Food-grade liquid silicone rubber (LSR) was introduced in the late 1970s and is now a premier material used for many food-related consumer products. This elastomer is suitable for use in food production, storage and preparation — and it has a wide range of uses and benefits.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE MADE USING FOOD-GRADE LSR?
Many different kinds of products are made using food-grade LSR, from those used in homes, commercial institutions and hospitals, to agricultural. These goods include:
- Baby care products including bottles, training cups, and pacifiers
- Oral care products including toothbrushes and other dental products
- Dispensing valves and closures for bottles containing beverages, condiments, and eye drops
- Valves, gaskets, and seals used in juicers, coffee makers, and food processing equipment, and food storage solutions
- Liners and fittings used in milking equipment and other food contact agricultural products
BENEFITS OF FOOD-GRADE LSR
Food-grade LSR has numerous characteristics that make it a smart choice for a range of products. It is tasteless and odorless, so it won’t affect the taste of the food or beverages. It also maintains its mechanical properties over time and is chemically inert and hydrophobic, which means it resists water, oxidation, ultraviolet and ozone radiation, and some chemical solutions like alkali and acids.
It’s also both durable and flexible and absorbs vibration. It naturally has a low compression set so it returns to its original shape even after repeated compressions in extreme temperatures.
Additionally, food-grade LSR has excellent thermal resistance. It remains stable in temperatures ranging between -75° F and 500° F, therefore it will not become brittle in cold temperatures and can withstand hot oven temperatures.
Food-grade LSR is also clean and safe for use in the production, preparation and storage of food products. It is FDA-compliant, and using it is compatible with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) best practices. It is hypoallergenic, biocompatible and resistant to bacteria and mold growth. It also won’t stain or corrode other materials.
DESIGN & PROCESSING FLEXIBILITY
Due to its low viscosity, liquid silicone rubber (LSR) flows easily and offers ease of processing. This provides product designers greater versatility in designing parts. Parts with complex undercuts, tiny micro parts, thin wall geometries, and multi-material 2k components can be accommodated.
Food grade LSR can be utilized for single material or multi-shot applications. A two-shot, multi-shot or overmolding LSR injection molding process integrates and combines food-grade LSR with other substrates within the same molding process, eliminating the need for secondary assembly operations.
Food-grade LSR injection molding enables a wide range of precision, near-flashless parts and assemblies. It offers numerous benefits, including cost-effective high-volume production, quick cycle times, opportunities for automation and enhanced safety.
Food-grade liquid silicone rubber is a leading material chosen for consumer products used for the production, preparation and storage of food and beverages. Its process flexibility and numerous beneficial characteristics, including durability, elasticity and purity make it an ideal choice for use in products that come in contact with food and beverages.