SANTA ANA, Calif.—On the manufacturing floor, efficiency is key. Processes that create a time or cost savings are desired across the board. When one achieves both, with additional benefits to boot, it's a game-changing technology.
Santa Ana-based Maverix Solutions, Inc. developed Mavcoat® MD-4, a mold release coating for the rubber industry that revolutionizes the molding process. There is no coating cure time, nor does it leave a white film behind.
Mavcoat® MD-4 is a water-based, semi-permanent release coating for all organic rubber elastomers.
"We've taken this ceramic technology I created and now adapted to use in the rubber industry," said Maverix President Mark Danzo, who started the company 18 years ago in his garage.
"It was derived from making mold release coatings for the composites industry. In the world of composites, epoxy is used to impregnate or strengthen carbon fiber and other materials."
Epoxy is a difficult material to release, he said, but as the aerospace industry began to demand higher molding temperatures and longer cure cycles, there was a need for a mold release coating to withstand this harsh environment.
"To do that, I believe that ceramic coatings would be necessary because they are able to withstand high temperatures for very long periods of time," Danzo said.
After the composite industry, Maverix started to develop this technology for the rubber industry. It also works for rotational plastics.
Maverix began research and development on Mavcoat® MD-4 about three years ago. It was released to the market about 15 months ago.
"Competing mold releases are called or counted as semi-permanent. That means our competitors apply their release coatings and they have to have a cure cycle," Danzo said.
When using standard mold release coatings, operators have to apply the coatings and then wait 10-15 minutes for the coating to cure before they can start molding the rubber.
"I thought that was a waste of time," Danzo said. "In the world of rubber, high volume production is critical to lowering your cost and being competitive.
"Our customers were tired of waiting 15 minutes for the coating to cure. With our technology, it is ready immediately upon spraying or application to the mold surface. So, it's fairly groundbreaking technology."
Mavcoat® MD-4 had immediate acceptance from customers. The parts came out defect-free, the mold surfaces did not get dirty and the customers were impressed, Danzo said.
"First and foremost, it has to release all rubber compounds. And it does that," Danzo said. "The results were very evident from the second that it gets applied and the first cycle is complete."
A significant time savings is not the only benefit Mavcoat MD-4 provides.
"It's a non-silicone chemistry," Danzo said. "More and more customers are asking, or demanding, silicone be removed from the coatings because they don't want that contaminating their parts."
The competing, semi-permanent coatings will build up like concrete on the mold surface, he said. Mavcoat MD-4's chemistry does not do that.
"The molds do not have to be pulled out of the presses nearly as often as current technology dictates," Danzo said. "So that is a massive productive gain for the customer base and it's a cost savings because they're not wasting time, energy or labor cleaning those tools."
Ultimately, the mold will not get dirty as quickly, so it can run longer with less cleaning. Contamination is also not a factor.
"It adheres very strongly to the mold surface and that prevents it from transferring to the finished part. There's very little probability or chance of the coating transferring to finished parts," Danzo said.
"So it just will not contaminate the finished part surface, so that enhances the quality of the finished part for the customer."
Manufacturers are leaning toward the ability to reduce personnel at the press and run machines autonomously.
"Our chemistry lends itself to this lights-out manufacturing trend," Danzo said. "You can spray it on the tool. It will work every time. And you can have the confidence in the quality of the parts and that the tool isn't going to have build up that will start to create defects in the parts."
To view the original article from Rubber and Plastics News please visit here.
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