Liquid silicone is an incredibly versatile material that can be used to mold many different types of items. From small toys to large automotive components, the flexible and durable nature of this rubber allows it to be molded into almost any shape. This versatility is thanks to its unique chemical properties, including its resistance to extreme temperatures and low compression set. This makes it an excellent choice for manufacturing materials in a variety of industries and applications.
In its uncured state, liquid silicone rubber has gel-like properties and can be shaped into the desired shape before it is catalyzed or cured. This is a key difference between it and other thermoset elastomers, such as thermoplastic rubber, which must be heated before injection to liquefy the pellets and then allowed to cool before they are injected into a mould for curing. When liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is injected into a mould, it undergoes shear thinning, a process where the viscosity of the material decreases when shear stress is applied. This is similar to how ketchup thins out when you shake it. This shear thinning property of LSR allows it to be poured into a mould and spread evenly for even curing, even in places with small cavities or corners.
Because of this, LSR is an ideal choice for rapid manufacturing processes such as injection molding. Once the two component parts of an LSR are combined, they begin to react with each other and start a cross-linking progression that gives the material its permanent strength and shape. This fast-curing property is one of the main drivers of its commercial value.
Another important factor in the durability of silicone rubber is its ability to withstand a wide range of temperatures. While other materials lose their flexibility at extreme temperatures, silicone can remain flexible down to -40 degC. This means that it is an ideal choice for a wide range of industrial and automotive applications, such as seals and gaskets.
The insulating properties of silicone rubber also make it an attractive option for electrical products, such as cable wraps and insulation. The material is able to insulate wires without losing its flexibility, and it also has the advantage of being resistant to oil, water and other chemicals.
There are many different types of liquid silicone available, each designed for a specific type of application. For example, some are brushable and may be useful for applications like taking impressions of objects for paleontology studies, while others are suitable for more heavy-duty jobs such as creating a mold of a horse’s hoof.
Before you buy your own silicone rubber mold making kit, it is important to understand the different kinds of projects that they are best suited for. This will help you choose the right product for your needs and avoid purchasing a product that is more expensive than necessary or that will not provide the results you want.