With the design finished and prototypes tested and re-tested, it was time to put the tanks into production. The whole process of rotational molding is really interesting and we felt we came up with the ideal way to build the perfect small format tank.
To make a roto-molded tank we first had to have a cast aluminum mold custom built by hand. This entailed crafting a model of the tank out of solid material then building a multi-part case around the outside of the model to accept the molten aluminum.
The model of the IntelliTank 57
Once the mold was poured, attachments needed to be applied so the mold could be attached to the machinery that would produce the tank. Ultimately, in order to remove the finished tank from the mold, it was determined that the mold needed to be constructed in four parts which would be taken apart to remove each tank.
The four-part, cast aluminum mold of the IntelliTank 23
Once the mold is mounted and ready to make a tank, it is opened up and a predetermined amount of high quality, high density polyurethane powder is poured in. It is then closed up tightly, and the huge wheel that the tank is mounted on begins to rotate in two directions on a slowly turning arm to begin its journey through an oven the size of a small house.
It takes about an hour to cycle through the oven, for the mold to cool and the tank inside to shrink a bit, the mold taken apart and re-filled with resin to start the process of making another tank. Meanwhile, the freshly made tank moves over to be “dressed up” by removing excess plastic from the joints in the mold, to drill out the spout and to have the stainless steel spout installed.
Finally the new tank is placed in a box, labeled and palletized ready to ship to the Catalyst warehouse.
Take a look at our partner’s video on how they build our products: