CONTINUOS CURING: How we ensure qualityZeno
Product quality: the role of continuous curing
ACOMA believes deeply in the value of offering its customers quality products that meet even the most demanding requirements. This is why we have always dedicated a great deal of effort both to Research & Development and to finding the best technology for the production of our products. All of this, without ever forgetting the importance of sustainability, an equally essential element for us.
One example is certainly the type of curing we adopt, which is aimed at ensuring that our products have the best characteristics.
Curing: what it’s all about
Curing is a rubber manufacturing process that was invented almost two centuries ago. Its purpose is to fix the physical and chemical properties of our products, through a heating process. Basically, a change occurs in the molecular conformation of the rubber, which becomes more elastic and resistant, as well as less sticky.
There are two types of procedures for curing rubber in our industry, suitable for printing products. The first is the traditional methodology, which involves rolling the material around a metal cylinder, then placing it in an oven. Heat acts on the outside and inside of this cylinder, after the equipment has been brought to specific temperatures. The second option, exploited by ACOMA, is to use continuous curing.
The limits of the traditional approach
Although still widely used, traditional curing has some limits, which can be summarized mainly in the fact that the product does not exhibit uniform characteristics over its entire surface at the end of the process. The cause lies in subjecting the rolled rubber to curing, as the heat does not act uniformly on the coils of the wound roll. In addition, there is an obvious criticality due to the pressure exerted on the rubber, which is more intense in the inner coils. The consequence is that there will be over-cured and under-cured areas.
Why ACOMA chose continuous curing
To overcome the critical issues just described, ACOMA has chosen to use only continuous curing for its products. The rubber is processed, laminated to special supports (PET or fabric) and then subjected to vulcanization, with constant temperature, pressure and speed over the entire surface. We consider this process a flagship for our company, as it allows us to ensure that, from the first to the last meter of each product, the physical and chemical properties are perfectly uniform. An additional advantage is the uniformity of rubber coloration, which can vary with uneven temperature. Today, at ACOMA, we are able to undergo continuous batch curing of 400 linear meters of rubber.