The spin casting process typically uses vulcanized silicone or organic rubber as the mold-making substrate. Vulcanization is an integral step that occurs halfway through the mold-making process. Prior to vulcanization, the mold rubber is a soft and malleable solid-like fluid, in many ways very similar to Silly Putty. Because of the clay-like nature at this stage, the mold is easily cut or shaped to accommodate irregular models. Vulcanization serves two purposes: establishing the negative space inside the mold as well as hardening the rubber so it will remain strong and rigid during casting.
After vulcanization, before it is usable, the mold must undergo gating and venting. This involves carving channels to ensure proper air and material flow during the casting process. Gating and venting is typically done by hand using a sharp knife or scalpel and varies in time depending upon the complexity of the mold. The final product is a cured rubber mold which can withstand anywhere from hundreds to over a thousand casting cycles before it needs replacement.
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