What is it?
Rotational molding, the term says it all. It is a molding process that will produce polymer products such as containers and other hollow products with a rotating mold. If you suggest your product design and provide the required supplies to an engineer, he will get the final product out of the rotational molding process with a seamless finish and perfect quality. It is becoming one of the most economical methods of producing plastic products for small-scale purposes. Also, many schools are conducting hands-on classes on plastic production processes, and these mold machines are helping them. You should know about the various processes involved in this method of production, along with their advantages. Let us discuss these below.
How to produce the part?
- You have to finalize your product’s design to make a mold that will match the structure of the desired component. Once you finalize the design, you should make the mold using different processes with the help of any material suitable for molds. Your mold material should have better thermal conductivity and stability. Mostly used materials for the preparation of the mold are aluminum and stainless steel. However, the use of cast aluminum as the mold material will be economical because of its various features and characteristics. Also, the aluminum will cost low.
- Once your mold is ready, you can place your polymer inside it. Mostly, you will use a thermoplastic polymer as the mold material for your final product. Currently, the polyolefin member known as polyethylene is widely used for the process around the world because of its characteristics. However, mold materials such as polyolefin will costs higher.
- You should heat the mold to melt down the polymer powder as there will not be any product formation if the polymer remains in the powder form. Every mold machine will come with an ability to rotate in two axes, and the material you choose for the mold preparation should be capable of withstanding the heat and movement.
- Once the heating process converts the polymer into a liquid form and the machine has rotated for some time, the liquid polymer would have been coated around the walls of the mold without any gaps or voids.
- Now, you should cool down the mold to solidify the liquid to get your final product. You can do this in the cooling station.
- After the solidification process, you can take out the finished component without any damages by demolding.
Advantages of the rotational molding process
- Your tooling costs will be less as you can choose lighter materials for low costs as your tools.
- You can get a durable component without any cracks or stress-concentrated corners because of the flawless rotation of the mold.
- Since there will not be any joining processes, and the component will be a single piece, you can ensure endurance and quality.
- If you use high thermally conductive material for your mold, you can see lesser cycle times.
- Your final product will be seamless with a better surface finish and constant wall thickness.