What is the difference between rubber moulding and rubber extrusion?
Rubber is a truly amazing product, used in the manufacture of countless essential components and parts. Rubber is also versatile enough to lend itself to different manufacturing processes. This means that different techniques can be utilised to create bespoke components with unique qualities. The two most common techniques are rubber moulding and rubber extrusion. So, how do you choose between the techniques when it comes to production?
The rubber moulding process essentially includes three main stages. The design of the mould for the desired requirements of the end product, the injection or placement of the raw material into the mould and then the moulding process in a machine designed to shape the rubber into the desired shape.
This is the process used by many rubber moulding firms to make a huge variety of components and parts. Find out more about rubber and Silicone moulding UK at a site like meadex.co.uk
There are three main types of rubber moulding:
Injection – High pressure rubber injection into a mould and then heated.
Transfer – rubber that has been pre-formed is placed into a pot, pushed through a runner and gate system and then into a cavity to be cured.
Compression – Rubber is put into a mould and then sealed and subjected to high temperatures and pressure to create a desired shape.
Moulding makes good 3D shapes and it is fast meaning quicker production times. It is efficient as manufacturers can use the same machine but just different moulds. Rubber moulding is easily automated thus saving money. It is also highly precise and accurate.
Extrusion methods differ as they utilise a custom-made die to create a product. The raw rubber is pushed through the die and extrusion equipment holds the die in place and pushes the rubber through it. This method is also able to create a large variety of shapes, sizes and qualities for manufacturers. Soft, unvulcanised rubber is forced into a die with an opening in the shape of the desired product. The formed material is then cured and afterwards cut to the desired length.
Extrusion is highly efficient as there is little wastage so offers high levels of materials efficiency. It is economical too as the production costs for extrusion techniques are lower than other methods. This process can also be used to produce almost any 2D shape in either continuous or specified lengths.
Typical examples of parts and components made using the extrusion technique include:
Both moulding and extrusion play a vital role in the production of parts for a great many industries. Industries that include but are not limited to: pharmaceuticals, dental, medical, consumer goods, food and drink and automobile.
To ensure the success of your project, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced fabricator who can help you decide which technique would best suit your product idea.