Custom Rubber Moulding

Custom Rubber Moulding

In the world of manufacturing, precision, versatility and durability are vital. Rubber is a material that consistently meets these requirements, and thanks to its unique combination of flexibility, resilience, and its resistance to chemicals, it is an essential component in a wide range of industries.

The creation of custom moulded rubber mouldings allows manufacturers and engineers to create the exact type of component needed by their client, right down to the colour, dimensions, materials, design, durability and properties. In this article, we’ll explore the different processes as well as which rubber materials can be used (as well as the properties of these rubbers).

Custom Rubber Moulding Processes

Custom rubber moulding processes are used to create various rubber products with specific shapes, sizes, and properties to meet the requirements of different industries. There are several common methods for rubber moulding, each with its advantages and ideal applications:

Three core methods are used for custom rubber moulding:

1. Injection Moulding

Rubber injection moulding is the process of injecting raw, uncured rubber is masticated and compressed into a cylinder that is then injected into a metal mould.

The heat and pressure inside the mould produces a chemical reaction within the rubber, known as vulcanisation or ‘curing’, which causes the cross-linking of polymer particles within the rubber. Injection moulding is a great way to fulfil high-volume orders.

2. Compression Moulding

Compression moulding is the traditional process of moulding rubber. This method requires you to apply clamping pressure from a press; the rubber blank is placed directly into the heated mould cavity, and the combination of heat and pressure crosslinks the rubber.

The benefits of this method of rubber moulding are its simplicity and low cost and is typically used for low-volume production and prototyping.

3. Transfer Moulding

Transfer moulding is a simplified form of injection moulding. Transfer moulding uses a mould that is split into two halves, alongside a cavity called “the well” where the rubber is placed.

A plunger is pushed into the well, applying pressure which enables the rubber to flow through transfer ports into the mould. As with the other two processes, the curing process begins once the mould is full. This method is typically used for low to medium-volume production.

Custom Moulded Rubber Part Materials

When it comes to creating custom-moulded rubber products, there are a range of different polymer materials that can be chosen from. The most common are silicone and neoprene, however, butyl, nitrile, natural rubber and styrene-butadiene are also used.

The kind of polymer used depends on what properties they have, for example silicone is often used in the food industry due to it being FDA-approved, while natural rubber is known for its resilience and rebound characteristics, making it commonly used in industries that require shock and vibration absorption (like the automotive or heavy machinery industry).

The process of custom rubber moulding requires an intricate blend of engineering expertise, advanced technology, and a comprehensive understanding of material properties and compounds.

Find out more about how Checkmate can help.

With extensive knowledge and experience of custom rubber moulding manufacturing, combined with expertise in mechanical engineering, Checkmate Flexible Engineering provides authoritative advice for design solutions that ensure: Optimum Performance, Reduced Costs & Longevity. If you think that we can help you, please contact us here – we’d love to hear from you.