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Differentiating Silicone Molding from the Rest of the Molding Process

by Nice Rapid | Apr 22,2021 | Silicone Molding

The different types of molding processes: silicone molding, compression molding, and transfer molding. All these  share several qualities. But they are also different from one another.

In this article, we are going to explore their similarities, differences, and their applications to see for yourself which among them is the appropriate technique for your project.

Silicone Molding

Silicone molding uses liquid silicone rubber or other elastomer materials in creating a wide range of products that has excellent durability and flexibility.

These products from silicone molding are used in a wide variety of applications including seals and sealing membranes, electrical components, medical devices, infant care products, and kitchen goods.

Because it uses liquid silicone rubber, silicone molding relies on a more reliable and consistent mechanical mixing process instead of a labor-intensive one like compression molding. The closed-loop nature of the process uses a pump and mixing unit to extrude the liquid material into the molding press.

When the curing stage is completed, the press ejects the part and can be removed manually or automatically.

Silicone molding is a versatile and cost-effective manufacturing process, thus it is widely used in aerospace and aviation, electronics, automotive, food and beverage, and the medical and dental industries.

While silicone molding produces high-quality molded products, there are also certain limitations of what it can do. Silicone can react with certain conditions like pressurized steam and temperatures higher than 150 degrees.

Compression Molding

Another type of molding process is compression molding. It involves using thermosetting resins into a heated molding cavity and at the same time uses pressure to extrude the material and compress it into the mold.

Compression molding is versatile and highly flexible. It is a perfect manufacturing process for parts in different thicknesses, complexities, and sizes. Thus, it addresses the requirements for certain materials, design challenges, and difficult inserts.

Because of its flexibility and versatility, the compression molding process is beneficial to the industries that require versatile materials, difficult to mold geometry, parts that require a specific material, and dual-material molding.

Most of the products from compression molding can exhibit high chemical resistance and environmental versatility. These parts include buttons, spatulas, syringe stoppers, gaskets, respirator masks, and others.

Although this process is excellent for mass production, liquid injection molding is more advantageous because it is faster and does not require manual labor.

The benefits that compression molding offers include lower material costs, greater flexibility in the manufacturing process, and less expensive tooling.

Transfer Molding

Transfer molding is similar to compression molding. It's only difference lies in its use of specific tools and unique benefits. In this process, the material is pushed into the mold with a sprue. Midway into the process a screw, barrel, and more complex injection system is employed.

The result is lightweight, durable, and high-quality products produced in large quantities. The production cycle is slower than injection molding and is only suitable for certain projects. Among its benefits include lower tooling costs, faster setup, minimal flash, and greater design flexibility.

In choosing the right molding process, the decision lies in the requirements of the product and its specifications. Your molding partner can determine the material and molding process for your project.

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