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Case study

Production of SMC shower tray

SMC show trays produced by Tricel

Shower trays are a standard product installed during the construction of domestic and commercial premises. These trays are used everywhere, from basic building construction to highly advanced and modern bathroom designs. As a product that gets used on a daily basis, it is necessary for them to be highly durable and robust.

Shower trays are also called hot cast shower trays, which is a popular name for them in America.


The challenges to produce SMC shower trays

The Tricel engineering team had to design and develop a shower tray which looks best in class while also having the require structural strength and mechanical properties for maximising practical application.

The material used to manufacture SMC shower trays

The material used to produce the shower trays is high-grade Sheet Mould Compound (SMC), which is amazingly strong while also remaining light in weight. Moreover, the material is non-hygroscopic, non-corrodible and ideally suited for aesthetically pleasing shower trays. These fantastic properties made SMC the best choice of material for the manufacture of the shower tray range.

SMC is a modern composite material that is being used in the manufacturing process at Tricel to produce its innovative products. Tricel has highly sought-after expertise in manufacturing bespoke products for leading companies such as Rolls Royce, Opel, Dell, and British Aerospace amongst many others.

SMC Machine

The SMS manufacturing tool for shower tray

The tool used for producing these shower trays is designed especially for hot press moulding with SMC and is 1.2m x 1.1m x 0.6m.

Tricel has over 60 years’ experience and expertise in making SMC material in all requested colour variants.

SMS manufacturing tool for shower tray by Tricel

Step by step stages of the production of SMC shower trays

  1. Product design as per size and specifications.
  2. Raw material selection to meet the specification and requirements.
  3. Mould design and development to suit large scale production.
  4. Preparation for production and quality check cycle.
  5. Employees and operators training.
  6. Manufacturing and strict quality control checks of the finished products.

Continuous development

The overall design of the SMC shower tray itself has undergone many changes during its evolution to ensure it is continually fit for purpose and maintain an aesthetically pleasing finished look. It is essential to achieve this while retaining all the benefits of its strength, durability and lightweight attributes. Once the required design structure became finalised, the die casting tool is produced.

Pressing shower trays
Tricel SMC shower tray

Research and development testing found the best method for producing this tray type in a high volume to be press moulding. The initial die mould tool took six weeks to produce, following this hot moulding presses were set up to manufacture the product quickly, efficiently and most importantly cost effectively. Following launch the product enjoys a very strong market position and is a fist choice among buyers.

Dimensions and specifications of the SMC shower trays

These hot cast heavy-duty shower trays have an impressive toughness and are light in weight. Thanks to their high strength, the risk of damage when dropped have been reduced dramatically, making them very popular among customers worldwide. Moreover, these trays are also lighter in weight compared to other conventional shower trays, which allows for a smoother and faster installation.

  • Length: 800mm
  • Breadth: 800mm
  • Height: 115mm

The benefits of SMC shower trays

  • Store the GRP trays in bulk with little fear of them getting damaged.
  • The trays are durable and will not break or chip or crack.
  • You can drop this product without it shattering.
  • The trays will not warp, bend or leak.
  • The advanced material has been used to hold its shape, rigidity and strength.
  • Strength is higher than conventional Cold Cast Tray.
  • Because of advanced composites used, connections cannot be over-tightened; making tray damage proof from overtightening screws.
  • With only 10.5 kg of weight, one person can easily handle the tray (meets Health & Safety obligations).
  • As there is one colour throughout, scratches can be buffed out.
  • Age tested under laboratory conditions.

The final result

As a customer-centric organisation, Tricel has successfully supplied SMC shower trays to customers all around the world. These shower trays are best in class and are very popular because of their extreme toughness and low weight design.

We have received extensive positive feedback about this product from a wide range of installers and satisfied end-user customers. The product is seen as a benchmark of success in the 60 years history of Tricel’s product range.

If you are looking for any similar SMC shower trays, shower tray manufacturing tool or similar GRP products or enclosures, contact us today and speak with one of our technical experts. Our team of specialist are standing by to discuss your requirements you may have, and to help you get the exact product solution that you need.

Shower tray
Shower tray

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