Table of Contents
- 1 Why Make Silicone Molds?
- 2 How Does Liquid Silicone Rubber Molding Work
- 3 Benefits of Liquid Silicon Rubber Molding
- 4 Types of Silicon Molding Explained
- 5 Common Applications for Silicone Molds
- 6 Bottom Line
Why Make Silicone Molds?
When it comes to making molds, Silicon often stands out for its several benefits. Many individuals use silicone molding to create unique and fully personalized designs. Because these molds can withstand regular wear and tear, you can constantly operate them without having to worry about their safety. They last the longest time and do not break at any point. Unlike rubber, they are inorganic and thus susceptible to extremities in weather conditions or any other form of toxic exposure. Thanks to these many benefits, silicone molding is a common choice across industries. In this section, we will delve more into their benefits and discuss why exactly one should consider making silicone molds.
This is one of the defining qualities of silicone molding. These products are extremely pliable and light when compared to alternative options like plastic. This is also the reason you can conveniently remove them after getting the mold. The best part: because silicone is extremely flexible and durable, the mold along with the fabricated area won’t be as brittle or prone to breaking.
Customized silicone molds can be practically used for anything. So, whether you’re looking to make fancy ice cubes, some other quirky shape, or bakery products- you can do it all with the right mold.
Another remarkable benefit of using silicone molds lies in their stability. As previously mentioned, these products can withstand all types of temperatures ranging from minus 65 degrees Celsius to a whopping 400 degrees Celsius. Because it can also get longer by up to 700%, it tends to last much longer. Silicone molds are extremely stable in almost all kinds of conditions. So whether you freeze the mold or bake it in your baking tray- it will still be just fine.
Typically, silicone molds are known to last the longest time. However, the exact lifespan of your mold is likely to depend on the quality of the silicone. If you cast the product more often, it is extremely complex, and the design has a great level of detail- your mold is likely to be affected sooner. To avoid degradation, make sure the molds are frequently cleaned with a detergent and water mix. Next, dry the mold and make sure they are stored on a dry and flat surface. Do not stack silicone molds.
How Does Liquid Silicone Rubber Molding Work
Liquid silicone rubber molding is yet another extensive process that involves molding the LSR or liquid silicone rubber variant. This is done for fixing the rubber part of the material and transforming its state. Typically, uncured material is cured as part of the process.
It begins by first extracting the coveted LSR via drums/pails. Typically, gadgets for dosing are leveraged for the task. You first need to inject them in a cold mold and then press the design. Following this, the mold would be heated, and the heat would come in contact with the pressure you are applying on your liquid silicone rubber mold. This will eventually cause the material to solidify.
Because the process of producing LSR is so complex and extensive, it is even more crucial to roll out high-quality LSR products in the molding industry. It is worth noting that liquid rubber injection is deemed an excellent choice for many because of its economic viability and many benefits.
Benefits of Liquid Silicon Rubber Molding
Liquid silicon rubber molding comes with many benefits. Because the material itself is cured rapidly, the release of resultant mold is excellent. You will also notice these molds possess excellent physical traits. Other benefits of these molds are discussed below.
Produced in high volumes: This is one of the biggest benefits of using LSR and LSR based materials. These materials are extremely cost-effective, and the production is usually in high volumes. You will find several units of liquid silicone produced at once, making way for business scalability and growth.
Safe: The next major benefit of LSR is that it is mostly safe. Unlike other molds, LSR comes with an extremely minimal possibility of contamination. But why so? Well, that is because the process of fabricating LSR happens in a closed room. This reduces the chances of contamination as the individual handling or overseeing the process wouldn’t have to touch it. The best part: because the unit is closed, the material isn’t contaminated by the external environment either thereby enhancing its safety.
Extremely automated process: This is yet another remarkable trait of silicone rubber gums. Although producing it involves plenty of labor, thanks to the high degree of automation, the mold is injected through a device, the tool is aligned through another device, and the final product is ejected through a third device. With so many machines at work, the labor involved is minimal, thereby also reducing your labor costs. Thanks to automation, monitoring the production process is nothing short of a breeze!
Thanks to this automatic factor, the product is also much safer. Because the process doesn’t involve operators in the production unit or room, the chances of contamination are significantly less. The majority of the tasks are achieved by AI, systems, chutes, et al.
Extremely Rapid Process: This is perhaps the biggest benefit of LSR molding. Unlike other conventional forms of molding, LSR molding is super-fast and extremely convenient. The cycle time, however, will also depend on a range of additional products that you might have to check and source.
Sustainable: The manufacturing process of LSR is complex. However, because it is almost entirely automated, no excess scraps are produced from the flash. This is also possible because the molds are typically flashless.
Overall, LSR opens numerous possibilities to the end-user. Not only is it extremely consistent, but the material is cost-efficient and thus suitable for varied applications.
Types of Silicon Molding Explained
At this stage, you’re probably wondering whether silicon mold, in general, has any category. As with everything else, these molds too can be classified into multiple types. In this section, we will learn more about them.
Also known as High Consistency Rubber, this substance feels like peanut butter. It can be created from multiple catalysts including platinum and peroxide, either of which will e compounded with a predefined base leveraging a complex, high-end mill.
You can mold HCR through either compression or transferring the mold. When it comes to compression, the substance will be placed at the center of two solid and heated plates. Over time, the plates are pressed against the mold and the excess substance cleaves out of the parting segment. The technology and process are highly dated, but many still consider it for its cost-effective and economical benefits.
Unlike compression molding, in transfer molding, the mold would be transferred through a high-end runner. Next, it would pass through other parts like sprues and gates to reach the final crevice of the mold. This method is widely popular among manufacturers when they are looking to mold unique shapes in low to moderate quantities.
Liquid Silicone Rubber
When it comes to rubber manufacturing technologies, this takes the latest spot. Liquid molding through injection is facilitated using LSR materials. These materials would feel like corn syrup and they are typically transferred to drums using one or multiple platinum-based catalysts. As with the previous process, this process of molding comes with its subcategories, namely over and micro molding. Both processes are equally efficient in manufacturing and producing high-quality LSR products.
Common Applications for Silicone Molds
Silicon molds come with multifaceted applications in diverse domains. In the following section, we will discuss the top applications of these common molds.
Silicon mold is leveraged in multiple industries for prototyping. These molds are also extremely popular because of their cost-effectiveness, especially when compared to silicone injection molding. You would want to use silicone molds to create multiple prototypes of 2D, 3D, and other designs.
You might want to use silicone molds to create customized accessories. In addition, you can also use this to carve out unique designs in wax. This makes way for creating uniquely designed candles. Additionally, you can also create jewelry, home décor items, and similar utilities with these molds.
Goods and Utilities
Several individuals leverage these molds to craft personalized soaps and dolls. In some instances, you might even want to use them to craft erasers, slates, pencils, crayons, and chalks. Crayons are a top option here because several crayon manufacturers leverage silicone to craft unique and understated designs. Because the product is completely non-toxic, it is also safe around kids.
The food and hospitality industry leverages these molds to create food casts and baking casts. You would also want them to create the mold for your uniquely structured cakes, pastries, muffins, sweets, and savories.
Now that you know all about LSR and silicone molds, we are certain that you would make a judicious decision when it comes to choosing your mold material. Both materials are extremely easy to procure and they are equally durable and efficient.