What is Rotomoulding?

Rotomoulding is a process applied to plastics, usually polyethylene, by means of which it is possible to manufacture hollow objects in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and textures.

It has generally been used and is associated with the manufacture of plastic reservoirs and tanks, but thanks to technical advances made in recent decades, its application in other industries is increasing. Some of the areas where rotomoulding is particularly suitable are those involving farming equipment, street furniture, sports equipment… Industries where large parts used to be made in metal or fibreglass, and now they are produced in a single piece of plastic. All this implies a significant improvement in costs (both in manufacturing and maintenance), weight, manufacturing time, and uniformity in the manufactured parts. This is a semi-automatic manufacturing process where the human element is not as critical as in more traditional techniques such as metal sheets/tubes welding and fiberglass rolling.
The rotomoulding process is very simple. It is precisely its simplicity what enables us to have control over the properties of the part to be manufactured.

 

In this first stage, the mould is opened, filled with powder plastic material, and closed.

The mould is placed into the oven and it starts rotating around two orthogonal axes. The rotational process will not stop until the demoulding stage.

 

This causes the plastic material to become attached to the internal walls of the mould, obtaining a hollow or semi-hollow part.

Once the heating stage is over, the mould is transferred to the cooling chamber where it is air-cooled.

 

This stage is what causes the plastic to maintain the desired shape while it solidifies, to enable its demoulding.

The mould stops rotating and it is then opened. The moulded part is removed and a new cycle begins.

ROTOMOULDING CHARACTERISTICS

Rotomoulding is a process for manufacturing components that relies on gravity force to make the material attach to the shape of the mould. It is a significant advantage over other manufacturing processes as it does not need to withstand strong pressures during the process in which the material is shaped. In addition, it makes it possible to create double-skinned and even foamed parts, which would otherwise be more expensive.

On the other hand, the wall thickness can be uniform. However, rotomoulding offers the option of modifying this characteristic in certain areas, so it would be possible to make this change without modifying the mould.

This technique is perfect for short runs as the process enables a short run of parts to be produced. In addition, the material is added at the beginning of each cycle, so different colours can be serially produced without stopping production.

Rotomoulding also makes it possible to add inserts.
They are integrated into the mould, prior to the heating stage, and they are fully embedded in the part at the end of the process. Wheels, watches, plugs, gauges, etc.

It is also worth noting that the parts manufactured are hollow or semi-hollow. Thus, no welding is required and there is no material waste.

Finally, with the latest improvements in technology, it is possible to mould high-quality graphics into the part. They remain unaltered as they are moulded within the part and have great resistance to impact, scratches, and wear.

ROTOMOULDING BENEFITS

WIDE RANGE OF TEXTURES AND COLOURS

Ability to produce in any colour
UV (ultraviolet rays) resistant
Wide range of textures
Weather-proof (temperature changes, rainfall, impact, scratches, etc.)

GREAT DESIGN CAPABILITIES

Single or double-skinned
Hollow or non-hollow parts
Possibility of adding inserts, threads, ribs, gauges, etc.
No welding
No material waste
Variable thickness values using the same mould
Simple or complex parts

FLEXIBLE PROCESS

Manufacture of as many parts as needed using the same mould
Low tooling costs
Young process
No production volume limitations

ENVIRONMENT

100% recyclable material
Possibility of manufacturing the parts using recycled material

 

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