Rely on Aero Rubber Company to Meet Your Custom Molded Rubber Product Needs!
Have you selected the most appropriate elastomer of rubber for your project? Be it Neoprene, EPDM, Silicone, Viton®, Nitrile, EPDM or any other elastomer, our team of senior consultative sales engineers will provide you with the information required for you to determine which elastomer will meet or exceed your toughest requirements. Aero can supply almost any elastomer on the market today, using compression, transfer, standard injection and liquid injection molding (LIM) processes.
Types of Rubber Molding Methods
Aero’s Senior Sales Engineers stand ready to work with you by providing you with the information you require to achieve your molded rubber project requirements. Our team employs different molding methods to suit different part and production specifications, including the following:
Compression molding relies on compressive force and heat to form uncured rubber into the desired shape and size. The process involves enclosing a rubber preform—i.e., a set amount of rubber material—into the mold cavity. Within the mold, the material heats up and cures, which allows it to maintain its form even once it is removed from the mold.
Compared to other molding methods, compression molding holds a number of advantages. For example, it offers the lowest tool cost, fastest lead times, easiest prototyping stages, and broadest part size suitability. However, it is limited in the precision and complexity achievable in its parts; designs with complicated configuration or tight tolerance requirements are better suited for other molding methods.
Similar to compression molding, injection employs the use of high pressure and heat to force rubber into a mold. However, in these operations, the material is heated until it reaches a plastic state and then injected under high pressure into the mold cavity. Within the mold, the material is subjected to high heat and pressure, which initiates the vulcanization process.
Compared to other molding methods, the injection molding process accommodates high precision, consistency, and design complexity requirements. Additionally, it readily accepts the use of automation technology to facilitate operations. However, these advantages come with a higher price tag. Since the initial and long-term equipment investment costs for injection molding operations are high, the process is better suited for high-volume runs.
Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) Injection Molding
Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding is a subset of injection molding specifically used for liquid silicone material. The main difference between the two methods is the material delivery mechanism. In LSR injection molding, the material begins as two separate components—a base-forming compound and a catalyst. During operations, the components are combined within the mold. The material is then pressurized and heated as normal.
Compared to other molding methods, LSR injection molding offers suitability for both prototyping and full-scale production runs. The material itself also demonstrates many advantageous properties that make it suitable for use in numerous industrial applications, such as biocompatibility, chemical and temperature resistance, and durability. The main disadvantages include a longer cure cycle and a lack of recyclability.
Materials Used in Rubber Molding Operations
When planning a custom rubber molding project, one of the key considerations is construction material. Our team has the knowledge and skills to help customers choose the right elastomer for their needs. Some of the questions we ask during the material selection process include:
- What is the intended use of the end product?
- What are the conditions of the application?
- Will the end product encounter any chemicals during use?
- Are there specific material specifications required, such as ASTM or Mil-spec?
The answers to these questions, among others, help us identify potential material options. Some of the most common materials used in rubber molding operations include:
- EPDM: EPDM exhibits excellent ozone and UV resistance in temperatures ranging from -60° F to 250° F, all of which makes it popular for use in the manufacture of outdoor equipment. However, it is vulnerable to oils, aromatic hydrocarbons, and petroleum products.
- Neoprene: Neoprene is an excellent general-purpose elastomer. Its main disadvantage is its lack of resistance to many industrial chemicals, including strong acids, esters, ketones, and hydrocarbons.
- Nitrile: Nitrile demonstrates excellent resistance to grease/oil, fuel, and solvents. However, it has poor resistance to chlorinated hydrocarbons and ketones.
- Silicone: When processed, silicone achieves high purity levels, enabling it to be used in sensitive applications, such as food processing, medical, and pharmaceutical operations. It exhibits excellent durability—including resistance to ozone and UV radiation—but is vulnerable to grease/oil, fuel, solvents, abrasion, and tearing.
- Viton: Viton is ideal for use in applications involving high temperatures (up to 400° F) and/or chemical exposure. Its primary limitations are a narrow hardness range and the potential for damage from ketones, nitro-containing compounds, and some esters and alcohols.
Rubber molded parts and products find application across a wide range of industries. Whether they take the form of gaskets and seals, rollers and rings, or washers and more, they play a critical role in many devices, equipment, and systems. Some of the industries which rely on rubber molded components include:
- Food and Beverage
- Heavy Equipment
- Hydraulics and Pneumatics
- Medical Equipment
Why Turn to Aero Rubber for Custom Molded Rubber Parts?
Highlights of Our Rubber Capabilities
By partnering with us for your custom rubber molding needs, you benefit from our:
- Extensive rubber molding expertise. We have over four decades of experience providing custom rubber molded parts and products to end users.
- Low tooling, material, and processing costs. Over the years, we have amassed a large and diverse tooling inventory, which allows us to keep tooling costs low where possible. Additionally, we offer cost-effective options for both materials and molding methods.
- Short lead times. The lead times for the custom rubber molding projects we take on are far below the industry average.
- Superior customer service. When working with us, you do not have to worry about unreturned messages. You will work directly with one of our sales engineers to ensure the parts you receive fully meet your needs.
- Commitment to quality. Our facility is ISO 9001:2015 certified, meaning we have approved quality control and assurance policies and procedures in place to ensure we maintain high standards in our products and services.
- Broad range of value-added services. As an example, our “Pack and Hold” program ensures you receive the parts you need when you need them, resulting in easier re-ordering operations and lower inventory operating costs.
Achievements During Our 49 Years of Rubber Molding Service
Throughout our 40+ years in business, we are proud to say that we have achieved the following:
- Obtaining and maintaining ISO 9001:2015 certification
- Developing hundreds of standard molds—including for recess bumpers, grommets, O-rings, and more—to cut tooling costs and lead times for our customers
- Assembling an agile team with the ability to quickly and accurately produce tooling to customer specifications
- Creating a full range of commercial and specification-grade rubber molding compounds
- Cultivating a performance-oriented system staffed with experienced representatives who focus on quality from start to finish
- Establishing a network of strategic alliances both domestically and abroad that allows us to offer the savings and selection without sacrificing our product and process quality
To learn more about our custom rubber molding capabilities and how they can benefit your business, call us at (800) 662-1009 or contact us today. One of our experienced sales engineers will work with you to provide you with the information required for you to make informed decisions concerning the materials and processing required to bring your molded rubber product designs to realization.