Throughout history, scientists and inventors have created new solutions to everyday problems. Often times, the original method is only used until a superior solution comes along. At first we used a mechanical printing press, now your local print shop can process an order of 1,000 copies in a matter of minutes. The vehicles that we drive every day have seen vast improvements in safety and durability compared to previous models. In the same way, the silicone molding process has also undergone changes. Gumstock molding is a more traditional method, but Liquid Silicone has surpassed it in several ways, here are a few of the differences between the two types of silicone:
Liquid Silicone vs. Gum Stock
Gum Stock Silicone, or High Consistency Rubber (HCR) is a type of silicone that has the consistency of a thick putty or dough. It is often used in compression molding by placing the silicone into an open air molding press to form products. This process is fairly labor intensive compared to Liquid Injection Molding, especially when you are creating a product that requires specific customization.
On the other hand, Liquid Silicone has a consistency similar to petroleum jelly and it is made using a two-part system that is mixed as it is used. Liquid Injection Molding makes it much easier and less expensive to create custom features. At Si-Tech, we use silicone injection molding for all of our customers because it offers many distinct advantages.
Advantages of Liquid Silicone
Liquid Silicone Injection has made the process of customization much easier compared to Gum-Stock Silicone. Because liquid silicone is injected into two part molding system, customization is simple. Insert molding is achieved by having two molds, one mold to make the inserts such as colored keys, clear windows, or light pipes. Once the inserts are molded, they are placed into the keypad mold.
Liquid silicone uses a cross-link bond, making keypads more durable than gum-stock. As keypads undergo significant use, liquid silicone keypads have held up much better over time.
Time & Cost
Overall, Liquid silicone is a far less labor-intensive process, which means it is also less expensive. The main difference is that the cure time for liquid silicone is about 1/3 less than gum stock. Due to the way the different materials are processed, it can be much more time efficient to use liquid silicone molding – saving you time and money.
At SiTECH, we only use liquid silicone for all of our products, allowing us to be more dependable in duplicating our processes. We have made silicone products for many industries, and we would love to help you with your next product, contact us today!