Injection molding of liquid silicone rubber is a process that is used widely for different purposes. Nowadays, there almost isn’t the area of manufacturing that doesn’t use this in the construction process, everything from household items to medical devices, automotive industry, and even wearable technology.
This silicone rubber has many advantages when compared to the traditional one. It is so beneficial and widely used that the technology that creates it is constantly being developed and remodeled. Due to its importance, in this article, we are going to introduce you to some basic facts about liquid silicone rubber (LSR).
How does it work?
When it comes to the process of molding liquid silicone rubber, we have to say that it is not quite the same as the thermoplastic one. Why? Well, simply because of the fact that this silicone rubber is more flexible. Yes, the CNC machine is used in both cases, but that’s pretty much it.
These items usually consist of two chemicals that are mixed together in a 1:1 ratio. After a specific manufacturing process, these change their liquid state into a solid one. During this process, the components are secured in a closed system which means that any kind of damage caused by moisture or dust cannot occur. Check this, if you are intrigued, and want to learn more about this entire process but also about the service that companies can offer you.
What are the basic properties of LSR?
Now that we have mentioned the manufacturing process, let’s discuss some key features that make it so popular.
First of all, this silicone rubber is resistant to heat. Without a doubt, this is one of the main reasons why it is so widely used. Similarly, it also has a high resistance to sunlight and oxygen as well as alpha, beta, UV and even gamma rays. This feature is what provides manufacturers with the opportunity not only to create whatever they envision (we have already mentioned that is flexible), but they also have the freedom of designing tools and items that can be utilized for different purposes.
Besides, it has outstanding mechanical properties, low toxicity, and chemical reactivity, as well as great insulation properties. These features basically open a whole new section of items and products that can be made from liquid silicone rubber.
The use of LSR
We have already discussed that this type of rubber has found its place when it comes to the production of different goods and even devices, so now we are going to elaborate this further.
Firstly, let’s talk about medical devices. We have already mentioned some of the key features and also the fact that it is resistant to chemicals. This is very important when it comes to devices that go inside a patient’s body. If this weren’t the case, this item could produce numerous problems that would endanger the patient’s health, and maybe even life.
Even though latex was used for many, many years, nowadays, many would argue that it falls into this category. Furthermore, since it is impervious to high temperatures it means that it can be thoroughly sterilized so it can safely be used. It can also be incorporated into pacemaker leads that can then distribute medicine directly into the heart thus improve the treatment.
One of the features that we have mentioned is insulation properties, so it really comes as no surprise that this silicone rubber is used to create everything from grommets to connector seals and other types of devices.
When it comes to producing these items, liquid silicone rubber is usually mixed with some additional additives so that its features and benefits would be increased at the highest level.
There is no doubt that these devices are at their peak of popularity. Just think about it – so many people have at least one of these, maybe a smartwatch or a fitness tracker. Whatever the device it may be, they all have one thing in common – people wear them constantly, regardless of the conditions and what’s more, they are in direct contact with our skin.
As already said, LSR is unaffected by weather conditions, anything from oxygen to UV rays. As you know, these can facilitate the process of degrading. Because of this property, liquid silicone rubber is used in the manufacturing of this type of technology. It ensures that their life span is going to be longer, which is something that most people care about. Additionally, it has been proven that LSR doesn’t affect our skin in any way even when worn for extended periods of time.
When it comes to these, they usually include kitchenware. Once again, we have to mention that heat resistance feature which is why liquid silicone rubber is used in the production of baking pans or cooking pots that are all characterized by that ‘non-sticking’ property.
In addition, there are other goods such as spatulas and even gloves that are designed to protect people from getting burned. When it comes to these objects, we have just scratched the surface, because, as you can assume, there are so many different things made of LSR in every kitchen.
When we say ‘automotive industry’, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is windshields or LED headlights. You are correct. This is one of many uses of liquid silicone rubber. The biggest benefit of using LSR for windshield wiper blades is that they stay flexible for a long time. If manufacturers were to use traditional rubber, it would deteriorate quickly because of the climate conditions, and soon wiper blades would become ineffective.
When it comes to LED headlights, lenses and reflectors are made of specific liquid silicone rubber mixed with additives that allow them to reflect 100 percent of light. These lenses also offer crystal clear clarity, and due to the technology, LED light has a long lifespan. This combination of LED and LSR lenses improves the functioning of headlights when it comes to streetlights, traffic lights, and so on.