As you’re visiting our website, you’re probably already familiar with rotational moulding and its benefits. However, this overview provides a quick introduction for the uninitiated, and a refresher for those already familiar with the process.
Rotational moulding, (also known as rotomoulding), is a plastic moulding technique ideal for producing hollow articles, particularly large ones.
This exceptionally versatile process can produce a remarkable range of products, including:
- Tanks of all sizes
- Materials handling products, such as tubs, crates, pallets and drums
- Environmental products, such as litter bins, road cones, bollards, traffic dividers and road signs
- Automotive products, such as truck mudguards and ducting, diesel fuel tanks, underbody tanks, toolboxes, tractor consoles and engine cells
- Water sports products, such as kayaks, canoes and boats
- Home and garden products, such as water softener cabinets, composters, water butts, plant pots and garden ornaments
- Toys and playground equipment
As well as these traditional areas, there’s been a huge growth in demand for innovative, design led items such as interior and exterior furniture, lighting and engineering products. Their sophistication requires higher performance and more advanced moulding techniques.
Rotomoulding’s unique characteristics make it ideal for many aspects of manufacturing and, we have to admit, unsuitable for some others.
- Cheap tooling costs. If you have a great idea for a new product but don’t know how many you’ll sell, or simply want a low volume production run, rotomoulding’s low initial investment makes it particularly attractive.
Rotomoulding doesn’t apply high pressure to the mould, so mould cavities don’t need to be made from highly rigid, very expensive metal blocks. Consequently, tooling is inexpensive.
- It’s easy to make complicated shapes. Rotomoulding readily accommodates production complexities such as stiffening ribs, special areas and different textures, and again, tooling costs are relatively modest.
- Uniform wall thickness. Rotomoulding achieves consistent wall thickness, even at corners and edges, which increases product strength and integrity. Other processes, such as blow moulding, tend to stretch the molten material at corners or sharp edges, creating potential weak spots.
- It’s better suited to lower volumes. Rotomoulding is a relatively slow process compared to, say, blow moulding, so it’s fine for producing hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of items. But if you want millions of items, you’re more likely to use injection moulding – and rely on selling high volumes to recoup the increased tooling costs.
- Material limitations. Mouldable polymers are fantastically versatile materials, but they’re not suitable for every application. All the same, if you want to make parts of any size, from small to large, in volumes from modest to medium, then rotational moulding should be your first consideration