Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is increasingly being used for making moulded parts, often in applications where high-consistency rubber was used previously. One field switching over to LSR is the design and manufacturer of medical parts.
LSR being increasingly used in medical applications
The idea of using LSR with injection moulding isn’t new; it was described in International Polymer Science and Technology some time ago. The technology has taken some time to be accepted, but product designers now understand that it can create new products with very complex geometry that wouldn’t be possible using the thermoplastics that have been used until now.
Moreover, LSR can be used with injection moulding to make custom parts. These include components for medical devices ranging from surgical instruments to machines that analyse blood. The silicone rubber doesn’t stick to the patients’ skin or hair, which is a great advantage.
Additions to the silicone
Silicone rubber can have a variety of materials added to it during its manufacturing process, and depending on the way it is made, it can result in a fluid, a compound or a polymer. The LSR used today is of high purity and can come in many different grades and types. This means that different textures are available for the end product, and different properties can also be achieved.
When LSR is used in injection moulding, it produces items that are resistant to sunlight, ozone, bacteria and radiation. In the medical environment, this is particularly useful. The finished products are hypoallergenic and will not cause allergic reactions in patients or medical users. In addition, the material has high tensile strength and is difficult to tear. At the same time, it remains flexible in temperatures from as low as -55 degrees C to as high as 300 degrees C.
Silicone moulding http://www.meadex.co.uk can also be used to create items that are impermeable to oils and petroleum, have high optical clarity, and are self-lubricating. In addition, the silicone can even be infused with fragrances or pharmaceutical substances and will resist chemicals and moulds.
These are a few of the many advantages of using silicone to make injection moulded medical products and components. It offers designers more freedom in the injection moulding process and the ability to use a material that is more adaptable and flexible.