How are rubber moulded parts made?
Rubber moulded parts are essential to lots of UK industries, from healthcare to building. There are many different ways of making rubber moulded parts, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
What is rubber moulding?
Rubber moulding is the process of turning raw rubber into end-use products using a mould. There is a huge demand for rubber-moulded products, especially in industries such as healthcare. In fact, it was recently reported that the medical-grade silicone rubber market would reach 1133.7 million USD by 2032.
There are 3 main methods used by companies to produce rubber moulding in the UK:
1. Rubber injection moulding
In this method, raw rubber is fed into the moulding machine. It’s heated, and compressed, turning it into a fluid substance that fills the mould. It’s then cooled, causing the rubber to solidify.
This moulding method is quick, easy, and low cost, and can make complex shaped parts. It can have a high initial cost but works with lots of types of rubber, including silicone.
2. Rubber compression moulding
Compression moulding is similar to injection moulding but uses a two-sided mould to press the raw rubber into shape. It is first heated and then placed in the press. The top of the mould is then lowered, setting the rubber.
This is the most common method used to make rubber moulding in the UK and can produce parts for many industries. It’s also relatively cheap as the machinery used is simpler. It’s also easy to maintain and can be used with materials that wouldn’t be suitable for injection moulding. However, the end product may require some manual finishing.
3. Rubber transfer moulding
This method uses a two-sided mould. The top of the mould has an opening into which raw rubber is inserted. It is then pushed through the mould to cool and solidify. This method is convenient for making larger parts and metal-rubber mounts. However, it is a more time-heavy method and can have an expensive setup.
There are many types of rubber moulding, but using this guide will help you to choose the right one for your business.