In this blog post we’ll discuss the silicone compound material used for moulding and the industrial applications it has once it has been moulded. We’ll look at the moulding process and what items are created in the moulds. It is also worth asking what advantages silicone has and why it is chosen for these tasks over other materials.
Properties of Silicone Rubber
Silicone rubber is a very stable material and is able to resist extreme temperatures of heat and cold. The rubber fits well into tight spaces, which is ideal for precision engineering applications as it will prevent leakage and withstand compressive forces.
Silicone rubber has excellent electrical insulation properties, which is a real boon for outside electrical applications where protection from the elements is required. Silicone can also insulate heat, used by engineers to stop heat spreading from one part of a machine to another.
How is it moulded?
To create the end product there are two methods...
- Liquid silicone rubber has to be injected into the mould. However, the silicone needs special treatment. The material should be kept at a low temperature before being injected into a heated mould and then vulcanised. It also requires distributive mixing, a process whereby a constant ratio of base silicone and catalyst is kept until released into the mould simultaneously.
- Compression moulded silicone method; material is mixed using a catalyst, then the rubber which will be uncured is put into a mould, the press comes down and separates leaving a solid mould in the tool, this is then removed and left to cool down.
What are its industrial applications?
Silicone is moulded into items such as seals, electrical connectors and sealing membranes. They are used as insulators for power lines and for the ends of underground high voltage cables. You will also find silicone rubber moulded gaskets for water and effluent tanks.
How is it sold?
At TYM, we sell several types of silicone compound for moulding and extrusion, purpose blended and fully catalysed. They are available in a range of colours and compounds, including those with high-tear strength and metal-detectability.