Specifically designed to facilitate the replacement of metal components with polymers (and other composites), the compression moulding process is a method of moulding in which a preheated polymer is placed into an open, heated mould cavity. The mould is closed with a top plug and pressure is applied to force the material to contact all areas of the mould. Throughout the process heat and pressure are maintained until the polymer has cured.
While the compression moulding process can be employed with both thermosets or thermoplastics, today most applications use thermoset polymers. Advanced composite thermoplastics can also be compression moulded with unidirectional tapes, woven fabrics, randomly orientated fiber mat or chopped strand.
Compression moulding is a high-volume, high-pressure plastic moulding method that is suitable for moulding complex, high-strength objects. And with its short cycle time and high production rate, many organizations in the automotive industry have chosen compression moulding to produce parts.
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