When it comes to medical products, engineers and designers have a variety of choices in fabrication. ForĀ  medical keypads and molding, material options include plastic, metal and liquid silicone injection molding. For some products, latex is also an option. Medical rubber molding has become the material of choice for medical equipment for many reasons. It can be sterilized, it’s easy to clean and it’s available in translucent and solid colors. The medical silicone rubber manufacturing process also allows the material to conform to exact specifications.

Medical Environment
One reason that liquid silicone injection molding is ideal for medical products is that it’s appropriate for the medical environment. It can be sterilized without affecting its shape or durability. It’s non-toxic, which means it can be used in an environment with ill patients, is safe for babies and doesn’t contaminate food or medicine. On the other hand, plastic and latex can be toxic, and they’re sometimes difficult to clean and sterilize. Plastic can melt under high temperatures and becomes brittle in low temperatures. Metal often isn’t an option because it conducts heat and electricity. It’s also too hard in many cases to be usable and economical as medical molding and devices.

Molding Process
When designing parts for medical keypads and equipment, it’s important to take several factors into consideration. The size, color, pliability and quantity will all affect the manufacturing process. Different coatings can be applied to the material to make it more suitable for the planned use case or environment. Liquid silicone rubber can also be over-molded onto parts made of plastic or other materials to create a surface that’s more compatible with the medical environment. It’s recommended that designers consult the rubber molding manufacturer’s best practices and recommended parameters for graphic design in screening and laser printing. For medical keypads, there are different types of key shapes that work best for various needs.

Medical Rubber Keypads
Medical rubber molding can be used in a variety of ways. One option is for keypads that operate healthcare equipment, security interfaces, machinery, call buttons and computerized devices. The keys can be configured by a designer in a variety of patterns, shapes, colors and sizes to fit their functions.

Custom Rubber Molding Uses
Silicone rubber can be made into almost any shape to conform to design specifications. It’s useful for gaskets, stoppers, anti-skid pads, seals, non-magnetic and non-conductive surfaces, covers, connectors and tubing. Some common types of medical equipment where it’s used include defibrillator kits, feeding tubes, blood pressure monitors, tray tables and tethers.

In an environment that’s saturated with germs, liquids, variable temperatures, electricity and electromagnetic devices, liquid silicone injection molding is an affordable and practical material to use in new product design.