Anyone using epoxy molding compounds understands how dirty these molds get over time. Epoxy residues, resin bleed and solder flux residues all contribute to the residues that build up over time and that need to be cleaned off regularly. Both transfer mold melamine cleaners and compression mold melamine cleaners can be used to clean these molds. This article explains the similarities and differences of these processes and should help you decide which one is right for you.
Similarities between transfer and compression melamine cleaners
Before we get into the differences between the two processes, let’s point out what each melamine cleaner has in common. To start, both are melamine-based cleaning products, which is different that rubber cleaning sheets. This means that there is very little difference in price between the two processes.
Secondly, the effectiveness of the melamine cleaner will be similar. This means that you can expect to remove similar types and quantities of residues with both types of cleaners.
Difference between transfer and compression mold melamine cleaners
Once we understand the similarities between the two products, we can start to look at their differences. When it comes right down to it, the difference between the two comes down to how you will use the cleaner. These differences are:
1. Time required to clean
2. Areas of the mold to be cleaned
3. Molding equipment to be cleaned
How much time does it take to clean an epoxy mold using melamine cleaner?
Compression mold melamine cleaner is supplied in pellets, or tablets that are approximately 2 inches by 2 inches (5 x 5 cm). These pellets need to be broken and put into the mold by hand over the areas of the mold that need to get cleaned. Depending on the size of the mold, this process can take 5–10 minutes. Each of these cleaning cycles then closes the mold over the melamine and stays clamped for 3–10minutes. Since a cleaning cycle often requires 5–8 shots of melamine, a typical cleaning cycle with compression melamine can take more than an hour to complete.
Transfer mold melamine used pellets that are made to fit the transfer mold plungers. Since these pellets fit the equipment already, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to throw the melamine into the plunger. The cycle time of the mold is still the same as with compression-grade melamine, about 3–10 minutes. This means that for the same number of shots, the cleaning cycle will take about 30 minutes.
The cleaning process is basically split between applying the melamine cleaner and processing it. Since the time to apply the compression mold melamine is about twice the time of the transfer mold, and the processing time is the same, the transfer mold melamine cleaning cycle takes about half as long.
What areas of the mold does the melamine cleaner clean?
Compression mold melamine cleaner does not go through the plunger, and instead goes directly over top of the mold. As such, it does not clean the plunger. It does however, clean the mold cavities and the runners and as well cleans the vents, and the top and bottom surfaces of the mold itself.
Transfer mold melamine cleaner on the other hand goes through the same plunger as the epoxy mold compound. Therefore, it cleans the plunger as well as the mold runners and the mold cavities. Since it is not compression molded however, it does not clean the top and bottom surfaces of the epoxy mold itself.
Melamine cleaner can clean what kind of equipment?
Transfer-mold melamine cleaner is suitable only for transfer mold equipment. Compression-grade melamine mold cleaner is also suitable for transfer-mold equipment, but can also be used on compression mold equipment.
Now that we have looked at both transfer-grade and compression-grade melamine cleaners, what is the best cleaner for your process? If you only have compression mold equipment, it doesn’t make any sense to use anything other than compression-grade melamine cleaner. If you are using transfer-mold equipment, you might want to experiment with both types and maybe ultimately choose a combination of both to properly clean your molds.
Please visit us at www.caplinq.com to learn more about our whole range of epoxy mold cleaners or to learn more about transfer mold melamine or rubber cleaning sheets for epoxy molds. If you have any other questions about melamine cleaning sheets vs rubber cleaning sheets, please don’t hesitate to contact us.