ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Bluestar Silicones offers new liquid silicone rubber products that offer high tear strength and high elongation for cushioning and vibration-damping applications such as medical masks and prosthetics.
With 1-durometer Shore A hardness, Silbione LSR 4301 was introduced during 2012 in Europe and is scheduled for use soon in the U.S. market. Other products with 5- and 10-durometer Shore A hardness are also new.
There are some driver applications in Europe, said Karen O'Keefe, health-care market manager with East Brunswick, N.J.-based Blue Silicones USA Corp. The business has 140 employees and is finding increased interest from the health-care and medical markets. Bluestar also makes silicones for film, paper, textile and personal-care uses.
"Bluestar was the only one with a 1-durometer [material]," said O'Keefe, who attended Medical Design & Manufacturing West, held Feb. 11-14 in Anaheim. "It took all of 2012 to develop" the commercial version.
Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan recognized the technology with a 2012 European product differentiation award. The technology involves low-density, open-cell silicone foam for flexible and breathable applications that require durability.
The elastomeric Silbione RT foam is made from a two-component silicone system that is cured at room temperature.
In addition to soft LSR technologies, the business for health-care applications makes high-consistency rubber, room-temperature vulcanized silicones, skin-adhesive tacky gels, cushioning gels and permanent adhesives.
The plant is set up as a white room and could be converted to a clean room, O'Keefe said.
Worldwide operations for Bluestar Silicones are based in Lyon, France, and have annual sales of about $650 million. Bluestar Silicones reports within China National Bluestar (Group) Co. Ltd. of Beijing, a subsidiary of China National Chemical Corp.