How Rotational Molding (Rotomolding) is Changing the Lifespan of Planters

terracast Blog

At TerraCast®, we use a unique manufacturing process known as rotational molding, or rotomolding, to create products that are exceptionally durable and incredibly precise. Our process greatly differs from how traditional clay or plastic planters are manufactured, and it makes all the difference when it comes to extending the lifespan of planters.

What is Rotomolding?

Rotational molding is a specific process that begins with the formation of a metal mold. Each half of the mold is a mirror image of the other so that they perfectly fit together, forming a hollow center that mimics the shape of the item being manufactured.

We fill the mold with powdered resin, seal it and then place it into a special oven that heats up to around 500 to 650 degrees F. The actual temperature used varies based upon the type of product we are creating, the size of the product, as well as the required baking time.

Once the mold is placed inside of the oven to cook, the machine arms rotate on an X-axis and Y-axis. As a result, 360 degrees of full motion is achieved to ensure that no detail or corner is left unfilled or unfinished. Every last inch of the mold is equally melted and covered, this is how we form perfectly shaped planters without imperfections. Without any divots or rifts, the finished product comes out with strong rims, edges, and corners.

The machine arms are programed to do something called “indexing,” or rather a sequential shuffle. This involves the arm in the oven moving into the cooling chamber and the arm that’s in the cooling chamber rotates out for removal of the finished piece and resin refill.

Once the mold is completely cooked, it is moved from the oven into a cooling chamber where it is rinsed with reclaimed water.  When it arrives at the workstation all rinsed off, a special tool is used to remove the finished piece from the mold.

We pay close attention to every mold used in our factories to ensure the highest quality results each and every time. If a mold shows any sign of wear and tear, we are able to re-finish the mold to its original specs. This is the only way to consistently produce top quality products.

Our unique rotomolding process is cutting edge and relies on green practices, such as the use of natural gas to power our ovens, and the use of reclaimed water in our cooling chambers. In addition, our resin-blend is made with up to 100% post-consumer recycled materials. We’ve been focusing on making green products long before it become ‘cool’ to go green.

What are the Benefits of Rotational Molding? 

Now that we’ve told you all about the process, we will go over the benefits of undertaking such tedious manufacturing practices.

  • Incredibly Long Lasting

Most importantly, our in-depth rotomolding process produces some of the longest lasting planters in the industry. As a result, you save a good deal of money because you don’t have to replace planters as often.

  • Reliable

From our Bamboo planter to our traditional, rolled rim, Vase planter, you can rest assured there will be no flaws or fractures in a finished piece. Due to the care that goes into the rotational molding process, each planter comes out as beautifully perfect as the next.

  • Customizations, Yes Please

We can make molds to fit any customization you can dream up! From a specific color to a logo or unique shape and design. In addition, our process can be used to make resin-based products that resemble the look of stone, granite and metal without the drawbacks of these materials.

  • Earn LEED Credits

Our products can contribute to the US Green Building Council’s LEED initiative. All of our resin products are eligible to qualify for MR4 credits. In addition, if you are located within 500 miles of one of our shipping centers, your project qualifies for MR5 credits.

  • Lightweight

Your average 40-inch stone planter is going to cost about double what our replica stone planter will cost you. In addition, it’ll weigh as much as 600 pounds, while a comparable TerraCast® planter would weigh only 40 pounds! This makes it much easier to move planters, as well as ship them on site at a much lower cost.

  • Virtually Indestructible

Our planters are resistant to stains, water damage, and even graffiti! These durable planters offer a long-lasting beauty that is incredibly easy to maintain.

Products Made Tough in America, That’s TerraCast®

All of our products are made right here in the USA using sustainable practices intended to protect the environment as much as possible, while also creating long lasting products our customers have relied upon for decades.

View our wide selection of planters