The importance of prototyping for new rubber products

In the rubber manufacturing industry nothing is left to chance. Even the smallest, most innocuous looking rubber parts undergo rigorous virtual and laboratory testing to simulate their behaviour in a real-life application environment. All of these learnings are then translated into a prototype to provide proof of concept. Here, TRP Polymer Solutions explains what goes into prototyping rubber parts and how it can ultimately save you time and money.

Unless you’re actively employed in the rubber manufacturing industry, or have worked with a rubber manufacturer to bring an idea to production, chances are you won’t have considered the amount of testing and prototyping that goes into the rubber products all around you. In fact, no stone is left unturned, with precise computer modelling and precise rubber prototypes helping to streamline the whole production process. 

What is rubber prototyping?

The word ‘prototype’ comes from the Greek ‘prototypon’, which roughly translates as “primitive form.” Prototyping rubber is an essential aspect of the product development process. It enables us to provide proof of concept to a customer, providing detailed evidence that the materials and conceptual design that we have developed will perform to the desired specifications. Prototyping rubber components ultimately saves time and costs.  

The importance of prototyping rubber

Prototyping rubber parts allows us to assess and refine the physical properties of a material before production tooling takes place. It provides us with a functional understanding of a component’s performance characteristics, based on the specific parameters of its application, reducing costly errors and reworks later in the production process. Successful prototyping therefore streamlines production, minimises risks and maximises your budget.

How is a polymer prototype created?

Before we even come close to moulding a polymer prototype, our technical experts work to formulate a material that will perform in your specific application. This will involve developing a material specification and laboratory mixing and testing of the material to help us set performance targets. 

Once the material is approved an initial proto type can be manufactured from single cavity mould tools, which help to inform the designs of our eventual multi-cavity production tooling.

On approval of your prototype, our experts will then scale up our pre-production process to produce your part in volume. We can deliver polymer prototypes that are made to the highest standards and delivered quickly and conveniently. By investing in state-of-the-art press technology and mould manufacturing capability at our 40,000 square-foot facilities we can ensure short lead times and repeatable processes.

Contact TRP Polymer Solutions today

Whether you need a single custom moulded rubber component or a large volume of FFKM O-rings, TRP Polymer Solutions applies the same exacting standards to every project we deliver. From your initial point of contact through to the design, material selection, testing, prototyping and manufacture of your product; our team will work closely and collaboratively with you to ensure you receive the perfect polymer solution.

We can support your requirements with KANBAN systems, consignment stock and scheduled call-off orders to agreed on-site stock levels. Our agile manufacturing processes enable us to deliver your customer moulded rubber parts swiftly and efficiently. We can supply to quick lead-times, as short as 3 days for specialist O-rings and seven days where new tooling is required. Prototyping rubber products has never been so easy.

Make TRP Polymer Solutions your rubber prototype manufacturer of choice. We can provide a full turnkey solution to your product development needs, from conceptual design and prototyping through to pre-production and volume production. To find out more about our high-quality polymer products and manufacturing processes, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, please contact TRP Polymer Solutions on +44(0)1432 268899 or sales@trp.co.uk.

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