Compression molding: prototypes and small series

Compression molding: prototypes and small series

With more than 10 years of experience in prototyping and small series production, Prototech Asia can assist you in your compression molding project. We mainly work with elastomeric plastics such as rubber, EPDM, NBR, but also silicone, with specific variants depending on your requirement.

The process of compression molding requires the manufacture of a steel compression mold, and an equipment of hydraulic compression presses. Our ‘prototype’ compression molds are designed to minimize your investment costs and allow the production of a few dozen to several thousand parts. Our production capacities allow us to produce parts of all shapes, sizes and volumes. However, this solution is preferred for relatively simple parts, of varying sizes, and for silicone products or parts (unless you choose the LSR process, which is much more expensive).

We accompany you in a transversal way, from the optimization of the design, the choice of materials, to the creation of the mold or tooling, the production with strict quality control.

Examples of plastic parts by compression

compression - silicone -blue
BUMPER – Silicone 755hA
Moulage par compression - Joint EPDM
Seal EPDM – 805hA
Moulage par compression - Cup Silicone
Cup Silicone – 755hA – logo
Moulage par compression - Joints O-Ring FKM
O-ring seals – FKM

You want more information about our compression molding solution ?

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How does the process of compression molding work?

The compression molding process consists of hot pressing an elastomer or silicone material into a steel mold. Once the material is prepared and dosed, it is placed in its open mold. The mold is then closed with a hydraulic press. The reaction time is necessary for the material under press which can take exactly the desired shape. In order to optimize the cycle time and therefore your production costs, it is also possible to make molds with multiple cavities.

Once the parts are ejected or removed from their mold, it is sometimes necessary to put them in the oven to stabilize the material completely.

Prototype compression mold

Nowaday, prototypes are the tools frequently used in manufacturing. Indeed, these tools are of the same quality as the series molds, but their construction is simplified and their life cycle is limited. This makes it possible to produce parts in good material, for a prototype series or a pre-production run without incurring significant investment costs.

After a complete analysis of your DFN, our design office will create the 3D tooling. Then we will launch the manufacturing  of mold in the respect of your schedule of conditions. Samples are then sent for validation before the production launch.

Various surface treatments are available which have a direct influence on the visual aspect:

  • Polishing: natural polish, mirror polish
  • Sandblasting
  • Laser or chemical texture: DVI, Teflon, etc.

Materials and capacities for compression molding

We offer a variety of materials, which can meet specific functions or constraints. This list is not exhaustive and we can, if necessary, propose materials closer to the production specifications of your parts.

Type
 Features
Temperature
Examples of applications
VMQ

(Silicon)

 Temperature resistance

Elongation at break

( >= -120°, <= +250 )  Products for food use

Medical grade products

NBR  Resistance to oils

Good mechanical resistance

Competitive price

( >= -40°, <= +130° ) Oil resistant tubes

Sealing rings

FKM Oil resistance

Resistance to high temperature

Resistance to UV, ozone and outdoor weathering

DRC, chemical resistance

( >= -20°, <= +240° ) Sealing:

Automotive, Aviation, Defense

NR Natural rubber

Good mechanical resistance

( >= -40°, <= +130° ) Tires

Air spring

Shoe soles

EPDM  Resistance to water vapor

Resistance to UV, ozone and outdoor weathering

DRC, chemical resistance

( >= -40°, <= +150° ) Household appliances

Sanitary fittings

Pipe conveyor

AU A type of PU

Abrasion resistance

Tear resistance

Oil resistance

( >= -40°, <= +90° ) High pressure sealing

Coupling

SBR Similar to NR but more anti-usury

Electrically conductive

Resistance to water, alcohol.

( >= -40°, <= +90° ) Transparent insulation part

protective clothing

Chemical tool

Production capacity

Depending on your needs, we are able to produce different types of parts within a time frame of 2 to 3 weeks. We have automated equipment:

Compression presses from 100T to 500T

Recent machine park, renewed regularly

moulage par compression-machine 300T

Applications and interests of compression molding

All types of industries can use this production process, which we have adapted for small series. We find applications in the automotive, aviation, medical, electronic, industrial, food, etc.

In rapid prototyping, our compression molding solution will allow you to:

·         Speed of execution

This method is faster in production with a short lead time close to the vacuum casting technique for small series production. The manufacturing time of the tooling generally varies from 2 to 3 weeks depending on the complexity and size of the part to be produced. This allows you to accelerate the product launing into market or the prototyping phase.

·         Optimization of your costs

Our solution allows you to produce prototypes or pre-series in good material while controlling costs. The transition to a prototype tooling allows to realize economies of scale on the volume while controlling the investment.

Prototech Asia offers you complete solutions according to your needs. We manage the entire manufacturing process to provide you with confirmed parts:

  • 3D part optimization and mold design
  • Realization of custom compression molds
  • selection of materials, the most adapted to your specifications
  • Production of your parts
  • Overmolding, assembling, finishing, marking, packaging, shipping

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