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Roto -molding also known as roll forming, rotational molding, rotary molding etc. It is a hollow molding method for thermoplastics. According to this method, first add plastic raw materials into to the mold, and then the mold rotated along two vertical axes continuously and heated. Under the action of gravity and thermal energy, the plastic raw materials in the mold are gradually uniformly coated and melted and adhered to the mold cavity,on the entire surface, it is formed into the required shape, and then cooled and shaped into a product.
The design and processing methods provide a lot of flexibility, which can lead to the production of unique parts and innovative solutions. Rotomoulding also can be accomplished for objects of all sizes and complexities, and is used in the production of items such as kayaks, water tanks, pipes, cooler box,furniture,playground slides, and so much more!There is a lot of room for creativity in this process, and it has quickly become one of the most popular strategies for designers, thanks to its versatility and cost-effective nature.
A powdered, usually polyethylene, is loaded into a metal mold, where it is then heated in a chamber until it reaches between 500 and 680 degrees fahrenheit, depending on the type of material being used. The raw, powdered polymer melts as the mold rotates along two perpendicular axes, affixing itself to the interior surface of the metal mold.
In order for the mould to function properly, the cavity must have ample space for the raw material to flow freely. The mould's hollow design is crucial to allowing raw material to flow to the required areas to form the desired shape.
Both heat and chemical catalysts can be used to activate the raw material. If using heat, the mould must be capable of effectively transmitting heat to the raw materials. To accomplish this, moulds are most commonly made from a conductive metal such as steel or aluminium.
The machine that most designers imagine when they think of rotomoulding is the “Rock and Roll” machine. The mould is first affixed to an axis that rotates, or rolls, repeatedly throughout the process. Every so often the axis will be tilted, or rocked, to allow the raw material to flow along every inch of the surface to ensure adequate coverage. The exterior of the mould is then heated using a gas flame to melt the raw materials as it coats the inside of the mould.
Alternatively, some designers choose to use an oven for their rotomoulding process. This method is very similar to the “Rock and Roll” method, with the only difference being that the raw materials are placed inside of a heated chamber, rather than having heat applied directly to the mould. The oven also utilizes a rotating axis, but also has the capability of using a bi-axial mechanism as well, to ensure that the raw materials flow and adhere evenly to the mould.