Custom Molded Colored Rubber


  • Colored Rubber Molding
    Custom Rubber Corp. doesn't subscribe to Henry Ford's (and many of our competitors’) advertising slogans; “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” At Custom Rubber Corp., color is our specialty.

    We are one of the leaders in molded, colored rubber parts. Our facility is consistently rated one of the cleanest rubber molding facilities by everyone who visits - that's the only way we can supply our customers parts consisting of brilliant yellow, pink and baby blue rubber to name a few colors. In addition to a clean facility, it is well lit with high power T8 fluorescent lights augmented by LED inspection lights at specific work stations, so that distinct color shades are visible. This allows us to make sure our parts match our customer's expectations. Our employees are all well-trained in the importance of cosmetic appearance for the products we produce.

    Why use colored rubber for your molded rubber products? 
    There are four great reasons:

    • Distinguish similar parts
    • Reinforce brand identity
    • Safety
    • Assembly verification

    Work with a customer-driven rubber manufacturer: Our mission, “Responsiveness~From Design to Delivery,” has resulted in a 98% customer retention rate. Contact us today to discuss your rubber product, and what color it should be.

  • Colored Rubber
    Choosing the right color for a custom molded rubber part can be easy, but the manufacturing of colored rubber is often challenging - that's where Custom Rubber Corp. can help. We make molding colored rubber easy. Before discussing why colored rubber products can be better than just plain black rubber, below are a few points highlighting how and why Custom Rubber Corp. is the best at molding colored rubber products.

    • Excellent suppliers and sub-supplers When molding colored rubber, the colorant is added during the rubber formulation and mixing stage - not at molding like liquid colorant for plastic. Many of our suppliers have dedicated mixing rooms for colored rubber and a few others have such a clean shop and robust carbon black controls that they can produce both black and colored rubber in the same facility. Either way, our suppliers know that colored material that ships to Custom Rubber Corp. has to be right every time as we work together to make sure that's the case.

      The Cleveland-Akron area is also home to one of the premier distributors of colorant additives for rubber formulations in the country - just 45 minutes from Custom Rubber Corp. The chemists and lab equipment available from this company for our suppliers and Custom Rubber Corp. are some of the best in the industry. As the process starts with raw material, Custom Rubber Corp. maintains excellent partnerships with our raw material suppliers.

    • Clean Warehousing and Fast Inventory Turns
      Once colored rubber is received at Custom Rubber Corp., great care is taken to be sure that it remains covered in order to limit or eliminate the possibility of contamination. Custom Rubber Corp. made a conscious decision years ago not to have any carbon black in our building. We do very limited amounts of rubber mixing in our facility and as a result, there is no free-floating fine dust particles (carbon black or otherwise) to contaminate our raw material. Our warehouse area is in a different room than the majority of our molding operations, which helps to keep it clean.
    • Clean Manufacturing Floor
      Custom Rubber Corp. started focusing on 2-Second Lean, a simplified Lean Production philosophy developed by Paul Akers. A key component of 2-Second Lean is housekeeping, or the simple 3S's: Sweep, Sort and Standardize.
      Every day at shift change, and throughout the day, all employees are responsible for cleaning up around their machines. Brooms and dustpans are available throughout the shop floor. Additionally, we have a dedicated person to run our floor sweeper regularly to keep the undersides of the machines clean with a shop vac. There is no way to keep colored parts brilliant if the shop floor is not clean.

    • The Right Type of Molding
      Molding colored rubber requires reducing the chances of contamination, including the steps required before molding. Because of this, Custom Rubber Corp. rarely compression molds colored rubber. Compression molding requires material to be preformed using a mill and barwell or gearpump extruder, which can both introduce color contamination into the rubber material - contamination that will show up in the end product.

      Transfer molding is usually Custom Rubber Corp.'s first choice for molding colored parts. With transfer molding, the material can be cut to proper size and weight at the molding machine by the operator using a clean guillotine knife. This limits the opportunities for contamination.

      For higher volume colored rubber parts, Custom Rubber Corp. uses injection molding. This process is very economical for high volume production but requires careful cleaning of the machine prior to starting production, so it is only viable for parts that require long runs.

    • Excellent Lighting
      Custom Rubber Corp. continues to invest in lighting. Our entire facility is currently lit using bright, energy efficient T-8 fluorescent bulbs. For lighting in machines and at inspection stations, we are gradually upgrading to LED lights that are even brighter and more efficient. Additionally, the LED lights withstand the heat and vibration inherent in lights used to illuminate inside molding machines.

      Without excellent, consistent lighting, it is impossible to ensure colored parts meet our customers' expectations.

    Why Use Colored Rubber?
    There are four great reasons to use colored rubber:

    1. Distinguish similar parts
    2. Reinforce brand identity
    3. Safety
    4. Assembly verification

    1. Distinguish Similar Parts
    One best-practice in engineering and product design is to re-purpose existing components across an entire product line. Custom Rubber Corp. has helped a number of organizations work through this with their molded rubber parts.

    Although the geometry works across a product line, the overall size or vibration, etc. may be different between products. In these cases, the durometer of the rubber component may need to be different across the product lines. Custom Rubber Corp. has used a number of different ways to distinguish multiple durometers of the same part - colored rubber is one of the best ways. Pictured below are two identical grommets, the only difference is durometer. The different colors make certain that the finished product has the correct rubber vibration grommet.
    Colored Rubber Durometer Differences
    An alternative to using a different colored rubber is to use paint splattering. Custom Rubber Corp. has repurposed an old cement mixer and molded rubber parts that can be tumbled with paint-colored rags to create parts streaked with yellow or orange paint. This distinguishes them from the standard, all black version.

    Different colored rubber can also be used to distinguish different polymer types when used to make the same part. In the photo below, the orange part is Silicone rubber and the black part is Nitrile rubber. By making the difference this stark, the chances of using the wrong diaphragm in the assembly is practically eliminated.
    Colored Rubber Material Difference

    2. Reinforce Brand Identity
    The best brands have a color scheme associated with them. For everyone who is blessed to see color, color can convey a number of emotions and strengthen brand identity. Think of your favorite soda - the color schemes used by these companies are strictly adhered to.

    There is no reason your custom molded rubber part can't contribute to your brand identity. Custom Rubber Corp. has molded components that match specific Pantone or Military-spec colors on multiple occasions. The medical handles below, molded in midnight blue, exactly match the color chosen for the company's name and logo.

    Midnight Blue Molded Silicone

    Another customer of ours has a brand that is almost 100 years old. The parts we make for them are a distinctive orange/red color that matches the color they've been using for their logo since the beginning. When individual see these parts in the field, they know where they came from even before reading the name engraved on the part.
    Molded Red SBR Rubber

    3. Safety
    There are some applications where black rubber just doesn't make sense. Custom Rubber Corp. is the perfect match in these instances. Two striking examples of this include our customer that designs and assembles electrical connectors for the oil and gas industry. Custom Rubber Corp. molds the explosion-proof rubber insulators for the connections. They are designed for up to 1000 volts - it's a good idea not to connect a red connector with a green connector!
    Colored Rubber Electrical Connectors

    Another customer of ours is a leader in electrical safety products. Because of their focus on safety, and the significant role the molded rubber components have for their end products, all their parts are molded in a brilliant, easy to see yellow. This bright yellow highlights the products in the field to ensure that the users know where they are, even in hazardous or disaster situations.
    Molded Yellow Rubber Safety Light

    4. Assembly Verification
    Generally speaking, molded rubber products are small components on a large assembly. But, they often play a critical role in either vibration reduction or sealing. If the rubber component is left out of an assembly, the finished product will likely fail. Colored rubber can be used in instances like this to make it easier for final assemblers to confirm the rubber component is in place.

    One of our customers makes thermo-magnetic actuators. These rely on fluid inside the actuator expanding and contracting under given electric stimulus. Inside the assembly is a critical orange molded diaphragm cup. The customer chose orange for the part after a string of failed assemblies in which the diaphragm part was not included.
    Molded Red Rubber Diaphragm
    Another customer also chose orange for their molded rubber grommet. The grommet is assembled into a plastic molded engine cover that is all black. After failing the final sound test one too many times because the original black grommet was missing, our customer switched to red/orange and has not had a problem since.
    Orange Rubber Grommet Installed
    None of the parts pictured are in stock or for sale.
    These are all examples of custom-manufactured products that illustrate Custom Rubber Corp.'s capabilities.

    Why Custom Rubber Corp.?
    Custom Rubber Corp. is the best source for custom color molded rubber products. We have years of experience working with all types of colored rubber materials, and can guarantee satisfaction. If you have a molded rubber part application and think the function or aesthetics would be improved by adding some color, get in touch with us today!