SILICONE RUBBER MOLDING
HIGH TEAR STRENGTH MAKES LSR CHEWABLE
Silicone rubber has excellent high temperature properties and can be used in silicone rubber molding. Silicone rubber molding can operate normally from -50°C to +250°C. This makes silicone rubber components ideal for the automotive industry or high temperature sterilization environments as in medical applications.
Because of silicone rubber’s ability to sustain extreme temperatures, as well as its tensile strength, elongation, tear strength and compression set, it makes it an excellent electrical insulator and is often used in electrical connector insert applications. Silicone rubber is also a highly used material for medical applications and implants.
For example, baby bottle nipples are manufactured out of Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR). What makes LSR the material of choice for applications with such a high physical demand is its high tear strength, which is normally in the range of 160 – 250 lb/in. Even emerging baby teeth cannot tear the nipples or bite off small pieces, eliminating the risk of swallowing particles or chunks of rubber. The tear strength of thermoset rubbers, thermoplastic elastomers and silicones can be measured according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D624. It is defined as the strength required to initiate a tear in a material. This test provides a measure of resistance to tearing. Tear strength may also be used to illustrate the anisotropy of a material.
The ASTM D624 test describes the many different types of sample shapes that can be tested in a standard universal testing machine (tensile testing machine). Testing is performed by pulling specimens apart using the tensile test machine. The maximum force required to tear a test specimen is used to calculate the tear strength of the Die A, B and C specimens while the mean force is used for the T and CP specimens.