the globe turn to us because of our ability to deliver reliable custom parts on time, to spec and within budget. With a little information about your application, we can bring the same success to your next project. In the meantime, let’s take a cursory glance at some of the different molding methods.
Molding Advantages and Disadvantages
Each process, from rubber compression molding and rubber transfer molding to rubber injection molding and plastic injection molding, has its own advantages and disadvantages. The ability to leverage particular advantages opens the door to a wide range of savings. Take a closer look, and you’ll see where other molding methods have inherent disadvantages. Nonetheless, each molding method has a purpose depending on the nature of your application.
An Overview of the Rubber Compression Molding Process
Whether your rubber molding needs are complex or straightforward, rubber compression might be right for you. Compression molding consists of a top and bottom plate mold that is machined to a custom configuration. An elastomer preform is added between the plates and the plates are compressed under heat and pressure for a specified amount of time until the mold is open. When it comes to quality assurance, our process monitors variables closely and adjusts to compensate for variable differences during each cycle. After the elastomer is cured properly, the mold is opened, the part is removed, the mold cleaned and the cycle repeated.
Rubber compression molding offers a wide variety of advantages, such as a lower yield of material rubber scrape. When you partner with our talented team of chemists and engineers, your competitive advantage is our proprietary compression molding method of rubber compounds.
Rubber Transfer Molding: A Closer Look
Maybe your application requires flexibility when it comes to design. If that’s the case, it might be time to consider rubber transfer molding. The transfer molding process consists of a mold cavity similar to a compression mold. In addition, the mold contains a transfer pot and a ram, where the rubber material is placed before compression. The mold cavity contains transfer holes, which connect to the transfer pot through sprues. During molding, the ram is compressed, and compounded rubber material flows through the sprues into the mold cavity configuration. Similar to compression molding, our process monitors all variables and compensates for differences during each cycle. After the elastomer is cured properly, the mold cavity is opened, the part is removed, the sprue is removed, the transfer pot and mold cavity is cleaned, and the cycle is repeated. While transfer molding offers a wide range of advantages, its disadvantages include an increased amount of waste materials — the scraps of which are non-reusable.
Rubber Injection Molding and Everything You Need to Know
Rubber injection molding is renowned for its use in a wide range of applications. Whether it’s tiny custom rubber parts or larger undertakings, injection molding might be your preferred method. At Da/ Pro Rubber, we offer liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding. This type of molding is also called liquid injection molding (LIM). LIM is similar to transfer molding, but the rubber material is supplied on a continuous basis through an injection nozzle. The liquid rubber is injected into the mold cavity, and, under heat and pressure, the rubber cures. The part is then ejected from the cavity and the molding. The tooling for this process is more precision than compression due to the low viscosity of the liquid silicone.
Plastic Injection Molding Benefits and Advantages
It might be the case that you require plastic injection molding. If so, that’s where our staff, engineers and chemists can help you out. Plastic injection molding is a manufacturing process used for making components from thermoplastic and TPE materials. During the process, plastic material is injected at high pressure into a mold made from the inverse of the desired shape. Unlike thermoset materials such as silicone, the plastic bonds are formed as the material cools. Once the part is cooled, a mold release removes the parts. Plastic injection molding is a reliable, straightforward process that could fit your needs depending on the nature of your project. The best way to know is to get in touch.
Micromolding and Tight Tolerance Custom Parts
Many times, customers need tiny, highly detailed custom rubber or plastic parts. If you need tiny parts, such as o-rings, valves or other custom shapes, we can help. Our proprietary process means we meet the need to deliver when it comes to quality and tolerances. In addition, our process minimizes the need for secondary work including cryogenic de-flashing — operations that could possibly damage your custom part.
Remember, our capabilities run the gamut. With rubber diaphragms providing thickness as small as .006″, we specialize in rubber and plastic molding that is in-line with your needs.
Whether it’s rubber compression molding, rubber transfer molding, injection molding techniques or micromolding, our team is here to help you determine the optimal solution that fits your needs and provide you with a clear path forward to rubber and plastic molding success.
As a top manufacturer of precision rubber and plastic, we’ve been helping Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with our proprietary since 1961. And with facilities in California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Malaysia and Singapore, and a partner in Europe, we are uniquely qualified to bring your next rubber or plastic part project across the finish line.