All plastics and rubbers have the potential to be moulded into a desired shape. For example once PVC is in a molten state it can be injected into a preformed shape or mould and allowed to cool thus taking the shape of the mould. Consequently the moulds used to form a rubber or plastic product play a very important role in the industry. A mould can be described simplistically as an arrangement of one, or a number of, hollow cavity spaces fitted together to resemble the shape of the desired product. Whilst the design of a mould is within the scope of an experienced mould maker, the process rarely produces an ideal mould immediately. Moulds must be altered three, four or even more times before they can be used satisfactorily and much more expensive machine time is necessary to establish the ideal moulding conditions. There are also a number of requirements to be considered in designing and making the ideal mould. These include the accuracy and finish, productivity, physical strength, wear resistance, operation safety, maintenance, installation and cost of the mould.
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