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Welcome to the UK’s first choice in Precision Engineering

We are a 45-strong team of engineering problem-solvers, helping you thrive by meeting your specification and requirements for a broad range of precision-manufactured parts and projects. We challenge convention to make it better and make it beautiful. With over 20 years’ experience operating on the south coast; our highly skilled craftsmen can achieve stunning results to the most demanding of tolerance, detail and timescale. Everything we do delivers on this promise.

Utilising the latest technology enables us to engage in the exchange of secure electronic models and data in a comprehensive range of formats. Our “Supply complete to drawing” service includes design, advice on material selection, procurement of materials, control of any necessary treatments and the delivery of individual parts, mould tools or complete assemblies.

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If your favourite tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. LE takes a different approach, combining creative thinking and practical knowledge to produce high quality project outcomes. Our philosophy is rooted in the desire to create and deliver quality workmanship that provides our customers with mission-critical support, which is what makes us the UK’s first choice in precision engineering.

Specialists

With an enviable client list Langstone is proud to work with companies both large and small throughout the UK and internationally across the following sectors:

Formula 1
Motor Sports
Aviation/Aeronautical
Industrial
Oil & Gas

Automotive
Defence
Maritime/Marine
Medical

News

Rubber Moulding Tooling Secrets

Rubber Moulding
The rubber industry is boosting over days for obvious reasons. It has become a base part of the manufacturing industry. We all use rubber for different purposes, but little do we know how they are produced using certain tools. Producing rubber by using machines is not a piece of cake and needs a lot of money as well as labour. This process is called rubber moulding.

What is rubber moulding?

Rubber moulding is the process of making usable rubber products from raw rubber. Rubber is in high demand for industrial applications. Rubber products are usually made of elastomers which is a polymer having natural elastic properties, which can be collected from natural sources. Rubber essentials are produced using highly controlled chemical procedures and they are the best material when someone needs material that remembers its original shape and returns to it. There are rubber moulding machines that are used to create moulded rubber parts. Either heat or chemical reactions are used to do this depending on which method the rubber is being moulded. Each method has different tooling secrets. The most common methods of moulding rubber are injection moulding, compression moulding and transfer moulding. Let's discuss the methods and the processes in brief.

Different types of rubber moulding methods and the tooling secrets

It is important to choose the correct rubber moulding process to get the right result. Different kinds of results need different moulding processes, if not chosen wisely, you may not get what you want. Let's discuss the main three types of the rubber moulding process.

What is rubber injection moulding?

It was first introduced in the year of 1960 as an extension of the plastic industry, and now it is the most famous moulding process. In this process, a heated rubber compound gets injected into a closed mould under high pressure.

Process

The rubber parts are produced by injecting material into the rubber mould under high pressure and heat. Elastomers, metals, thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers are the materials that can be used for this. After injecting the material into a heated barrel, it is forcefully mixed into the mould cavity to create the shape. The material stays in the cavity until it gets cool and hard.

What are the advantages?

  • A minimum amount of the waste
  • Less time to produce
  • Fast cycle
  • Good dimensional tolerance.
  • Many designing possibilities
  • Low cost
  • 3D printing

Disadvantages

  • The setup cost is pretty high
  • There are some restrictions on the tooling design
  • Expensive tooling and machinery.

On which materials can this be performed?

Silicone, neoprene, nitrile and EPDM, and so on.

Which materials can be made of this moulding process?

Spools, toys, musical instruments and parts, packaging, bottle caps, automotive parts and components, pocket combs, etc., are made by this moulding process.

What is compression moulding?

Rubber Moulding Process It is one of the most simple rubber moulding processes out there. It needs heat and pressure to create the desired shape.

Process

In this process, the moulding material is placed in a preheated oven and heated mould cavity to make sure there is right pressure and then the mould is closed with top force. Because of this force, the material flows across the mould areas. Once the moulding material is cured, the work is done. The last part is removal and cooling.

Advantages

  • Fine surface finish
  • Dimensional stability
  • Mechanical properties
  • Low wastage
  • Simple tooling
  • Cost-effective
  • Suitable for large cross-sectional parts
  • Greater capacity for processing high durometer parts
  • This process can be performed on Polyester fibreglass resin systems, Torlon, Vessel, poly and other materials.

Disadvantage

  • Difficult to maintain the consistency of finished parts
  • It takes more time to process

Which materials can be made by this moulding process?

Car tyres, rubber tyres, rubber gaskets or seals, handles, automotive parts can be made by this rubber moulding process.

What is transfer moulding?

It is a comparatively lengthier process which is quite similar to injection moulding.

Process

At the first step, the raw materials are prepared as pre-forms. In this process, compression, injection and transfer moulding - all of these three processes are combined automatically. At first, a device gets built into the rubber mould to maintain the rubber into its shape. The mould remains closed while the curing process is done. Once the plunger is raised, the leftover parts get thrown away. Mould is opened after the rubber is cured entirely.

Advantages

  • It has high automation capability
  • It is lower in cost than injection moulding
  • It gives a smooth finish.

Disadvantages

  • More material wastage
  • Tools need maintenance, repairing and removal
  • Time-consuming process

On which materials this can be performed

On Silicone, neoprene, etc., this can be performed.

Which materials can be made by this rubber moulding process?

Materials such as pins, studs, model terminals and connectors can be made by this moulding process. There is no method that is superior to others as all it matters is what requirements do you have. Every process has its pros and cons, but they are applicable depending on your goals. While the entire process sets in, each step is important in providing the desired outcome.

What are rubber moulding machines?

Special moulding machines are used to mould rubber. Rubber moulding press, rubber kneaders are famous for moulding rubber and nowadays, they are easily available in markets. At first, these moulding machines were so expensive that they only could be used by big companies, but nowadays these have become easily available for the sake of productivity. There are 3 basic types of moulding machines available in the market. The basic 3 types are
  • squeezers
  • jolt machines
  • sand slingers
Each of them has its functionalities, pros and cons. There are machines specially made for this purpose and contain complex engineering structures.

Uses of moulded rubber

Rubber is used to create different types of materials. The examples are given below:

Rubber Mounts

It is mainly used to control the vibrations and save the equipment from further damage. It comes in many shapes and sizes and anyone can customize those depending on needs. It is usually made of Synthetic or natural rubber. As an example, cylindrical mounts work as support for conveying lines and transferring equipment. Other types are also used for protecting products such as computers. They are quite easy to use and maintain.

Rubber Bumpers

It is mostly used in the manufacturing industry to reduce vibrations and movements to protect the equipment from further damage. It can be anything such as furniture, circuit boards, packaging, etc. A mixer of rubber and plastic called polymers are mostly used for this cause.

Rubber Bushings

They are designed to absorb the vibrations and their effects on equipment. They are also often placed between two pieces of equipment to avoid vibration transfer and are highly used in the automobile industry.

Rubber Diaphragms

It is mostly used to prevent leakage and the effects of pressure. It is also used as a barrier between two chambers. It can be either static or dynamic. Even slight pressure can set in a dynamic diaphragm.

Rubber Grommets

These are shaped as rings to protect any object from opening. It is widely used where wires pass through. Made by various types of moulding, there are synthetic or natural rubbers.

Rubber O-rings

These ring-shaped rubbers are made to protect from leakage. Widely used to seal gas and chemical feeding lines. They are in demand in the aerospace market, hydraulic market, vacuum flow lines, etc.

Rubber Washers

It is mainly used to distribute load, spacers, reduce vibrations, etc. Besides that, it is also used for locking seals. In pipe connections, they are used to seal leakage and secure joints. They give a tight seal.

Rubber Plugs

It is used as connectors, washers, etc. Mostly utilized to cover equipment, especially wirings. It also holds different equipment together and protects the holes from contamination by moisture, water or dust.

Rubber Pads

It is used for the same purpose as rubber bumpers, mounts and isolators - to reduce vibration and protect equipment from further damage.

Rubber Seals

Used for sealing gaps, preventing leakage, etc. Sealing materials are a big market itself nowadays. It can be used in the forms of gel, film, putty, or strip. It can adhere to different types of surfaces. Though there are many other uses of moulded rubber as well, they were the main purposes and forms of it. Nowadays, it is also being used for different purposes. It is one of the most versatile elements out there.

Ending words

The rubber industry is rising over the days. From wires to tires, from the pipe industry to the manufacturing industry, the demand for moulded rubber is increasing and it is becoming one of the pillars of the manufacturing industry. The tooling process is the most important part of moulding rubber properly. As every tooling secret is different from another, one should take care while choosing the right rubber moulding methods for making certain materials.

5-Axis Milling Advancements

5 axis miling
The manufacturing industry has developed so much in recent years, and the methods of manufacturing have also become more advanced than ever. One of the biggest examples of this scenario is the 5 axis milling methodology.

What is 5 axis milling?

It is an advanced cutting method that runs with the computer numerical control or CNC to create quality parts. When it came to the market for the first time, it was too costly to be used by most of the manufacturers, but nowadays, it is easily available to the manufacturing world. It runs on the same principle of sculpting. With this highly advanced cutting tool, one can get a large material and cut it off until the main object is the only thing that is left. Before 5 axis milling machine came into the market, 3 axis mailing was there which only operated the X-, a Y- and a Z-axis for the movement of a cutting machine. But the 5 axis milling now allows the machine to move with the A and B axis as well. It is used for a quick, smooth, and complete design. Though the configurations can be different for different machines, the basic is the same for all of these. It does the work efficiently at once. With 3 axis milling, one has to rotate the parts manually, but with 5 axis milling, the machine itself takes care of everything. It is an ideal tool for making complicated designs and that's why CAD and CAM software are needed for running it smoothly. These mills and machines are mostly used in heavy work such as aerospace applications, the medical industry, etc. If there is something that can be done with 3 axis milling, with 5 axis machining, one can do it quickly and efficiently.

What are the benefits of 5 axis milling?

Quick

As it is made using modern technology and can move in 5 directions, it can do the work quicker than other milling methods. It requires less manual engagement and can find better angles for more efficient cuts. With all these factors, it requires less time to finish a complex project.

Accuracy

With this machine, your work would be done with accuracy. Even with the most complicated designs, this method can do its work without any messes.

Shorter cutting tools

This method allows using shorter cutting tools. It can finish deep cutting with accuracy and with reduced vibration, it gives a smooth finish within a short period. It does not use excessive pressure but can give whatever you want with efficiency.

Complex shapes

5 axis machining has the ability to create complex shapes and designs. With the additional movements (A and B movement), it can use all the machining angles to create designs and shapes.

Few setups

It requires very few manual settings and is easy to access.

Business opportunities

It has opened a new path of opportunities. With this, new services and products are being introduced in the market having more efficiency and a smooth surface finish.

Why 5-axis milling machine is advanced than other cutting methods?

5 axis milling runs with the help of CNC, and it is undoubtedly advanced than other cutting methods. The number refers to the directions a cutting machine can rotate. When a 2 axis milling machine can rotate on X and Y sides and 3 axis milling can rotate on X, Y and Z sides, a 5 axis milling can rotate on X, Y and Z sides along with A and B sides. It is the most complex movement a cutting tool can move through. It gives an all-at-once effect and requires less manual effort. The CAD and CAM software can be very advanced when it comes to a 5 axis milling machine. Besides providing a myriad of programming options, sometimes they also provide collision avoidance and post-processors for making things simple. This machining is also ideal for making complex 3D shapes as well as traditional machining. Where 3 axis milling is suitable for the parts not too deep, 5 axis milling is suitable for all those parts which need deep cuttings and designs along with a smooth surface. Making efficient designs is a need for every manufacturing company and this method is ideal for that. We can say that 5 axis milling is the most advanced cutting method as
  • It requires less time
  • It requires less labour
  • It requires less set-up
  • It leaves the surface area smooth
  • It gives an efficient finishing
  • It is ideal for complex manufacturing
  • It makes the work done at once
  • It is what manufacturers need for creating more efficient designs.

Ways to make 5 axis milling machine more productive

  5 Axis Miling

Guide curves

This is a finishing operation that allows the creation of tool paths on the machining area. It gives you control over the machining path so that you don't have to waste your precious time trying to figure out the direction to project that. Besides that, you can have the access to the tool axis control. This makes the machining process smooth automatically while moving from one position to another. It is a tip that helps you finish your work more smoothly and efficiently.

Using barrel cutters

If you are working on a curved and sloped surface, you can use barrel cutters to speed up the process by 70% and get great finishing.

Tilt the tool

Tilt the tool away from the pockets to avoid tool holder collisions. You can use shorter tools for accurate cutting, vibration reduction, and great finishing on the surface part. Program the tool path to avoid any collision with the data surface.

Multi-axis adaptive roughing reduces cycle

It is the fastest way to remove material and save time. A 5 axis process allows you to get closer to the part that can reduce finishing cycle times. Adaptive milling allows you to reduce the radial depth of cut to 20%-25% of the tool diameter, but at the same time, it increases the depth. It is also able to remove 69% of the machining time along with providing you with secured cutter wear. Besides those, one can also go for Turbomachinery milling machines, impellers and blisks to shorten the time. It has many advancements nowadays, such as multiple stripe cut level support, Tangent Barrel tool support, Custom stock offsets, etc. With the help of them, one masterpiece can be manufactured perfectly.

Handlings of 5 axis millings

It depends on the machines and manufacturers that whether swivel heads, rotating tables, or trunnion tables would be used. These all are the advancements of 5 axis millings so that every type of work can be handled differently. As an example, trunnion or table machines are developed with the capacity of holding pieces that are larger in volume. It uses an A-axis to move around the X-axis and on the other hand, it uses a C-axis to rotate around the Z-axis. When it comes to the Swivel-rotate machine, it is perfect for heavier parts as the table doesn’t move around as in the previous one. It also has lesser tool interference and for this, it is more versatility. It rotates the B-axis around the Y-axis and the C-axis around the Z-axis.

Where is 5 axis milling used?

Previously, this methodology was only being used to create aerospace equipment, but nowadays, this is being used in other industries as well. Because of its increasing availability, other industries are also using it for better products and services. Even if the work can be done by a 3 axis machine, people use 5 axis milling machine for better finishing and detailing. The other reason is that it requires less labour and increases productivity. This machining is commonly used in:

Aerospace

This is used here to create smooth shapes with fine edges. Aerospace applications are complex and unique and they need to be done with professional care. As 5 Axis milling is outstanding in creating deep cutting. Using this technology allows it to stay accurate for a long time.

Medical

It is used in the medical market nowadays as it can boost productivity and make things perfect to meet healthcare standards. These products have smaller details and that's why this methodology is needed as medical science is also getting advanced.

Military equipment

Besides military planes, it is used for submarine parts, fighter jets parts, turbines, smart weapons, rifles, high-performance engine parts, nuclear weapons, and so on. All these things are complicated and that's why this process saves both time and money.

Other equipment

Products that contain complexity and detailing need 5 axis machines to be created properly. It reduces the labour cost and makes things easier.

Ending Words

The process of manufacturing products has been changed with the advancement of technology. Nowadays, every manufacturer feels the pressure to deliver a perfect service or product in less time. That's the reason why the advanced 5 axis milling machine is becoming famous in every industry.
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Meet the Langstone Management Team

Gary Hart

Gary Hart

MD & Founder

Gary Hart

Gary Hart

MD & Founder

MD and Founder. Gary set up Langstone in 2001 and is responsible for the overall management of the Company. An engineer to his core, Gary supports Keith with client liaison, core team management as well as general meddling in all Langstone does.

Chris Powles

Chris Powles

Co-Founder, Secretary & Director

Chris Powles

Chris Powles

Co-Founder, Secretary & Director

Co-founder, company secretary and director for Langstone, Chris is responsible for all financial and business support matters

Keith Leaves

Keith Leaves

Works Director

Keith Leaves

Keith Leaves

Works Director

Works Manager. With 13 years’ service at Langstone, Keith owns client relationships, as well as overseeing client delivery with the core production team.

Danny Clarke

Danny Clarke

Production Manager

Danny Clarke

Danny Clarke

Production Manager

With 30 years engineering experience, Danny commands all aspects of our production planning.

Careers

If you are interested in a career at Langstone Engineering please email your CV to production@langstone-engineering.co.uk

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