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Compression Molding-What to Know Molding is increasingly becoming common in productions that have high volumes. There are several processes involved in molding but this article will address the compression molding process. In this molding process, plastic materials are placed into a heated metal mold, it is then put under heat pressure to get softened and finally forced to conform to the mold’s shape as the mold closes. The rubber compression molding process begins with taking rubber compound that has been made to match the shape and weight of the end product. The rubber is injected into a heated mold and to close the mold, a top force is needed. With the closure of the mold, the material is compacted between the plates hence the material flows to fill the cavity. To activate the cure system, the material is held in the mold and high temperatures and pressures maintained to activate the cure system. It is now time to let the material cool as it has attained the desired end product shape. Compression Molding is a method that is both high-pressure and high-volume that is suitable for molding complex, and high strength fiberglass reinforcements. It can also be used to mold advanced composite thermoplastics by using unidirectional tapes, chopped strand or woven fabrics. The advanced composite thermoplastics are first preheated and measured prior molding which helps in reducing excess flash.
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The most common types of compression molding are the flash plunger, landed plunger and the straight plunger type. The three types have different sizes. The major products that are made through compression molding include, buckles, buttons, appliances housing, radio cases, knobs, gears, large containers, and dinnerware among others.
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Advantages of Compression Molding Tooling is less complex and the cost of construction is lower. It has a lower percentage material runner scrape as compared to transfer molding. It is possible to compress mold from most elastomers. There are several points that any engineer should note when it comes to compression molding. Ensure that you determine the right amount of material. Ensure that you know the minimum amount of heat required for heating the materials. check on the minimum heat requirements. Determine the appropriate technique of heating. To attain the proper shape of the shots, ensure that you know the exact amount of force required. Always ensure that the mold is designed in such a manner that it allows fast cooling after it has undergone compression to form it. Compression molding has a setback in that it is difficult to control flashing and the product consistency is poor. It produces fewer knit lines and less amount of fiber length degradation is noticeable when you compare it to injection molding.