The Dip Molding process is a process in which a heated metal mold (or mandrel) needing to be is dipped into heated polymer resin, and the cavity of the molds are coated repeatedly by a dipping action to achieve uniform thickness or coverage. This method generally uses plastisol as a polymer, but can also utilize latex, vinyl, PVC, silicone, urethane and epoxy resins. The advantages to the dip molding process over other production methods include lower costs (both overall and in tooling) and shorter lead times, particularly helpful in producing prototypes. Dip Molding can also offer some solutions that injection molding cannot. Dip Molding is an ideal and often-used method of molding for things like surgical gloves, catheters, balloons, PVC gloves, caps, covers, grips, plugs, and tool handles.
The Dip Molding process requires that the mold be machined out of metal, as a heated metal mandrel is generally required for dipping in polymers due to the nature of the process. Dip Molding offers the ability to allow for some undercutting in the mold design, but shapes that traps air pockets during the dipping process cannot use the dip molding method. Dip molding is also not as suitable for those wishing to add features or embellishments to the surface of the finished product. Many dip molding casters can work with the customer on designing and fabricating the desired mold on site, as well as handle the storage of the molds.