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Here’s a two week update on the roof deck hydroponics garden. The Strawberries have been in for a week and a half, and the lettuce, spinach, arugala, basil and cilantro for a couple days. Here is a quick update video.
This short video introduces you to the three main components needed in order to process plastisol, either by dip molding or dip coating. Those components are the ovens, the dipping axis system and the plastisol tank.
The ovens serve two purposes in plastisol dip molding and dip coating. During preheat, the ovens put thermal energy into the mandrels so that it can be released into the plastisol during the dip. During post heat, the oven adds energy to the gelled plastisol and enables it to fuse and become a solid when the molded or coated part is cooled. The ovens in a plastisol dipping process are either batch type or continuous conveyor, depending upon the application. Oven consistency and repeatability are very important considerations for a plastisol dipping system, and these factors directly contribute to ultimate quality of the parts produced. It is for these reasons that well balanced convection ovens, with accurate PID control, must be specified and utilized in any high quality dipping system.
The next component is the dipping axis system. This is the component that actually dips the mandrel, or part to be dip coated, into the plastisol. In some instances, it can be as simple as an operator manually dipping the mandrel into a tank of plastisol, and withdrawing it carefully. However, this simple method isn’t very accurate or repeatable. Most quality plastisol dipping systems contain a robotic or computer controlled z-axis to accomplish the dip. The very best systems utilize position and velocity feedback, ensuring consistency and repeatability from dip to dip. This translates to high quality and low reject rates in production.
The dipping tank is the component that holds the plastisol. It needs to be made of materials that are compatible with the products to be produced. For instance, medical products should probably be dipped in a tank made of stainless steel, avoiding materials such as copper and aluminum, which could contaminate them. Since every dip removes material from the dip tank, there needs to be a method of refilling the tank, either manually or automatically. Another consideration in a dip tank is maintaining the level of the plastisol, as variations in this will lead to variations in part lengths. Finally, keeping the plastisol in the tank clean and free of contamination goes a long way to improving ultimate product quality.
If you’d like to learn more about plastisol dip molding or dip coating, or how we solve the process problems mentioned in this video, please don’t hesitate to give Piper a call.
We’re Piper Plastics, and we’re the Big Dippers.