Why Is a Continuous Rubber Curing Line Important?

Posted By:  Sperry & Rice
Monday May 6, 2024

Why is a continuous rubber curing line important? The simple answer is that it helps lower your component costs, speeds up deliveries, and provides consistent quality.

First, let’s explore what continuous curing is.

Curing, or vulcanization, is a process that was discovered almost 200 years ago that changes the physical and chemical properties of rubber. Curing is accomplished through a heating process that makes rubber more elastic and durable by changing the crosslinking molecular bonds in the rubber.

There are multiple ways to cure rubber. One method is in an autoclave, which is a pressurized and heated container, but this approach has its limitations. For example, if extruded rubber is coiled or rolled and placed in an autoclave, the heat and pressure do not act uniformly on the rubber so there may be areas that are over-cured, and some that are undercured.

Autoclaves are great for curing many small rubber components, or large extruded rubber parts, but a long continuous rubber extrusion needs a different option.

That’s where continuous curing comes in. Once the rubber is passed through the extrusion die, it is fed into an oven where it passes through heated tunnels at a rate that ensures it will be completely cured by the time it reaches the end. This makes sure that each part of the extrusion, from the first inch to the last, has perfectly uniform physical and chemical properties.

Sperry & Rice uses a continuous curing process that combines microwave technology and hot air ovens.

Microwaves heat the moisture in the rubber from the inside out, allowing it to cure quickly and evenly, while the hot air ovens keep an exact heat level maintained as the extruded rubber moves through the oven.

This unique process allows Sperry & Rice to extrude rubber for our customers more effectively and with these additional benefits:

  • More efficient heat transfer
  • Faster processing
  • Better heating and curing quality
  • Proper compound curing
  • Less energy waste

The bottom line is that our continuous curing process:

  • Decreases your processing time significantly 
  • Reduces your lead times
  • Reduces your cost
  • Provides highly reliable, consistent quality

Our continuous curing process is just another way that Sperry & Rice is your extruded rubber partner, from concept to completion.

Sperry & Rice offers innovative engineering, advanced manufacturing processes, and comprehensive quality controls to produce precision extruded synthetic rubber components for the HVAC, automotive, transportation, and appliance industries. Our reputation lies in making sure that the rubber we provide makes the finished products of our clients reliable, and of the highest quality.

For more information about our continuous curing line and how it relates to your next project, contact us!

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