Molding is an innovative mechanical process that transforms raw materials into usable products. Amidst the 3D rubber printing technology that has grabbed the industry’s attention, rubber moulding remains one of the transformative processes promising unparalleled durability, precision, and reliability.
This technique ensures the quality and longevity of the final rubber components essential across various industrial applications, including automotive, aerospace, industrial, agricultural, and more.
In this blog, we will explore the basics of moulding and the prominent moulding techniques used across the rubber products manufacturing industry.
What is Rubber Moulding?
Moulding of a rubber, popularly known as elastomer moulding, is a meticulous process where a specific rubber material is converted into a desired shape to have its application among various machinery. This technique utilizes various moulding techniques, such as compression, injection, and transfer moulding.
Types of Rubber Used for Moulding
The manufacturers use various types of rubber for the rubber moulding process. Each of the rubbers chosen demonstrates different qualities, used for its specific properties and intended applications.
- Natural Rubber – As the name implies, natural rubber comes from the latex produced by the rubber tree. It offers excellent resilience and high tensile strength, making it an ideal material for producing general-purpose applications.
- Nitrile Rubber – These rubber materials are resistant to petroleum materials. Nitrile rubber is used in applications where exposure to gas and petrol materials is more frequent.
- Neoprene – It is a versatile synthetic rubber material known for its excellent resistance to oil, ozone, and weathering.
- Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR) – SBR is known for its durability and cost-effectiveness and is used across various manufacturing and industrial industries.
- Silicone – This material has been used in diverse applications and is known for its high-temperature resistance and flexibility.
- Polybutadiene – Known for its high resilience and low temperature, polybutadiene rubber materials are used across various industries.
- Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) – Used in automotive applications, EPDM is recognized as an excellent rubber material for its weather resistance properties.
- HNBR (Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) – HNBR is a rubber material used across various industries, including automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, and other applications requiring a combination of chemical resistance, temperature resistance, and durability.
- FKM – It is also called fluoro-rubber and is known for exhibiting excellent chemical resistance, high-temperature stability, and other valuable properties.
- FVMQ Rubber – Fluorosilicone rubber is ideal for sealing solutions. It is used for manufacturing seals and gaskets that have applications in automotive fueling systems, gas installations, and aerospace engineering.
Eventually, the selection of rubber materials depends on the requirements of the applications. All custom rubber moulded products manufacturers in India choose specific materials to ensure that the developed products meet the industry requirements.
Molding of rubber is an essential process in the rubber manufacturing industry as it produces components, parts, and configurations according to the needs of the applications. This process involves shaping the rubber into a desired shape by a heating process. Let’s have a look at the three most common moulding processes.
1) Injecting Molding
Injection moulding is an ideal technique that is significantly done by placing a heated rubber or elastomer under pressure into a mould cavity and allowing it to cool and harden to take the desired shape. Additionally, injection moulding is selected to produce precision rubber moulded components and rubber-to-metal bonded applications. As industries look for convenient rubber moulding techniques, injection moulding remains the manufacturing industry’s cornerstone, producing high-precision complex designs’ components.
Advantages of Injection Molding
- Highly efficient moulding process
- Fully automated moulding right from the insertion of raw material to the final product.
- High-precision and superior molded products
- “>Eliminates unnecessary labor costs.
- Cost-effective and productive technique
Disadvantages of Injection Molding
- High investment in setup
- Not ideal for a minimum quantity of goods
- Lead times are high
Injection moulding is an effective technique for businesses aiming to scale up production without compromising quality and output. Companies like GB Rubber Products are leading manufacturers of custom rubber-moulded components, leveraging injection moulding to produce durable and flexible goods.
Compression moulding is done for low to medium-volume production of rubber products. It involves loading and placing pre-formed rubber or mixed materials in the heated mould cavities followed by compression, elevated temperature and pressure, and vulcanization. Once the materials take the desired form and cool down, they are removed from the cavity. The final shape is given by using a two-part clamshell-type mould.
Advantages of Compression Molding
- Convenient and Economical Process
- Low-Cost Investment
- Minimum wastage of materials
- Ideal for long-cure components
Disadvantages of Compression Molding
- Additional labor charges for manual functioning
- >Manual demolding leads to a slow cycle process
- Moderate consistency and precision
Due to its maximised cavity count, manufacturers choose compression rubber moulding as it allows them to choose multiple rubber materials based on the requirements of the applications.
In Injection moulding, raw rubber materials are placed into pellets, forcing the raw materials into the cavity to be cured. The raw rubber is transferred into multiple mould cavities after closing the press. Before being forced into the mould cavity, the compounds are placed into the mould called a pot. Like compression moulding, transfer moulding involves placing the rubber materials into the mould. However, the complexity of transfer moulding involves high production runs and tooling methods.
Advantages of Transfer Molding
- Reduced production time due to multiple mould cavities
- Ideal for rubber-to-metal bonding
- Perfect for heavy parts that require a long cure time
- Higher accuracy and suitable for coloured rubber items
Disadvantages of Transfer Molding
- Requires high tooling cost
- Labor intensive
- Mid-range precision and consistency
- Increased wastage
Additionally, transfer moulding is ideal for rubber metal bonded components that facilitate the blend of rubber and metals and provide durable and robust applications across industries, such as automotive, electrical, and medical devices.
GB Rubber – Your Go-to Rubber Moulded Products Manufacturer In India
In conclusion, the moulding of rubbers is a dynamic process that offers a wide range of goods and techniques to meet the demands of various industries. This highly transformative technique gives businesses the most efficient and high-quality parts, such as o-rings, gaskets, bushings, vibration dampeners, and engine mounts.
As industries evolve, the need for a rubber compound manufacturer in India who can serve the needs efficiently is becoming critical. We, at GB Rubber, can be your reliable partner for sourcing premium rubber goods. With a highly experienced team of experts, the moulding techniques implemented by our engineers ensure quality, resilience, and strength in the final products. Contact our experts to discuss your requirements and find the best rubber products for your business needs.