Rotomolding, or rotational molding, is the world’s fastest-growing manufacturing process for structural plastic parts, and is practical in many product applications: from small to large parts, from low- to high-volume requirements, and from industrial to consumer products.
In very general terms, the rotational molding process looks like this:
Plastic raw material (typically in powder form) is placed inside a mold (cast aluminum, CNC machined aluminum or fabricated aluminum/steel tools are most common).
The mold is attached to an arm of a rotational molding machine, and enters the oven where it rotates (i.e. rotational molding) on two axes.
As the plastic material melts, it begins to adhere to the inside mold walls, building wall thickness and taking on the shape and texture of the interior mold surface.
After rotating in the oven, the mold enters the cooling phase, where the molten material eventually solidifies into the finished, hollow plastic part.
The part is then removed from the mold, where it undergoes a variety of secondary operations (trimming, foam-filling, assembly, etc.) prior to shipment.
Rotomolding: The Future.
As the world’s fastest growing structural plastics manufacturing process, rotomolding is utilized on a global basis in a wide variety of industries. Rotomolding is also gaining acceptance from the industrial design community as a go-to product development medium.
In these videos, rotomolding is described as an ever-advancing industry — showing the process and sharing the vision for the future of plastics manufacturing.
Rotational molding, including capital equipment (machinery, processing equipment, etc.) is a cost effective option for plastic manufacturing.
Speed-to-market advantage: once a design is finalized, tooling can be produced in a manner of weeks, offering a distinct advantage over other processes.
Many tooling options are available and are relatively low in cost.
Rotationally molded parts are 100% stress-free, have excellent impact resistance, and can withstand chemical and environmental attack.
Rotational molding allows for the integration of multiple parts into one piece, saving on manufacturing and assembly costs.
Lead times are shorter with rotational molding when compared to other processes.
Value added features, such as threaded tank necks, inserts, double walls, intricate contours, etc. can be produced via rotomolding.
Large products can be rotationally molded for significantly less cost as compared to other structural plastics processes.
A wide variety of materials can be used to produce rotationally molded products.
Can products be converted from other materials to rotationally molded plastic?
Rotational molding provides excellent conversion potential from materials such as metal, fiberglass, wood, and other plastic processes (blow molding, injection molding, etc.).
Conversions to rotomolding offer manufacturing cost savings, design flexibility, durability, integration of multiple parts into one piece, impact and chemical resistance, aesthetic enhancement, and recyclability.