Today, we’re excited to tell you about another process we use in our goal to create a wide variety of top-quality, highly customized rubber parts for our clients.
Have you ever looked at a mattress topper, couch cushion, or headrest on a chair and wondered how it was made? Chances are that the answer is polyurethane foam molding. There are many possibilities with this form of manufacturing, including the ability to make soft, pliable objects or lightweight rigid ones. So, how does it work?
As with all processes, the first step is making a mold. We meet with our clients to ensure we have a thorough understanding of what their needs and expectations for the project are and then create a design that meets their exact specifications. The molds used in this method are usually made of aluminum, however, some difficult shapes require the mold to be made of flexible silicone which allows the finished product to be easily removed.
When the mold is prepared, the ingredients – consisting of the raw material chosen for the project and a curative – are mixed. When combined, they react together, resulting in a foamy solution that is ready to be poured into the form. Colors or any other desired components are added at this point, and depending on the materials selected and the type of item being produced, heat or pressure may be applied afterward. Finally, the filled mold is allowed to sit until the foam solidifies to its final state. Afterward, the object is removed and any finishing steps, such as adding a sealant or labels, can be taken.
Urethane molding can be a very delicate process because it involves working with foam, a feathery material that must be carefully controlled. However, it remains a popular method because it can be used to create such a diverse array of products with applicability throughout numerous industries. In addition to the consumer goods we mentioned earlier, urethane molding is also used in the construction of car seats, small components for machinery, and cases for electronics.
Midwest Rubber Company has decades of experience working with urethane foam molding and many other processes used in rubber and plastic manufacturing. If you’re ready to start on a project, we’re ready to help make it happen!