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Liquid Silicone Rubber Solutions

17 Jun 2019

Solid vs. Liquid

Liquid Silicone Rubber

Silicone rubber comes in both solid and liquid forms.Solid silicone rubber is often referred to as "millable" or "high consistency" rubber.Liquid silicone is often referred to as "LSR" (liquid silicone rubber) or "LIM" (liquid injection molding) silicone.Solid silicone rubber has a long history of industrial application because of its cost advantage over liquid rubber and its processing method is similar to traditional natural rubber or synthetic rubber.However, liquid silicone rubber has many advantages over solid silicone rubber (described below), so the demand for LSR is growing rapidly.

Silicone rubber is an elastomer (rubber-like material) composed of silicone—itself a polymer—containing silicon together with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Silicone rubbers are widely used in industry, and there are multiple formulations. Silicone rubbers are often one- or two-part polymers, and may contain fillers to improve properties or reduce cost.

Liquid silicone rubber is a high purity platinum cured silicone with low compression set, great stability and ability to resist extreme temperatures of heat and cold ideally suitable for production of parts, where high quality is a must. Due to the thermosetting nature of the material, liquid silicone injection molding requires special treatment, such as intensive distributive mixing, while maintaining the material at a low temperature before it is pushed into the heated cavity and vulcanized.

Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)

One advantage of liquid silicone rubber over solid silicone rubber is that it is suitable for a wide range of manufacturing processes.Solid silicone rubber manufacturing process is often limited to compression mold or extrusion.On the other hand, LSR is suitable for injection molding, pouring, cooling, spraying, extrusion and calendering.This flexibility allows users to choose the most feasible manufacturing process to meet their needs.For example, for mass production, LSR can be injection molded like plastic and has the following advantages over compression molding:

1. Short cycles

2.Reduction of manual labor

3. Reduce material usage

4. Reduce energy consumption

5. Reduce material handling

Solid silicone rubber needs to be mixed before forming by adding color and additives to the process.On the other hand, LSR is barreled or barreled and ready to use.This eliminates additional handling of materials in user facilities and provides consistent finished product quality by reducing the variability of raw materials, manual blending from batch to batch.

In the past, the price gap between solid and liquid silicone rubber was large enough to affect material selection decisions.As LSR manufacturers have increased their production capacity to meet the growing market demand, the cost of LSR has declined over the years due to economies of scale, resulting in price differentials narrowing to the extent that the advantages of using LSR outweigh the price differentials.This explains why global demand for LSR will continue to grow at a healthy rate for the foreseeable future.

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