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Silicone Rubber Tooling Technology

Green Manufacturing (GM) can be defined as “manufacturing methods that support and sustain a renewable way of producing products and/or services that do not harm to the environment” [1]. When the social and technological aspects of design, the reduction of environmental and health risks, worker protection and the use of the products are also included, we are talking about Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing (ECD&M) [2]. It may sound simple in words but the implementation of this methodology in a company requires the organization of production operations, management functions and personnel to facilitate the minimization of technical efforts and wastes [3].

Optical Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)

Light can be defined as electromagnetic radiation which has different frequencies and wavelength. The spectrum that can be picked up by the retina of a human eye is called visible light [1]. Materials through which light can refracted, reflected, transmitted, dispersed, polarized, detected and transformed are called optical materials [2].

[Infographic] How LSR Technology Contributes to the Growth of Innovative Driverless Cars

Over the last 65 years, Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) has had a significant impact on the automotive industry — specifically, on how cars parts and components are designed and manufactured. LSR parts and LSR multi-shot components are critical for ensuring the comfort and correct functionality of driverless cars. LSR reduces costs, increases performance and helps vehicles meet regulation requirements.

Reinforcing Fillers in Liquid Silicone Rubber Compounds

Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) is one of the most important synthetic elastomers, it is easily processed and has good properties. One of the most significant characteristics and advantage of LSRs over conventional elastomers is, that it is not necessary to form highly complex compounds to obtain optimal properties in the final product. However, depending on the requirements, for some applications it is necessary to improve certain properties. For enhanced mechanical properties, fillers are used for this purpose [1]. Although fillers were originally used to decrease the cost of a conventional rubber compound, a secondary effect of the filler additive was detected, the strength and toughness were also improved. To be effective, the reinforced fillers must have inherently high mechanical properties and create a strong interaction with the silicone rubber. The filler should have a large surface-area-to-volume ratio, or a small size and high proportions between the width and length. Particles that meet these conditions have nanoscale dimensions and can be flakes, fibers, spheres, and tubes [2]. The most common fillers with these characteristics  are silica (precipitated and fumed), montmorillonite, carbon black, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, glass, and graphene [1], and in some cases, carbon black (a common reinforcing filler in conventional elastomers). The pigments added to the material for color can also be considered reinforcing fillers. In fact, color compounds have different mechanical properties due to the added pigment fillers. In terms of ecofriendly materials, cellulosic fibers garnered much attention due to their low density, biocompatibility, origin, and biodegradability. They are employed in the form of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) which is easily prepared by adding strong mineral acids [3]. The amount of the filler present in the compound has an impact on the bulk density, which is why it is necessary to find the optimal value without sacrificing the inherent low density of the silicone rubber.

A Guide to LSR Injection Molding Design

Guide to LSR Injection Molding Design

When it comes to designing a component for silicone molding, there are some challenges that need to be met along the way. Creating a proper mold is essential to achieving the level of accuracy and quality needed for the finished product to meet your production standards.