SILICON MOULDED TRANSFER
How does SILICON MOULDED TRANSFER work?
Transfer molding involves a piston-and-cylinder-like device built into a press so that raw silicone material is pushed into a mold cavity through small holes, or runners. The process transfers the material into the mold and heats it under pressure to produce a cured part.
This process is composed of four steps, which ensure a properly molded and cured product. The following overview describes the four steps:
- Cut and weighed raw silicone material is loaded into the transfer pot of the molding press. The silicone is forcibly injected from the transfer pot through a series of runners.
- From the runners, the material is forced into the mold cavity. While in the mold cavity, the silicone is held under a specific temperature and pressure for a specific time to undergo the curing process. The curing process can range from 2 to 12 minutes, requiring temperatures ranging from 260° to 300°F and pressures ranging from 500 to 1000 psi.
- The transfer plunger is retracted, and any excess silicone is removed from the transfer pad.
- After the silicone is fully cured, the pressure is released and the mold is opened. Once the product is removed from the mold cavity, the silicone undergoes a secondary process of deflashing to remove any excess silicone (or flash) left on the product from the mold parting lines.
Silicon Moulded Transfers
The greatest benefit of transfer molding is that it can accommodate both short-run lots and high production runs. Molding cycle and changeover times can be shorter than those of alternative silicone molding techniques because molders can use multiple mold cavities on a single machine. The molds are easy to change, and switching colors requires minimal cleanup.
The Decorator’s Guide
Struggling to get your head around how promotional production creation works?
We know it’s complicated, so we’ve created an in-depth breakdown of all the decoration processes we use in our industry.
We’ve organised each chapter into bite size, simplified FAQ’s covering average turnaround times, insider tips on inks and techniques, and the recommended surfaces for each technique, so you can pass on your worthy knowledge to your customers.
Which product is best suited for this process?
Apparel, sportswear and caps in particular.
What products are not suited for this process? What will not work at all?
Anything that is not considered a textile.
What is the life expectancy for your product?
As it is made of silicon, the design is strong. However, people are partial to picking at it without noticing because it’s 2D. This can reduce the longevity of the product, however we tend to use very strong silicon maintain the design in spite of this.
What is the benefit of using this particular method of decoration?
A beautiful texture that cannot be achieved using any other process.
What is a disadvantage with using this process?
The methods, setup and processing take a very long time: making the mould, allowing it to set, applying each individual colour and allowing this to set too.
How long does it take you to complete a project?
Two to three weeks to sample and produce the mould, and a further three to four weeks for organising and production.
On average, what is the running size (per unit) for each job?
Our average run size is 2,400 pcs. Minimum 100.
Can you do repeat set ups?
Yes, repeating moulds are possible.
Will I need to sample?
Yes, we create the mould, run a sample of 100 units and photograph it for you. We also do adhesion tests beforehand.
What is the rejection rate?
Non-existent. We always make extras, should there be an inconsistencies.
What does pre-treatment mean?
This is for the heat press to apply the transfer to your product. Similar to vinyl, we require 6-10 seconds for the heat press. To apply to the product, you will need 25 seconds of the heat press at 150 celcius.
What is the best file type?
We need very simple vector pdf.
What are the print size and colour limitations for silicon moulds?
Our graphic designers advise our clients based on the design provided.
Are special effects and half tones possible?
Yes, silicon mould transfers have endless possibilities when it comes to effects.
Do you charge for packing and repacking with this product?
This is dependent upon the product the client sends to us, we may charge extra if handling is excessive.
What are the most popular promotional products for this type of decoration?
Caps, jackets and hoodies.
Can you reproduce PMS colours easily? Coated or uncoated?
We can create impeccable coated PMS colours.
Should the client notify you of the material prior to sending?
How can suppliers speak confidently to potential customers about your product?
Email us and we will provide a simplified breakdown of our process and how it can be beneficial to your products. We can send samples too.
- Complex molds. Since the design and mold tends to be complex, tooling can also become expensive.
- Waste material. Transfer pots typically produce higher volume waste than traditional overflows in compression tools. Transfer molding typically produces a large pad with sprues. The scraps are not reusable, since the polymers are thermosetting.
- Mold Maintenance. Inserted transfer tools require more mold maintenance than compression tools.