The first silicone elastomers were developed to provide a better insulation for electric motors and generators. Because of the silicone’s unique chemical makeup, it has become popular in a wide variety of industries for countless uses. Liquid silicone rubber is in the category of Polysiloxanes, which differs from other polymers because of its unique backbone, consisting of Si-O-Si backbone as opposed to the standard carbon backbone. The backbone also allows silicone to stretch with ease and without deformation and provides resistance to a variety of chemicals.
When designing silicone components and keypads that are backlit, inserts are a great way to increase the functionality and appearance. Silicone inserts are molded clear in advance of the parts being molded. The inserts can be molded in a wide array of sizes and shapes to fit all needs. One advantage is that once the inserts are prepped and molded into the final part, a permanent cross-link of material is created. This helps to ensure no separation, light leakage or environmental elements damaging the internals of the component. Silicone can also be molded into small light or LED pipes, allowing a specific light or indicator to shine through.
Inserts can be molded clear, with the help of a specialty silicone and mold designs. The insert then becomes a display window, giving the operator feedback while providing superior protection against all contaminants and moisture. Inserts can also be molded in trans-colors to allow light and the color to shine through, thus giving your product a custom look. Buttons of any color can be molded and inserted into another mold, allowing a keypad with multi-color buttons to be produced.
Custom Molded Rubber Products
Silicone rubber injection molding lends itself well to custom parts with unique shapes and sizes. It is the superior method of production when tight tolerances are required for a tight fit/seal. Deep undercuts are achieved with ease due to the extreme strength and flexibility of silicone rubber. When designing a mold, one must take into account the flow of silicone while allowing air to escape. The heat at which the mold will be used, as well as the pressure and speed of injection, are the critical factors to hone in for production to be successful. Once all factors are accounted for, silicone rubber injection molding can produce silicone components efficiently and economically, reducing the production cost of the component.
At SiTech, we use the latest silicone rubber injection molding technology to produce our keypads, seals, buttons and components. We offer a wide variety of value-added services to meet all your silicone needs. Custom color matching to within one delta E, screen printing, abrasion and chemical resistant coating, and PCB prep and installations allow you to bring your product to market quickly at a low cost.