MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LIQUID SILICONE RUBBER (LSR)

Silicone is a synthetic material made from quartz sand. There are a wide variety of molecular structures, which means that this material is available in multiple forms, such as oils and fats (basic raw material for the chip / Waver industry) and LSR. This explains the rich variety of properties and range of products. Enbi Plastics specializes in LSR processing using the liquid injection moulding process. This allows Enbi Plastics to realize the production of, for instance, car parts, medical equipment, and household appliances.

However, there are still many misconceptions about the material and product quality of LSR. This keeps companies from discovering and applying the benefits of LSR. In this article, Enbi Plastics walks you through the misconceptions about Liquid Silicone Rubber known to us. In addition, we explain why LSR can be a smart choice for applications in your organization.

THE MISCONCEPTIONS

    • Misconception 1: LSR injection moulding has limited possibilities 
      The injection moulding process of LSR is based on a fully automated process. The products roll out of the machine without a need for post-processing. Despite the flexibility of the material, it is definitely possible to selectively package products, to carry out sub-assembly, and to check products with vision systems. Due to its flow behavior and the flexibility of the material, extreme undercuts, multiple and large differences in wall thickness combinations, and very thin wall thickness (from 0.08 mm) with long flow paths are possible.
    • Misconception 2: LSR injection moulding is unaffordable
      Injection moulding of LSR is actually very cost effective. Thanks to the development of advanced mould technologies, LSR tools are also attractive for small-scale batches. By using developed energy transfer systems, in which moulds are pre-heated, Enbi Plastics can provide attractive offers. In addition, the LSR process has been developed to prevent material waste and save costs on secondary operations, such as membrane removal.
    • Misconception 3: LSR can only be produced using high mould temperatures
      LSR can be adjusted so that it can be injection moulded and vulcanized at low mould temperatures. This process is mainly used when overmoulding moisture-proof electrical and electronic components (printed circuit boards, LEDs). At Enbi Plastics this process is applied both 1K and 2K.
    • Misconception 4: LSR is sticky
      The base component of LSR is liquid. Because of this, it is thought that LSR is, and will remain, a sticky material. However, after the vulcanization process, all forms of stickiness will have disappeared. The base material is rough, though this effect can be converted to a smooth and low-friction surface by special treatments during the production process. For applications such as cable insulation or medical products, the surface must meet these low-friction requirements.
    • Misconception 5: LSR causes allergies, irritation, and illness
      Multiple LSR types have been developed and certified for use in projects for both the food and medical industry. Naturally, the processing requirements are well documented by the different suppliers, and raw materials are certified per delivered batch. Various studies have shown that liquid silicone rubber—unlike natural rubber and chemical rubber types—does not cause allergic reactions or irritation of the skin.
    • Misconception 6: LSR contributes to environmental pollution
      The chemicals that cause environmental pollution and have an effect on the ozone layer are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as acetones, alcohols, methacrylate, and chlorofluorocarbon compounds (CFCs). LSR is non-organic in nature. This means that LSR does not contain the chemicals that contribute to environmental pollution or damage to the ozone layer. Waste products are processed by incineration, with quartz sand as a residue.

DISCOVER THE MANY BENEFITS OF LSR

Using LSR in your products or projects has many benefits. That is why it is crucial to work with an experienced liquid injection-moulding specialist. Enbi Plastics has broad and in-depth expertise when it comes to LSR and its applications. From product (re)design in collaboration with the customer, mould development to prototyping, and from production to assembly. Enbi Plastics takes your needs and wishes into account in every step of the process!

Start using LSR today and contact one of the experts at Enbi Plastics.