Choosing the best materials for new medical devices and disposables along with an experienced technology partner such as SIMTEC Silicone Parts, is critical for the success of your program. From biocompatibility to cost, multiple factors play into the final decision. Innovative companies are selecting more and more Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) components for their medical devices.
The silicone family is made up of an enormous variety of compounds, and is perhaps the most widely used family of materials in the world. Liquid Silicone Rubber materials can be found in consumer products in applications such as appliances and electronics, in astronomy, biotechnology, and in the automotive, aviation, beverage, construction, paint, plumbing, textile, and toy industries.
Injection molding is the most common technique for the mass production of simple or complex Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) products with high dimensional tolerances. Knowing the behavior of the LSR before processing begins, will increase the productivity and quality of the final product and help to reduce costs. The characterization of the material employed and the simulation when processing the material will provide important information regarding characteristic behavior of the Liquid Silicone Rubber.
As previous stated, silicone rubber has become one of the most important materials in the polymer family due to its thermal stability, environmental resistance, transparency, and biocompatibility. But sometimes, the inherent good properties of the silicone rubber are not enough, hence it is necessary that the material be filled with hard particulates or fibers, with silica being the most commonly used reinforcing filler. The reinforcement depends on several factors, such as particle size, structure, and filler content . The combination of a silicon rubber matrix and the filler results in an increase in properties, mainly mechanical, but additional synergies are created which affect the physical properties of the material. If the interaction between silicone rubber and filler is not well understood, some processing problems can occur, and changes in the behavior of the silicone rubber compound can seem like a mystery. It could be thought that conventional rubbers (based on carbon and hydrogen) and silicone rubber (based on silicon and oxygen) were completely different. However, a well-known phenomenon in the former can be also found in silicone rubber, and it is called bound rubber.
The rise of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, has led to the development of products designed to reduce human suffering and prolong life. Over several decades, materials such as metals, ceramics and polymers have been used to produce devices created to improve the health and quality of life. The biomaterials used are typically polymers, natural rubbers, polyurethanes, and silicone rubbers. Although the use of natural rubber can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, in general polymers can be “designed” according to the specific biomedical application and with special characteristics .