Roto moulding has grown into one of the fastest moving sectors of polymer forming in Europe.
A relative newcomer on the plastics processing scene, it is now beginning to realise it’s considerable technical and designs potential, and in the last five years has acquired a high degree of sophistication.
These materials and technological advances, combined with well-designed surface finishes and graphics, are leading the rotamoulding process away from traditional solutions into new areas of product application.
New materials, process control and a growing awareness of the market value of good design are combining to propel roto moulding from the early days of doll’s heads and footballs to the high specification products of the future.
Rotamoulding is the most cost-effective alternative to blow moulding. vacuum forming, GRP moulding and fabrication, and is ideal for shaping complex customised mouldings.
Productions run using this process can range from as low as ten to thousands.
Its suitability for low volume production extends to affordable pre-production prototyping.
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However, it is through its design accessibility that roto moulding offers its design accessibility that roto moulding offers its greatest potential, revealing itself as a process previously eclipsed by other high-speed techniques.
A housing formerly fabricated from several metal components can now be replaced by one roto moulding incorporating information graphics, electro-mechanical devices, electronic interface features and recyclability.
The rotational moulding process, illustrated above, is explained more fully as follows:
- A hollow moulding tool is charged with a pre–determined amount of plastic material, usually in powder form.
- The tool is then conveyed into an oven and rotated slowly and continuously in its vertical and horizontal axis. The heat from the oven is transferred through the tool wall and at the fusion temperature, the plastic starts to adhere to the surface.
This process continues until all the material is fused.
- The tool is then conveyed, still rotating, to a cooling chamber, where air and water sprays are employed to cool the tool until the moulded part solidifies.
- The final stage involves conveying the tool to the loading/unloading station where the tool is opened and the moulded part is removed.
The cycle is then repeated…