Rotational molding, or more commonly called roto-molding, is an economical way to produce large parts. Different types of plastic such as polyethylene, PVC, nylon, and polypropylene, are broken down into a usable resin (Refer to our Services page for a complete listing of specific plastic materials we use in roto-molding). This plastic resin is then loaded into a mold that is combination heated and rotated in a slow, yet constant motion. This simultaneous process of heating and rotation distributes the material on the inner surfaces of the mold and combines it together.
Roto-molding is a four-step process, made up of Loading, Heating, Cooling, and Unloading the mold. In the Loading stage the pre-measured plastic resin is loaded into the mold. The filled molds are then closed and moved into the oven, where they slowly rotate on two axes. As the heat penetrates into the molds, the melting resin adheres to the mold's inner surface until it is thoroughly fused, evenly coating the entire surface.
During the Cooling stage, the mold continues to be rotated to maintain even walls as a high velocity air current gradually cools the mold. The mold is then opened, the finished part removed, and the mold is ready for its next step.
Unlike other plastic molding processes, roto-molding produces seamless parts with consistent wall thickness and more material in corners. This is in order to absorb shocks and stresses where they are most likely to occur.
Roto-molding offers outstanding flexibility and precision. Complex contours such as metal inserts and flanges can be made right into the walls requiring fewer steps to produce your finished product. In addition, roto-molded plastic eliminates sharp corners and burrs and results in a smooth and seamless product. This reduces the risk of injury for operators.
A wide spectrum of colors are available with roto-molding. There is also no chipping because the color is solid throughout the whole part.
Roto-molding offers many distinct advantages over other types of molding such as blow molding or injection molding. The advantages are:
• Dramatic Cost Savings
• Short Production Times
• Easy Modification
• Superior Strength
• Ability to Produce Multi-Wall Moldings
Rotational molding is incredibly versatile and is able to handle a vast variety of shapes and sizes. Toys, play houses, drain tile fittings, automotive parts, kayaks, fuel tanks, and park equipment are only a few of the numerous products that can be made. As you can see in the above list, the products produced are only limited to the imagination.
Although the possibilities for roto-molding are endless, the thermoforming method of molding may be what you need. Read on to find out more!