|Could liquid silicone rubber become a more accessible technology?
Injection moulding liquid silicone rubber (LSR) has, historically, been the domain of specialist moulders. In spite of growing consumer demand, LSR is still seen by many as a difficult material to work with.
Now, a new partnership between German consultancy Das Kunststoff-Zentrum (The Plastics Center – also known as SKZ), Toolcraft (a machine tool manufacturer based in Georgensgmünd near Nürnberg, which also offers contract injection moulding services), and Munich-based injection moulding machine manufacturer KraussMaffei aims to improve the accessibility of LSR moulding. Get more news about Silicone Injection Mould,you can vist our website!
SKZ is known for its capabilities in traditional thermoplastic processing. Going forward, however, cross-linking plastics such as LSR will play a more prominent role for SKZ. Professor Martin Bastian (Head of the Institute) and Georg Schwalme (Head of Injection Moulding) recently selected KraussMaffei as their technology partner for silicone processing.
KraussMaffei reports that the team at Toolcraft had made separate enquiries about processing LSR around the same time – and so the IMM manufacturer took the opportunity to connect all three groups.
It’s not KraussMaffei’s first mission to enlighten processors on the possibilities that come with mastering the technique. Last year, the group held a virtual event, dedicated to liquid silicone rubber processing. In one talk, experts acknowledged the challenges associated with fluctuating viscosities, which can lead to inconsistencies in part quality.
Using a reusable coffee cup lid, the KraussMaffei team, together with the mould maker ACH Solution, demonstrated the feasibility of moulding two different versions of the lid in one mould, and in one shot. KraussMaffei said its APC plus (adaptive process control) function is designed to deal with fluctuating material viscosities, with adaptive colour metering being one such solution.
LSR is especially popular in the medical sector. Another talk at last year’s digital event focussed on the current trends in this market – and indeed, the first product to be created under the KraussMaffei-Toolcraft-SKZ collaboration will be a medical application with a part weight of 0.5 grams.