Rotational Molding - Process: Advantages, Limitations, and Material Requirements - Advantages

Advantages

Rotational molding offers design advantages over other molding processes. With proper design, parts assembled from several pieces can be molded as one part, eliminating high fabrication costs. The process also has inherent design strengths, such as consistent wall thickness and strong outside corners that are virtually stress free. For additional strength, reinforcing ribs can be designed into the part. Along with being designed into the part, they can be added to the mold.

The ability to add prefinished pieces to the mold alone is a large advantage. Metal threads, internal pipes and structures, and even different colored plastics can all be added to the mold prior to the addition of plastic pellets. However, care must be taken to ensure that minimal shrinkage while cooling will not damage the part. This shrinking allows for mild undercuts and negates the need for ejection mechanisms (in most pieces).

In some cases rotational molding can be used as a feasible alternative to blow molding, this is due to the similarity in product outputs, with products such as plastic bottles and cylindrical containers, this is only effective on a smaller scale as it much more costly to blow mold regarding a small output, and with fewer resulting products rotational molding is much cheaper, due to blow molding relying on economies of scale regarding efficiency.

Another advantage lies in the molds themselves. Since they require less tooling, they can be manufactured and put into production much more quickly than other molding processes. This is especially true for complex parts, which may require large amounts of tooling for other molding processes. Rotational molding is also the desired process for short runs and rush deliveries. The molds can be swapped quickly or different colors can be used without purging the mold. With other processes, purging may be required to swap colors.

Due to the uniform thicknesses achieved, large stretched sections are nonexistent, which makes large thin panels possible (although warping may occur). Also, there is little flow of plastic (stretching) but rather a placing of the material within the part. These thin walls also limit cost and production time.

Another cost limiting factor is the amount of material wasted in production. There are no sprues or runners (as in injection molding), no off-cuts (thermoforming), or pinch off scrap (blow molding). What material is wasted, through scrap or failed part testing, can usually be recycled.

Read more about this topic:  Rotational Molding, Process: Advantages, Limitations, and Material Requirements

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