Rubber molding definition and types
Rubber molding is a typical production process of the manufacturing industry which allows for the production of customized items.
Rubber is characterized by its elasticity, i.e. the ability to deform and return to its original shape.
This material is widely used in many industrial sectors from the automotive, small and large household appliances, medical, electronics, aeronautics, military and much more.
The use of rubber is widespread in many products, just think of gaskets, touch keyboards, handpieces, consumer products designed to facilitate the user’s usability and ergonomics.
The main feature of rubber is hardness which is measured in Shore.
The most common materials for rubber molding have a degree of hardness ranging from 40 to 90 ShoreA.
The steps to start manufacturing and molding a rubber component are the same as for injection molding for rigid plastics.
The first step is the 3D CAD design of the component;
The second step is often the start of a prototype production.
The production of prototypes allows you to validate the engineering phases and make changes to the project before starting the final production.
For the production of rubber prototypes it is possible to use 3D printing in FDM or vacuum casting. The latter is a vacuum casting process with polyurethane resins that simulate molding counterparts also in rubber.
The performance of the prototypes built with this process is high and comparable to mass production.
For this reason it is possible to use vacuum casting production to assemble products intended for sale.
Once the prototyping has been completed, it is possible to start mass production from rubber moulding.
The technologies used
In the industrial sector the most used technologies are:
- Injection moulds
- Compression molds
Injection molds for rubber molding are steel or aluminum equipment that allows mass production.
The most commonly used materials are elastomers such as TPE, TPV, TPU.
With injection presses the rubber is injected into a closed mold at high temperatures through a special chamber, at the end of the vulcanization this is opened allowing the extraction of the product.
Compression molds are equipment suitable for the production of simpler rubber parts with limited runs.
This second production process requires the constant presence of an operator to load the material and extract the piece.
Here the material is placed at room temperature, heated and then vulcanized into the mould.
Our case studies
Our experience in manufacturing rubber parts counts hundreds of projects.
To have a production that meets our expectations, it is necessary to carry out a good design.
Often the components we produce belong to more complex projects for which we have also developed the design and 3D cad planning.
The use of rubber in the handle ensures greater operator grip, ergonomics and the ability to activate the built-in steam delivery.
The rubber is molded onto a nylon core.
On this product, the rear cable guide is also in TPE.
After producing the rigid plastic shell, the part is inserted into the TPE mold.
The adhesion of TPE on ABS is guaranteed both by mechanical expedients and by the choice of materials which guarantee chemical adhesion.
This component is an accessory part of a medical device for the ex vivo reconditioning of organs.
The material used is TPE with medical certification to guarantee the project specifications.
The rubber part is co-moulded on a rigid ABS frame to guarantee the tightness and stable housing of the mesh in the container.
Our company is structured to follow all the steps for the production of rubber parts.
The production of rubber stamping parts includes:
- Feasibility analysis: it consists in the analysis of the 3D files that must be suitable for the production process
- Prototyping: before starting production, we always recommend producing a prototype or a small series to validate the functioning, assembly or test other aspects of the product.
- Mold design: this step involves the design of equipment suitable for production.
- First molding test: before starting the final production we always recommend the production of a validation sample.
- Mass production: the mold remains on contract with us for moulding.
- Deburring and quality control: the molded artifacts are cleaned of the base and molding marks. Before proceeding with the shipment, we check compliance as agreed with the customer.
Why contact us
Our structure allows you to have a competent and reliable interlocutor on all the development steps of a plastic product.
This advantage is also perceived when the entire design is followed by the customer who sends us the executive files directly to start production.