Abdullah, M.Z., Bickerton, S., Bhattacharyya, D., Crawford, R.J. & Harkin-Jones, E. (2009). Rotational molding cycle time reduction using a combination of physical techniques. Polymer Engineering and Science, 49(9), 1846-1854.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4029
Rotational molding is a process used to manufacture hollow plastic products, and has been heralded as a molding method with great potential. Reduction of cycle times is an important issue for the rotational molding industry, addressing a significant disadvantage of the process. Previous attempts to reduce cycle times have addressed surface enhanced molds, internal pressure, internal cooling, water spray cooling, and higher oven air flow rates within the existing process. This article explores the potential benefits of these cycle time reduction techniques, and combinations of them. Recommendations on a best practice combination are made, based on experimental observations and resulting product quality. Applying the proposed molding conditions (i.e., a combination of surface-enhanced molds, higher oven flow rates, internal mold pressure, and water spray cooling), cycle time reductions of up to 70% were achieved. Such savings are very significant, inviting the rotomolding community to incorporate these techniques efficiently in an industrial setting.