Determining the correct product geometry, LSR type, and injection system are some of the most crucial steps in setting up an LSR project. Moreover, order sizes, lead times, budgets, and design functions are several examples of reasons for deploying a test phase.
They also determine the design of both the injection system and associated tools. For an increasing number of fields, LSR is the preferred material over traditional silicone rubber.
The excellent physiological properties of LSR, the fully automatic reproducible production process without post-processing, and the extremely high level of accuracy in dimensional tolerances underlie this.
In this article, Enbi Plastics would like to introduce you to the fundamentals of successfully setting up an LSR project. Are you planning to start your LSR project as soon as possible, or would you prefer some additional information first? You are always free to contact one of Enbi Plastics’ specialists.
CHOICE OF MATERIAL
One of the first steps in setting up a successful project is to determine the right material. The liquid silicone injection moulding process uses a two-component material, consisting of an A-component (catalyst) and B-component (cross-linker).
By cross-linking (vulcanizing) the still liquid mixed components, the compound is subjected to pressure and temperature and converted into a dimensionally stable product. After cooling, products will have the desired hardness and specific electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties. If requested, both dyes and function-dependent components can be added to the base material during the process. Enbi Plastics also ensures the compounding of certified mixtures, for which additives have been pre-mixed in the basic material.
Just as with thermoplastics, product developers may choose from different types of LSR. For instance, a project may require a silicone material that is self-adhesive, self-bleeding, or oil-resistant. In fact, a combination of multiple properties is also possible. In addition, you can choose from a range of hardness values per type, ranging from 3 to 80 Shore A.
LSR PRODUCT GEOMETRY
During the development of an LSR product, one must take into account the various material and processing properties. These determine both the product geometry and manufacturability in a machine to a significant extent.
Our engineers have a high level of knowledge about material processing properties as well as the development of silicone tools. On the basis of standardized mold conditions, Enbi Plastics creates structures for both injection systems and molds. We subsequently outsource execution to specialized companies, who are able to work within tolerance ranges of thousandths of millimeters.
Prototyping is one of the most important development stages in your project. With Liquid Injection Moulding (LIM) , prototyping can save both time and money.
In this phase, you can evaluate product geometry, fit, and functionality before considering batch production. Prototyping is possible by means of 3D printing (several samples), manual production in a single mold (several samples from any type of material and hardness possible), and fully automatic liquid injection moulding in a single and/or multiple set of inserts (samples, 0 batch, and low production quantities).
Following the design, production, testing, and approval of your product-specific injection system and mold, the production process will commence.
Advanced LSR injection moulding machines are operated by experienced specialists. With their knowledge, experience, and our internal quality control systems, we guarantee the delivery of high-quality products. If desired, Enbi Plastics is able to implement 100% production inspection in terms of both dimensions and unwanted visual discrepancies using vision systems.
FINISHING AND ASSEMBLY
Looking to receive a complete end product, packaged and all? Why not opt for turnkey supplier Enbi Plastics? Enbi Plastics processes the produced plastic, LSR, and 2-K components into semi-finished and end products both manually and automatically.
Enbi Plastics can also print the products (plastic), melt inserts afterwards (plastic), and provide in-line marking using a laser (plastic and LSR). Moreover, Enbi Plastics uses advanced processes and techniques for assembly, including high-frequency welding, laser welding, ultrasonic welding, and bonding. LSR products can be treated in-line or after production. To make certain surfaces of the product low-friction, for example. Here too, the assembled products can be inspected using vision systems if desired.
YOUR PARTNER MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!
Many companies interested in a LSR process for their product have difficulty finding an experienced partner for their project. Working with an experienced partner such as Enbi Plastics will be invaluable in every phase of the project. From design, to prototyping, and from production to assembly and follow-up processing, Enbi Plastics has numerous options available to make your LSR project a success.