Manufacturing of rubber products has increased significantly across the world. Development of the rubber industry is ascribed to factors such as spatial distribution of resources, technological sophistication in manufacturing, and introduction of wide range of industrially focused products. The manufacture of rubber products can be divided into tire manufacturing and non-tire manufacturing. The non-tire manufacturing segment produces sophisticated and high technology products by molding the uncured rubber, while tire manufacturing segment comprises automotive tire production.
Rubber molding can be defined as the process wherein uncured rubber, usually with inserts of textile, metal, or plastics is cured under high pressure in a mold of desired shape. Most automotive rubber components are manufactured through the molding processes. Generally, three types of rubber molding processes are used: compression, injection, and transfer molding. Under the compression molding process, the uncured rubber is placed in a mold with the sample under pressure for vulcanization.
After vulcanization, cavity pressure is applied to the slightly overfilled mold. It is then held closely in a hydraulic press under heated environment to design the shape of the rubber. Injection molding is a semi-continuous process. Piston system and an extruder are combined with heat suppliers in a rubber reservoir, wherein curing of the rubber is done and piston system continuously extrudes the molded rubber out after undergoing all the process. Some basic instructions, such as optimization of the compounds before curing and pressure maintenance of the mold, should be followed during the injection rubber molding process.
The automotive rubber molded components market is expanding globally due to rapid industrialization and globalization and introduction of the latest and cost efficient technologies. The global automotive rubber molded components market is projected to generate revenue of more than US$75 Mn by the end of 2017. Recent growing demand for environmental friendly, and fuel efficient vehicles is driving the market for automotive rubber molded components. Many chemical companies are coming up with better molding processes for the automotive rubber molded components manufacturing and it is expected to generate the annual revenue of more than USD 50 billion by the end of 2022. Technological breakthroughs such as development of environmentally-friendly rubber parts using vegetable soy oil, and the use of EPDM rubber are boosting the market for automotive rubber molded components.
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Furthermore, implementation of stringent automotive emissions norms has compelled the automotive sector to produce more efficient vehicles with lower carbon emissions. This is expected to significantly augment the market for lightweight automotive materials made from rubber-molded components. EPDM rubber molds are more durable vis-à-vis the conventional molded rubber parts. They can also withstand high pressure conditions and offer excellent impact resistance and stiffness. This is likely to encourage automakers to adopt EPDM-based molded rubber components. Molded rubber components can significantly reduce the weight of the automotive product and also provide help in reduction of vibrations. Shortage of advanced raw materials in emerging economies and fluctuation in prices of raw materials are the major restraints of the automotive rubber molded components market.
AB SKF, Continental AG, Cooper-Standard Automotive, DANA Holding s Corporation, and NOK Corporation are the key players operating in the global automotive rubber molded components market. Improvements in the EPA regulations and CAFE standards in The U.S. are also projected to boost the help automotive industry. The automotive rubber molded components market in Asia-Pacific is expanding due to the growth in the automotive industry in India and China; these countries have emerged as major global automotive components manufacturing hubs. Supportive government reforms in these countries have encouraged small and medium scale players to enter the rubber molding market.
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