The disadvantages of making use of latex rubber to get used with humans is well documented. Indeed, we certainly have seen numerous material substitutions from latex to silicone across many industries. This post will concentrate on the increasing consumption of silicone rubber inside the medical industry.
Silicone rubber is inherently a non toxic, bio-compatible material. As opposed to the lawsuits regarding silicone implants within the 1990s (as well as the negative publicity which followed), silicone rubber can be a safe material. I'm not likely to say you could feed it on your dog because the animal could choke on it, but it really wouldn't poison it!
So, silicone rubber has got the following advantages over many other materials when it comes to medical applications:
* It truly is biocompatible and non toxic
* It withstands common sterilization methods e.g. autoclave
* It includes an operating temperature variety of -50?c to 250
* It is usually supplied in a hardness starting from 10 to 90 Shore A
* It can be pigmented to almost any colour
* It is actually inherently flame retardant
* It is weather and ozone resistant
* It is actually electrically conductive or insulating
The following forms of silicone rubber are usually used in their medical applications:
* High Consistency Silicone Rubber (HCR) - either platinum or peroxide cured;
* Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) which is certainly platinum cured.
The latest trend is perfect for products to generally be created in liquid human body silicone rubber, there is however still a substantial place for the greater number of traditional HCR.
The recognition of liquid silicone rubber has grown as it is a top purity platinum-cure silicone, and medical device manufacturers are interested in its excellent part quality. Moreover, the reduced human contact during processing reduces the risk of contamination, particularly if produced in a clean room environment. LSR is typically supplied in just two parts with one of the various components containing the platinum catalyst. These are typically then automatically together with any colours and ingredients which is often required. The mixing produces a very homogeneous material that leads to products that are not only very consistent during the entire part, but in addition from part to part.
Okay, and so the platinum cured liquid silicone is clearly a fantastic material. However, you will discover drawbacks regarding liquid silicone. Above all is the cost of the tooling. The clue is incorporated in the name - 'liquid'. The tooling requires extreme precision and workmanship to avoid the materials going where is shouldn't! Also, like this material lends itself to producing small components the tooling is frequently automated. This produces a very costly tool. Naturally, with high volume parts the payback time won't be too long even with very costly tools, but imagine if you don't have a superior volume requirement? The 2nd drawback is the fact there is certainly less scope to modify the fabric. The reason being it it supplied in sealed drums from a suppliers mixing large amounts of a limited number of standard grades. This is great in the event that grade of LSR meets your requirements, yet not so excellent if you need a custom silicone rubber.
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