Taking advantage of advanced technology, many manufacturers in the rubber industry have been utilizing liquid injection molding (LIM) to form liquid silicone rubber (LSR). While this method of molding is extremely useful and productive, it is also very complex and leaves room for error if not handled properly.
Silicone seals produced by Apple Rubber’s LIM process provide consistency and cost-effectiveness for a wide variety of applications in industries from medical and electronics to automotive and appliances. To get a better idea of why LIM is so important in the industry, here are three advantages that you need to know:
1. LIM cost-effectively produces quality parts and seals.
While the LIM process is more complex and precise than other types of molding, like compression or transfer molding, it is the quicker and more cost-effective option. LIM can also be fully automated, which allows for minimal labor and reduced labor costs. Automation speeds up the process, allowing cycle times to be measured in seconds rather than minutes.
LIM is also easily repeatable, which is beneficial for creating high-quality complex parts. Through LIM, a variety of parts and seals can be built quickly and efficiently, from the smallest custom-shapes to entire automobile body panels. The versatility and precision in this process allow manufacturers to create quality parts in the shortest times.
2. Liquid silicone rubber offers great sealing benefits.
LSR has many reliable qualities that make it the optimal choice for many sealing applications. It offers high resistance to water, ozone, weather and extreme temperatures, ranging from -65℃ to 200℃. Injection molding with this type of material gives excellent resistance properties to the finished part.
Silicone is a compatible material with the LIM process because it is capable of having a low compression set with a wide range of durometers. Flexibility in durometer range makes LSR products well suited for the medical industry.
3. There’s little waste or contamination left behind.
The LIM closed-system process minimizes raw material contamination by eliminating exposure to the environment. With reduced contamination, LIM parts and seals can be used for more critical applications, especially in the medical industry.
Rubber injection molding can create custom shapes with little flash or rubber waste. Flash refers to the extra thin-layer of material that exceeds the normal part geometry. This can be caused by tool damage, too much injection speed or a low clamping force. With LIM automation and precise applications, flash and other waste are reduced.
Despite any known drawbacks, LIM technology provides consistency and cost-effectiveness for a wide variety of applications. Apple Rubber’s liquid silicone injection molding technologies deliver high-quality silicone parts and seals with fast turnaround and competitive prices.
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