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Rubber Liquid Silicon Rubber
Rubber LSR, known as liquid silicone rubber, is a specialized compound created from a base of silicone oxide. Although there are several different categories of LSR with different properties, all share these general characteristics. They show very stable performance across a wide temperature range. Pure LSR is stable from 50 degrees Centigrade to 180 degrees centigrade. With the addition of stabilizers to the formula, some LSRs are stable at over 250 degrees centigrade; others can be formulated to remain flexible at an amazing -90 degrees centigrade. In its pure form, liquid silicone rubber is colorless. However, a variety of non-toxic pigments can be added to the formulation for coloring. LSRs are not affected by oxidation, ultraviolet light or X-rays. They are also very resistant to chemicals and oils. When cured, they demonstrate great tear resistance and very low compression set and stress relaxation.
Compared to virtuallly every other rubber-based material, rubber LSR has very unique properties and applications. It does not incorporate plasticizers or stabilizers. It is cured by a process that utilizes only non-toxic, non-hazardous materials. Therefore, even in the event of an under-cured component made of LSR, there is no health threat. This is obviously a tremendous advantage in medical and surgical applications. Along that same line, the material is odorless and tasteless as well as hypoallergenic. Due to its inorganic molecular structure, LSR does not promote bacteria or mold growth on surfaces made of the material. The purity of LSR formulations exceeds any other conventional elastomer, plastic or natural rubber.
Liquid silicone rubber is supplied in many different grades. Some of the more common established grades are medical grade, electrically conductive, adhesive, self-lubricating and FDA approved. To achieve an electrically conductive grade, the raw material is blended with carbon to make it conduct electricity. Medical grades of LSR are manufactured under very strict conditions and high quality control standards. The self-adhesive forms of liquid silicone rubbers are those that are bondable to most plastics and to metals like aluminum, steel and magnesium.
Products from rubber LSR are normally manufactured utilizing high precision injection molding procedures, similar to thermoplastic molding. These offer very fast cycle times, rapid curing and easy demolding. In most applications with liquid silicone rubber, the molding process is flashless. This facilitates control of critical part size tolerances.