Tokyo – Shin-Etsu Chemical has developed a new low-density type of moulding silicone rubber that enables lighter-weight moulded products, using the company's in-house liquid injection moulding system (LIMS) materials, the Japanese supplier announced 18 Nov.
According to Shin-Etsu, traditionally, in order to make lighter-weight silicone rubber, a foaming agent is added to millable-type silicone rubber, which is then moulded into a sponge-like form.
The new product, however, does not require the addition of a foaming agent, Shin-Etsu said without giving further details.
Furthermore, the company said the use of LIMS allows the product to meet the demand for “superior quality and improvements in productivity.”
The new rubber is currently available in two types: a low-density/high strength type and a very low-density type.
According to Shin-Etsu, the low-density/high strength type, enables a 20-30% weight reduction compared to conventional silicone rubber moulding products.
The very low-density type enables a 50-60% reduction in weight compared to conventional silicone rubber moulding materials.
Both types of rubber can make be used in continuous automatic moulding and therefore can “efficiently produce high-quality rubber moulded products,” said Shin-Etsu.
The feature can help improve productivity while achieving energy savings, the company added.
According to Shin-Etsu, demand for lighter-weight rubber moulded products is growing in various applications, including automotive, aerospace and wearable devices.
With the development of lighter products, Shin-Etsu expects the materials to be used in broader applications.
Shin-Etsu Chemical said it is currently carrying out demonstrations of moulding, using the new product at its silicone rubber moulding technical centre in Higashimatsuyama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan.
The company said it is also working on moulding technology improvements as well as enhancing technical services to its customers.