Designing, creating a prototype and a custom mould
Before we start the rubber moulding process, the rubber product is designed by one of our experienced engineers. A prototype is created by using 3D printing. In only a few days we can provide you with a sight and fitting model of the silicone moulding solution you envisioned. This model can be used to fit into the application. Once the model is approved our mould maker creates a mould for your custom made rubber product.
3D printing lowers the costs of the rubber moulding process
In the past, you had to invest in a test mould. That would cost anywhere between € 300 and € 1000, and the delivery time was 4 to 6 weeks. If the design had to be changed, you had to go through the same process again. But with our innovative 3D printing technology we can produce models from rubber-like materials and plastics in just a few days, saving weeks of production and delivery time.
Methods of the rubber moulding process
The rubber moulding process can be done in three ways: compression rubber moulding, injection rubber moulding and transfer rubber moulding.
Compression rubber moulding process
Compression moulding is a rubber moulding process in which the moulding material is placed in an oven (when already been preheated) and heated mould cavity. To ensure that the right pressure can be applied the mould is closed with a top force or plug member. This member forces the material to flow into all the mould areas. This rubber moulding process is completed when the moulding material has cured.
Advantages of the compression rubber moulding process:
- good surface finish
- dimensional stability
- mechanical properties
Injection rubber moulding process
In injection moulding rubber parts are produced by injecting material into a rubber mould. Materials that can be injected are elastomers, metals, thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. Once the material is injected into a heated barrel it is mixed and forced into the mould cavity, which creates the shape. It stays in the cavity until it's cooled off and hardened. By using our 3D printer we can use photopolymers, which do not melt during the injection moulding process. This can be used for simple injection moulds.
Advantages of injection moulding:
- Wide designing possibilities
- Low cost
- 3D printing
Transfer rubber moulding process
Transfer moulding is an automated process which combines compression-, injection- and transfer moulding processes. In this rubber moulding process a device (e.g. a cylinder and piston) is built into the rubber mould with small holes which guide the rubber to its shape. During the curing process the mould is being kept close. Thereafter the plunger is raised up and the left over so-called transfer pad material is removed and thrown away. Once the rubber is cured completely we open the mould.
Advantages of the transfer rubber moulding process
The transfer rubber moulding process combines the properties of compression rubber moulding with the high-automation capability and low cost of injection molding and transfer molding.
Contact us about the rubber moulding process
For more information about the rubber moulding process of ERIKS or questions about custom made rubber products, please contact us by filling out the "ASK ERIKS" form or call the ERIKS office near to you