Reduced mould fouling in silicone rubber seal production
Case Study Rubber:
Less cleaning cycles for improved equipment utilization & increased efficiency
WHAT WE ACHIEVED.
A large manufacturer of HCR silicone injection moulding producing seals made from VMQ for a variety of industrial applications was using several release agents for different production lines. During a regular service visit to the customer, Chem-Trend’s technical specialist pointed out a visible mould fouling issue in a production line of coloured silicone seals not using Chem-Trend product. The buildup on the mould was revealed to be a long standing issue with no known solution. Our rubber release expert believed Chem-Trend technology could resolve the issue and immediately suggested a trial. The customer agreed, and within a few weeks, preliminary trials were conducted with Mono-Coat® release agents specially formulated for the moulding of silicone rubber parts. In those trials, parts were produced from two different silicone compounds.
Mono-Coat® was identified as the best solution to start long-term trials running for approximately two months. Following the trial period, success was clear – mould fouling issues were reduced dramatically and time between cleaning cycles were extended by 50%.
HOW WE GOT THERE.
Thanks to the highly collaborative and trustful relationship, the customer looked to our rubber specialist for a chance to further improve their production efficiency. Our recommendation to trial multiple water-based solutions across several injection moulding machines dedicated to silicone rubber seal production was met with agreement. The mould itself was characterized by a very complex geometry that only allowed for a manual brush application of the release agent. The trials demonstrated that the Mono-Coat® technology was the best performing solution to reduce the problematic mould buildup and even contributed to an increase in productivity.
The water-based Mono-Coat® release agent was found to be the best solution as it showed clearly less transfer to the mold and better release against the competitive products. Its water-based formulation provided improvements in the work environment with no VOCs being generated through its application. In addition to its effectiveness to reduce the mould fouling issue, the Mono-Coat® release agent contributed to extend the time between necessary cleaning cycles by 50%. All silicone injection moulding machines are now running with the Mono-Coat® release agent and the customer has experienced an increase of 34% in production efficiency. Chem Trend’s Mono-Coat® release agents can service all cure systems and mould geometries for silicone.
At Chem-Trend, we pride ourselves on our long history of sustainability efforts. However, it is our effect on our customers’ processes that provides the greatest impact. It goes beyond our global Footprint; it is our even wider Handprint.
Here, we achieved the following:
- Reduction of material waste and energy due to the extension in the amount of time between required mould cleanings
- Reduced energy waste through the elimination of frequent production stoppages
- Water-based release technology contributing to a clean working environment given no VOCs are generated through its use