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Molding or moulding (see spelling differences) is the process of manufacturing by shaping liquid or pliable raw material using a rigid frame called a mold or matrix. This itself may have been made using a pattern or model of the final object.
A mold or mould is a hollowed-out block that is filled with a liquid or pliable material like plastic, glass, metal, or ceramic raw materials. The liquid hardens or sets inside the mold, adopting its shape. A mold is the counterpart to a cast. The very common bi-valve molding process uses two molds, one for each half of the object. Piece-molding uses a number of different molds, each creating a section of a complicated object. This is generally only used for larger and more valuable objects.
The manufacturer who makes the molds is called the moldmaker. A release agent is typically used to make removal of the hardened/set substance from the mold easier. Typical uses for molded plastics include molded furniture, molded household goods, molded cases, and structural materials.
Types of molding include:
- Blow molding
- Powder metallurgy plus sintering
- Compression molding
- Extrusion molding
- Injection molding
- Matrix molding
- Rotational molding (or Rotomolding)
- Spin casting
- Transfer molding
- Vacuum forming, a simplified version of thermoforming
"B" side of die with side pull actuators
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