Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) as a material is a widely used due to its unique properties which make it incredibly versatile.
It is stable and non-reactive, as well as being resistant to extreme temperatures and environments.
Silicone Rubber is used in a diverse range of industries including
- sporting goods,
- consumer products
- and medical devices.
Liquid Silicone Rubber for Mold Making
Mass production of Liquid Silicone Rubber for mold making parts requires specialist injection moulding machines that accurately meter the ingredients, efficiently mix the components and then inject the liquid silicone rubber into a heated mould. This process is is ideal for higher component volumes where the set up and requirement for consistency make it viable. For low-volume production and prototyping this process is often done with manual casting methods that use molds made of modelling board, room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) rubber or soft metal as this can be completed more cost effectively.
Liquid Silicone Rubber for Mould Making Prototypes Is Challenging
However, liquid rubber for mold making might as a process be cheaper, easier and faster to produce prototype molds it is not without its own challenges. Manufacturing liquid silicone rubber parts with room temperature vulcanising molds is a multiple-stage process requiring a large amount of time, labour and skill to produce the patterns and molds and extreme care has to be taken throughout the process. Care is needed to ensure that the soft rubber room temperate vulcanising mold does not become deformed or stick to the actual liquid silicone rubber parts. Machined and polished molds overcome these challenges, but are ultimately much more expensive, time-consuming and labour intensive than RTV molds. plus the machining process may have limitations with respect to the complexity that can be achieved in a components design.