Liquid silicone molding (LIM) is a process that injects liquid silicone rubber into a mold to produce a finished part. LIM can be used for a wide variety of projects, from custom molded silicone bracelets to medical-grade silicone lubricants. The most common applications of silicone injection molding are gaskets, seals and elastomeric pads for electronic devices such as data acquisition equipment and sensing instruments.
The liquid injection molding process begins with a pre-catalyzed mixture of two silicone rubbers: the base forming material and the catalyst. The mixture is then injected into a heated mold cavity. A carefully designed runner system and proper mold pressure ensure that the silicone completely fills all cavities. After the mold is closed and cured, an ejector pin removes the finished product from the mold. During the cure process, the liquid silicone rubber forms a hard, durable, and flexible material that is ready to use in your final application.
Injection cured silicone can withstand extreme temperatures of hot and cold. It is also very flexible and resists cracking. This makes it an ideal material for high-performance automotive and heavy duty products, such as airbags, gaskets and hoses. It is also used in a variety of medical devices such as nipple protectors and IV bags. The unique flexibility of LSR allows it to be molded to complex, three-dimensional shapes and to accommodate tight tolerances.
Because of the rapid cure cycle, silicone injection molding can offer shorter lead times than compression molded gum based rubbers. This is especially important if your project requires a fast turnaround. Additionally, silicone injection molding is more cost effective than multi-shot silicone overmolding or double-shot silicone molding.
Another advantage of LIM is that it can be used for high-volume production. As a result, it is a good choice for companies that need large volumes of identical silicone components. A number of tools can be utilized to achieve this, including single-shot molding and multiple-shot injection molding.
The process of LIM can be further refined to provide a more economical option for your manufacturing needs. Using the same tools, a technique called runnerless molding can be used to reduce costs. This method eliminates the need for a runner and bracket attached to the mold, saving time and money. In addition, this method can allow the use of more of the silicone rubber raw material for your finished product, reducing your overall manufacturing costs. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive silicone molding services, and how they can benefit your business. We’re an experienced team of specialists committed to providing high-quality products and exceptional service. We’ll work closely with you to understand your project requirements and deliver the results that meet your needs. We are dedicated to working with you as an extension of your business, so you can focus on your important project objectives with confidence that your schedule and budget will be met.