Vacuum casting method for elastomers that use the vacuum to pull any liquid material into the mold. When air entrapment is an issue with the mold, vacuum casting is used. Also, the approach can be used when the mold has complex details and undercuts. It is also applied whether the material used is fiber or a reinforced wire to create the mold. The method is also called thermoforming because rapid prototyping requires the manufacturing process where the plastic sheets are preheated. In an automated vacuum casting system, the materials are preheated until they are soft and pliable.
Polyurethane vacuum casting is one of the most common methods for producing rapid prototypes because it requires minimal initial materials and produces excellent surface finishes. One of the understated benefits, however, is that not many have heard of over-molding. Over molding is the process of combining several different resins in separate steps to produce a single finished product. Over molding can give different hardness, texture, and mechanical properties to a single product in different areas. Vacuum casting is an excellent production method for some quick prototypes and end-use parts required in low volumes. Vacuum casting uses pourable casting resins with reusable silicone molds to make precise and correct copies of master patterns. Vacuum casting has several advantages compared to other production methods, including pace, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and overall quality.
Vacuum Casting Process:
- Have a high-quality master model: The method of vacuum casting allows individuals to have a master model of high quality. The industrial portion could itself be the high-quality master model. Also, people can use a model generated using stereolithography, which is a case for prototyping applications.
- Cure Process: The master model is then encapsulated in a two-part silicone rubber mold. The mold is cured at high temperatures to ensure that the two pieces hold together. It is used to reinforce the mold to make it more durable. After the mold is healed, it is cut open to expose a hollow cavity in the middle that has the exact dimensions of the master model. After the mold has been split into two, it is put in the vacuum chamber. Then, later on, the mold is filled with the material to be used to produce the product.
- Filling the resin: People should fill the mold with the material in question. The resin reproduces the features of the industrial material. The resin content is typically combined with metallic powder or some coloring pigment to achieve aesthetic or unique functional properties. When the mold is filled with the resin content, it is placed in the vacuum chamber. It is put in the vacuum chamber to ensure that there are no bubbles of air in the mold. It is to ensure that the finished product is not compromised or harmed.
- Final cured process: the resin is put in the oven at the final cured point. The mold is cured at high temperatures to ensure that the material is solid and robust. The silicone mold is removed from the mold so that it can be used to produce further prototypes. When the prototype is removed from the mold, it is painted and decorated. The paintings and drawings are used to ensure that the product has a perfect final look.
Uses of Vacuum Casting
Vacuum casting is used for producing bottles and tins in the food and beverage industry. It is used in industrial and household goods as well.
- Food and Beverages: This commodity is used by the food and beverage industry for the packaging of their final goods. In producing plastic bottles and tins, vacuum casting may be used.
- Commercial Products: This approach is used for the processing of commercial products that can be used in packaging. Most of the items made using this approach include sunglasses, mobile cases, packaging of food and beverages, and pens.
- Household products: Certain household products are produced using the method of vacuum casting. Using this method, daily items such as washing detergents, food processing, and cosmetics are made.
Why Select a Vacuum Casting Service
There is a range of manufacturers to choose from when it comes to vacuum casting. Choosing the right one is key to get exactly the results that people expect. Here are a few reasons people should look out to select the right vacuum casting company for their needs.
- Exceptional quality and pace: quality does not have to come at the cost of pace, and vice versa. The company combines its vast expertise with the latest industry resources and innovations to offer high-quality vacuum casting services on short timelines.
- Finishing services to improve the product: Vacuum casting is not just a business. As a one-stop-shop, they also provide a wide variety of complementary finishing services to help the customer bring the product to life. The facilities of finishing include machining, media blasting, printing, painting, and more.
- Intelligent quotes for every project: All needs are special and don’t want to spend more than they need. That’s why companies never demand a minimum order amount or a minimum dollar value for their vacuum casting services. They also use state-of-the-art AI quotation algorithms for quick, accurate quotes in 24 hours or less for almost all projects.
- Plan for manufacturing support and remote flexibility: As a vacuum, casting is mostly used for prototyping; they realize that many of the products work on have not yet reached their final design. To help them get there, they provide their customers with a comprehensive template for manufacturing support. The company also provides comprehensive video files showing all production steps for clients who cannot visit them in person.
Vacuum casting costis low as it is the most affordable way to produce high-quality replicas once the master patterns have been prepared. This is because, as would be the case for plastic injection molding or pressure die casting, money is not being spent in producing hard instruments. In turn, the savings can be invested in further product creation or alternative iterations of the design. Also, far less energy than injection molding, die casting or CNC machining is used in the process. The burden would otherwise be passed on to the client. Taken together, there can be substantial savings in tooling, supplies, resources and labor costs.