WHAT IS SILICONE CASTING?
Injection of plastics into silicone molds – production technology products in small batches, (from 20 to ≈300) by casting parts in a vacuum. By choosing the method of molding plastics into silicone molds, you get a complete copy of your product or its model. Also, casting plastics (and their varieties – polyurethane) into silicone molds gives quick results at a low price (compared to plastic injection molding).
The process of manufacturing products using the technology of molding in a silicone mold takes much less time than making a injection mold and is cheaper. This makes it ideal if you need to make a small batch of products in a short time.
Molding of plastics into silicone molds opens up ample opportunities in choosing the shape and color of the product, its hardness and the type of surface (matte or glossy).
Plastic – inexpensive, sufficiently durable and functional material … Therefore, vacuum casting of plastic products is popular in Ukraine.
PROCESS AND APPLICATION
The manufacturing process consists in pouring the liquid components of synthetic polymer compounds into silicone matrices. This takes place in a vacuum space, so that air bubbles do not get inside the product.
After the end of the casting process, the plastic is hardened. By using the silicone molding method you can get both hard and elastic objects …
Small-scale production of parts is used for creation of small batches of products. For example, the manufacture of plastic cases for various technical devices.
STAGES AND FEATURES OF SMALL-BATCH PRODUCTION
STEP 1: DESIGN
For the production of high-quality silicone molds and the production of plastic enclosures you need a 3D model. It can be created by KLONA modelers (using photographs from different angles, drawings, technical documentation, sketches and sketches of the product, text description).
You can use an existing 3D model (if available). It may need some work. There is also a possibility use the finished product and create a 3D model in its image.
By the way, the KLONA company offers a full range of services for 3D design … Do you have any cool ideas? Order industrial 3D design and modeling, and turn ideas into reality.
STEP 2: CREATE A PROTOTYPE
Most often, a prototype is made by 3D printing (in rare cases, a prototype can be made using a milling machine).
After prototyping a product, you can evaluate its functionality. If you find any shortcomings, make changes to the model.
STEP 3: MASTER MODEL
After printing the prototype, minor rework (grinding) may be required. Next, the preparation for the casting of the silicone mold is carried out.
This process includes:
- applying adhesive tape to the future mold release line;
- gluing all holes with adhesive tape, and if the grooves and holes are too deep, they are reinforced with metal elements;
- it is also possible to apply additional compositions to obtain textures (for example, shagreen).
A fully refined prototype is called a master model. It is he who is used to make a silicone mold.
STEP 4: MAKING A SILICONE CASTING MOLD
To create a matrix (shape), a commensurate product is made formwork – the container in which the product is placed. The formwork material must be hard enough to maintain its shape after being poured with silicone.
Further inside the formwork the master model is placed, and the gating system is installed (tubes through which plastic will be fed into the silicone mold).
Then the silicone mixed with the hardener is poured into the formwork. Before pouring, the silicone passes degassing process in a vacuum chamber. The container with silicone is placed in a special degassing chamber, where it solidifies. After the end of the hardening process (it lasts about 24 hours), the master model is removed and a ready-made matrix-form is obtained.
Vacuum unit – a machine in which a two-component compound is mixed before pouring into a silicone mold, thanks to this unit, plastic under low pressure conditions fills the entire mold without leaving voids and air bubbles … This allows for the production of high quality plastic cases, parts and figures.
STEP 5, 6: TEST CASTING AND MOLDING
The casting is needed to check the shape and evaluate the results of the work done … If, after a test casting of a part or body, the resulting product differs from the master model, you need to modify the shape. This is very an unlikely situation with a low degree of realism. However, if necessary, the form can be modified, it does not take much time.
STEP 7: LAUNCH SMALL BATCH PRODUCTION
After a successful test casting (initial or after finalizing the mold), small-scale production is launched. To do this, a certain number of forms are calculated and created that will be required for the manufacture of a batch of products (based on the fact that one silicone mold can be used about 20 times).
WHERE TO FIND A CONTRACTOR?
We have prepared for you personally a free list of contractors who can help with molding in silicone molds, milling, molding, production of small series cases …
|FOP Stanislav Latkin, Ukraine||—||(063) firstname.lastname@example.org||from $ 500|
|OSV Technology, Ukraine||http://www.osv.com.ua||+380 5542 4-59-66+380 67 email@example.com||from $ 500|
|Marabu, Ukraine||https://marabuplast.com/||(050) 390-53-31(044) 229-15-89||info @ marabuplast.commarabuplast @ gmail.com||from $ 500|
|Rarus Plast, Ukraine||http://www.rarusprint.com.ua/||(096) 655-58-77 (063) 344-42-77 (099) firstname.lastname@example.org||from $ 500|
|3DPRINT, Ukraine||3dprint.com.ua||(044) 332-93-20(094) 832-93-20(095) 66-168-66||info@3Dprint.com.ua||from $ 500|
|3dua, Ukraine||https://3dua.com.ua||(068) 777-04-02(099) 777-04-02(063) 777-04-02(095) email@example.com||from $ 500|
|Can-Touch, RF||http://can-touch.ru||8 800 550 58 firstname.lastname@example.org||from $ 500|
|3dVision, RF||http://3dvision.su||+7 (812) 385-72-928 (800) email@example.com||from $ 500|
|3D-EX, RF||www.3d-ex.ru||+7 (495) firstname.lastname@example.org||from $ 500|