Plastisol dip molding is a process where a dipping mandrel is dipped into a liquid polymer, typically plastisol, to eventually create a solid form on the mandrel’s external surface.
Most molds are very simple and inexpensive, and if automated, dip molding is competitive with most other molding processes.
What Is Plastisol?
Plastisol is a vinyl compound that is liquid at room temperature. When heated, it fuses into standard vinyl, never to liquefy again.
No matter what hardness, clarity, color or shine you are interested in for your materials, there is a plastisol to meet your needs.
Plastisols are also resistant to electricity, chemicals and weathering, and have been proven to be a safe material to use on a regular basis.
While the dip molding technique has been used for generations in candle making, plastisol dip molding has only been used in the public sector since the mid-20th century.
After WWII, vinyl plastisol came on the market for non-military use and plastisol dipping immediately became the standard for tool handles.
The Dip Molding Process
Plastisol dip molding is a thermal process where metal mandrels are preheated, dipped and then post-heated.
During dipping, heat in the mold transfers to the plastisol and gels the surrounding material. The hotter the mold and the longer the dip, the thicker the gelled coating will be.
The parts made by dip molding are precise and the plastisol will follow the details of the mandrel exactly. During the post-heating (cure), the plastisol fuses to the material and can be stripped from it if necessary.
Temperatures and dipping profiles are critical in determining the amount of plastisol buildup on the part, and there’s nearly no end to the number of shapes or parts that can be made from dipping.
Other Important Information
The inside of the dipped part is an exact negative of the mold, even having the same surface texture that the mold has.
The outside dimensions of the parts are surprisingly controllable, and using precisely controlled ovens, dip speeds, dip times and withdraw speeds, a range of wall thicknesses are achievable.
At Piper Plastics, we have designed, developed and built custom dipping machinery for plastisol that is computer-controlled, precise and efficient.
Our oven technology utilizes high velocity forced air and PID control that is extremely accurate (±1°F at 450 degrees). Our dipping profiles are adjustable as well, with resolution and accuracy of .005” and 0.1”/minute in position and velocity.
The advanced technologies we use result in lower costs, low reject rates, fast setup time and fast cycle times. We currently operate 19 centrally networked dipping systems in both industrial and cleanroom environments and our systems operate 24 hours a day to meet the needs of our customers in a timely fashion.
If you are interested in using plastisol dip molding for any of your business’ products, or should you have any other questions about the plastisol dip molding process, we ask that you reach out to our friendly and experienced team today at Piper Plastics.
With over 50 years in the plastisol business, we are the go-to source for dip molding, dip coating, fluid bed PVC powder coating and more.
If we don’t have a process that fits your needs, we are able to invent one, as we pride ourselves on our ability to solve your most difficult molding and coating challenges.
It will be a pleasure to provide you with dip moldings you require for tool handles, medical equipment, caps, tips, inflatables, cushions, boots and more. Give us a call today at 800-966-9919 to get started.