Top 4 Rubber Manufacturing Processes.
There are numerous processes to use when manufacturing rubber. Each process is good on its way in making a certain rubber category. When you know the manufacturing processes, you can be in a position to understand the implications on costs and tradeoffs. Molding, calendaring, latex dripping and extrusion are the most common rubber processing methods.
Extrusion starts by putting a vulcanized compound in an extruder. A dye carries the extruder forward. The dye is special in manufacturing and assists in shaping the rubber. When the compound reaches the dye, it is forced through the extruder’s opening by the pressure from the process. For it to become useful, the extruded product is vulcanized. Each rubber compound should have a cure package before it is vulcanized.
Latex dripping happens when molds that are thinly walled are put into latex molds and later withdrawn slowly. You can re-dip the product in the latex with an aim to increase its thickness. After the dipping process occurs, the product is then vulcanized. Post treatment’s needs depends on the nature of the dipped product. The products that result from this method include grips, bladders, rubber gloves, tubing, and balloons among others.
Molding is comprised of three processes. These are transferred molding, compression molding, and injection molding. The oldest and cheapest method is compression molding. The advantages of using this method are the suitability of rubber compounds that have a large surface area, and it’s suitability in rubber compounds that have a poor flow property and a high viscosity. This process on the other hand, consumes a lot of time. O-rings, silicon, electrical insulators, seals, and wristbands can be made using this method.
Transfer molding limits the limitations of compression and molding. The process begins with a blank chamber that moves rubber to other chambers. In the starting stage, rubber is heated, therefore making it possible to move to other channels.
Finally, there is injection molding. Both the press and injection units have different controls, and are two separate entities. An extruder unit attends to some passes in a certain programmed way. This ends up with several injection processes. This minimizes handling blanks in the process. This eliminates the chances of handling blanks in the process. This can easily fill up hard cavities as well as flow channels.
Calendaring involves forcing softened materials to the middle of rotating rollers. The rollers will then compress the materials. The product’s thickness thus becomes determined by the gap between the cylinders. Of all the other processes, calendaring is the most expensive.