The production of high quality components is the cornerstone of success for manufacturing companies that demand quality and precision. Medical device manufacturers, aviation engineers, and consumer product developers are continually seeking versatile molding options to promote world-class product design. Silicone mold making has emerged as an excellent option for a variety of industries that require molds that are durable and easy to create. Below is an introduction to silicone mold making that highlights some of the key benefits of silicone molding as well as some of the key industries that employ silicone mold making.
Key Advantages of Silicone Mold Making
Silicone mold making is advantageous because of its ability to meet the unique needs of customers in a wide variety of industries. Additionally, its versatility and ability to retain its flexibility provide a solid foundation for micro-molding and over-molding projects. Below are some of the key benefits of silicone mold making:
- Ability to withstand extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures
- Silicone rubber can easily be customized to meet specific needs
- Low compression set
- Rapid cure cycles
- Superb stability
- Excellent for producing molded parts that require no secondary processing
- Silicone adheres well to plastic, glass and metals
- Outstanding safety properties
- Facilitates micro-molding, which is critical in the medical device industry
In particular, micro-molding has emerged into the spotlight as a crucial molding sub-category, especially for medical device manufacturers. As the development of portable and implantable medical devices continues to mushroom, the need to mold micro tiny device components will continue to grow. And because micro-molding is both challenging and costly, silicone mold making will continue to increase in popularity through its affordability and stability.
Industrial Applications for Silicone Mold Making
The versatility, safe composition and dependability of silicone makes silicone mold making a trusted option for applications in a wide variety of industries. For instance, liquid silicone rubber has become a popular option for a host of applications because of its ability to maintain its elasticity and properties in temperatures ranging from -70 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Below are some of the key industrial applications for silicone mold making:
- Medical device engineering
- Automotive design and engineering
- Electronics industry
- Aircraft manufacturing
The immense scope of application offered by silicone molding has solidified its use across the globe. And with its ability to produce a wide variety of components quickly and affordably, the growth of silicone molding is expected to continue.
A Look at the Rise in the Popularity of ELASTOSIL ® Silicone Products
ELASTOSIL ® silicone products are rapidly gaining traction across many industries because of their environmental compatibility and good mechanical properties. ELASTOSIL ® products are basically elastomeric rubbers with a three-dimensional structure that have undergone vulcanization (either high-temperature or room-temperature). Manufactured by industry leader Wacker, ELASTOSIL ® products are known for their virtually unlimited application potential. As a result, ELASTOSIL ® products are now being used with increasing frequency in the production of textiles, toys, sporting goods and domestic goods. At the same time, they continue to be a trusted choice of leaders in the automotive and medical device industries.
How Silicone Mold Making Promotes Safety and a Cleaner Environment
Silicone mold making is steadily increasing in popularity among manufacturers who are safety conscious and motivated to preserve our environment. Below are the key ways that silicone – and ELASTOSIL ® products in particular – stand out as a safe alternative to other molding materials:
- Silicone produces no harmful gases if exposed to fire
- If silicone is burned, the result is water vapor and CO2 as opposed to toxins
- ELASTOSIL ® products are easy to clean, promoting sanitary conditions
- ELASTOSIL ® silicones are also resistant to damage by cleaning agents
- ELASTOSIL ® LR silicones are water and heat resistant
- Specialty ELASTOSIL ® products are UL 94 V-0 compliant
- Silicones have few ingredients and are plasticizer-free, making them non-poisonous
- Some ELASTOSIL ® products are flame-retardant, making them difficult to set on fire
- ELASTOSIL ® LR silicones are inorganic, making them safe for food contact
Through its safe composition and lack of harmful emissions, silicone has positively transformed the mold making industry. Industries that utilize silicone mold making can engage in manufacturing activities without worrying about harming our environment or food.
The Role of Experience and Commitment to Quality in Silicone Mold Making
When evaluating companies and products in the silicone mold making industry, you should choose an experienced provider that demonstrates a strong commitment to quality. Ideally, a provider should possess the following attributes:
- Decades of industry experience
- A focus on product innovation
- An understanding of the customized needs of individual markets
- Commitment to continued quality improvement in product design
- Desire to expand into new markets
- Adherence to industry regulations
- Accessible technical support
- ISO and/or TUV certification
In addition to these attributes, a silicone molding company should possess the scalability required to complete unique customer requests and rush orders. This is particularly critical in meeting the molding needs of medical device manufacturers.