Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is increasingly becoming the material of choice for OEMs in a number of different industries. It’s durable, flexible and extremely versatile — in addition to being cost-effective.
If you’re new to working with LSR, in this article we’ll walk you through the main steps for how to get started on an LSR project. Keep reading to learn more, or get in touch with our office for more information.
Is LSR Right for Your Project?
The first step in any injection molding project is to determine the best material for your needs. LSR offers a number of advantages, but it isn’t right for every application. Choose LSR if you want a material that offers:
- Versatility: LSR is extremely versatile and can be used in everything from consumer goods, such as bakeware and baby products, to gaskets and other industrial hardware. Food-grade, medical-grade and electrically conductive LSR are all available for specialized applications.
- Flexibility: LSR’s flexibility allows for an extended range of design possibilities. It has high thermal stability and won’t elongate in high-heat environments, or become rigid in freezing temperatures. It can be used in a variety of molding processes to create products and components with a high degree of complexity, in a range of different shapes and sizes.
- Durability: LSR is naturally resistant to chemical, environmental and UV degradation. It remains stable and strong even with long-term exposure to vibrations and the elements. It’s also mold-, mildew- and bacteria-resistant, as well as hypoallergenic. These characteristics and more make LSR a smart choice for demanding applications.
To learn more about the benefits of choosing LSR for your project, get in touch with a SIMTEC Silicone Parts representative today.
Which Process Is Best for Your Project?
The next step in getting started on an LSR project is to determine the appropriate process for bringing your product to life. SIMTEC provides a variety of LSR molding services, including:
- Injection molding: Single-shot injection molding is a fast and economical way to create simple LSR parts. As the name implies, the process involves injecting a specified amount of LSR into a mold, where a combination of heat and pressure cures it to form a solid.
- Two-shot injection molding: Two-shot injection molding is used to create more complex items consisting of different materials. This process involves molding a second component directly onto a completed part. This saves the additional step of having to manually assemble complex parts, while maintaining tight tolerances and high levels of quality control.
- Overmolding: Overmolding is similar to two-shot molding in that an LSR component is molded directly onto an already completed plastic or metal substrate. This is especially useful for items where a watertight or airtight LSR seal is required.
Your choice of process will be determined by the technical requirements of your project, as well as your budget, timeline and design priorities.
All original LSR projects will involve either the creation of a new mold or the modification of an existing one. This is often one of the most time-consuming and cost-intensive steps in the injection molding process. To request a quote, contact SIMTEC to speak with one of our representatives directly.