Roto-Molding Technology of the Next Generation

Posted by Armstrong on June 8th, 2019

Rotational molding is considered to be the simplest plastic processing techniques. However, the last few years have seen roto-molding gain high levels of sophistication through tools such as the use of the CAD/CAM technology, the advent of process simulation, ovenless internally heated systems and real-time process monitoring. With the new capabilities, roto-molders are able to come up with flexible products such as military gear, plastic toys or even multipurpose tools. 

Some of the next generation technologies in rotational molding include:

• Oven Inside the Tool- A new technique that is referred to as mold-efficient cooling and heating is being adopted in mold-heating and cooling. The Plastic Processing Alternatives of Ireland developed this technique and helped in saving energy in Roto-molding. The MECH system takes over from the typical oven and cooling chambers through the incorporation of the specific functions in the mold. The system is also able to utilize real-time process monitoring without the fear of overheating. Cooling is done by a compressed-air system that is connected to air movers. On the other hand, regulation of temperature and oil flow is done through a touchscreen panel.

• Articulated Molds Debut- Roto-molders are now able to add flanges, ribs and hinges in injection molding through spring-loaded mold sections. A new Transfer Rotational Injection Process (TRIP) helps in adding articulated sections to molds. This technology has the capability to get rid of metal inserts used in stiffening the mold. Besides, it also helps in the creation of parts that have a 20% greater usability volume. Interior parts of products are created in a smooth manner and without bridging.

• Modular Sizes- In new modular construction concepts, molders are able to come up with different types of designs in a fast manner. Moreover, there are lower costs owing to the components that are designed for a wide range of sizes. Units of rotational molding also offer great flexibilities in machine sizing and cycle times are reduced by up to 25% due to greater reliability, faster response, and higher heat transmission efficiency. Different sizes of machines also have simpler controls, with advanced features being an optional aspect.

• News in Materials- Materials such as polyethylene and micron powders are being used in roto-molding. These have a high level of UV stability, show permanent conductivity and low warpage. They can, therefore, be used in the making of products such as industrial containers, antistatic bins, and high-velocity air nozzles. There are also high-performance materials which help custom molders come up with parts that are more strong and have reduced shrinkage.

From the above, it is clear that new generation technologies in rotational molding are bound to change the way plastics are handled. These technologies show that this sector has a high potential both in the short and long runs.

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