Compression molding is the most common choice for high-volume composite parts and often associated with SMC and BMC materials.
This process produces high strength, complex parts in a wide variety of sizes. Matched metal dies are mounted in a hydraulic molding press. The material charge is manually or robotically placed in the mold, heated mold halves are closed, and up to 2,000psi of pressure is applied. Cycle time ranges from one to five minutes depending on part size and thickness. Features such as ribs, bosses and inserts can be molded in.
Compression molded parts are characterized by net size and shape, two excellent finished surfaces and outstanding part-to-part repeatability. Trimming and finishing costs are minimal.
In-mold coatings are available to improve surface paintability, eliminating the need for primer.
Color compounds can be customized.
Male and female tools are commonly made from tool-grade steel. Where pressure is <400psi, other tooling materials can be used.
Tools are generally capable of running temps of 300˚F and pressures about 1000psi, depending on contour.
Tools generally run 60,000 parts before restorative shear work is needed*.