To combat the longer cycle times and waste, a cold runner can be implemented. The cold runner approach removes the sprue and runner system by directly injecting material into each cavity using smaller injection nozzles. The term “cold” refers to the fact that there is a chilled water solution surrounding each of the individual injection nozzles and allowing the material to stay uncured until it reaches the outer wall of the cavity.
The cons of using the cold deck tooling method are that the molds can become very expensive and there can be longer lead times (20-24 weeks on average). The method can also be harder to implement and transition to other facilities.
However, at Extreme Molding our team sees the pros outweigh the cons when using the cold deck tooling method. This includes faster cycle times, individual process control over each cavity, and that it can be more easily automated. Cold deck tools offer the possibility for higher cavitation due to the material that is saved by not having a sprue. The best benefit we have encountered by making this switch has been that year to date, we have saved around 20,000 pounds of silicone from going into landfills because of cold-deck tooling. As a company that is committed to our sustainability efforts, this switch was an easy decision.
For questions regarding conventional vs cold deck tooling methods for silicone products, please contact our team.