Anaheim, Calif. — Roger Renstrom reported on highlights from the LSR 2017 conference in the last issue of LSR World. Here is a wrap-up of items from the conference.
Design, validation, 3D printing noted in LSR conference
Conference attendees learned about liquid silicone rubber material advances, simulation techniques and validation procedures.
Oliver Franssen set the stage for the April 24-26 event in discussing features that make silicone special. Franssen is global elastomer marketing director for the transportation segment of Momentive Performance Materials GmbH in Leverkusen, Germany.
Franssen noted that silicone competes with organic elastomers in multiple applications.
And he gave examples of silicone's use versus standard materials: silicone elastomers in place of porcelain on high-voltage applications, LSR and heat-cured rubber in place of natural rubber on babycare products, LSR in place of fluorocarbon rubber and acrylic rubber for gaskets, silicone elastomers in place of metal or natural rubber on springs, ultratransparent LSR in place of transparent engineering thermoplastics or glass in lighting, and silicone elastomers in place of silicone on ultraviolet lighting.
Rick Finnie discussed product design for silicone molding. Finnie is owner and president of M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. in Brea, Calif., and hosted an April 26 plant tour for many LSR 2017 participants.
Finnie is highly knowledgeable about surface finishes, dimensional tolerances, parting lines and gates and techniques for inspection of silicone molds.
As a silicone proponent, Finnie jokingly told plastics processors: "You've got to go to silicone. Thermoplastic elastomers are not going to cut it."
Presenters included representatives from injection molding machine makers Engel, Arburg and KraussMaffei.
Steve Broadbent provided a broad overview on the plastics processing equipment and auxiliary systems in a LSR molding cell. Broadbent is technical sales engineer for thermoset molding systems with Engel Machinery Inc. in York, Pa.
Juergen Giesow underscored the value of the Selogica control system for reliable evacuating and fully integrated peripherals. Giesow is director of engineering and technology for Arburg Inc. in Rocky Hill, Conn.
The silicones division of Wacker Chemie AG has started a business-to-business line to sell customized 3D printer silicone parts.
The Aceo-brand 3D Eco-System initiative employs 20, has an open print laboratory in Munich and targets applications in transportation sealants, health care items, lifestyle products and electro/electronic/optical connectors.
The line began selling services globally in July with support from an interdisciplinary Wacker team for material, hardware and software requirements.
Aceo team members Katharina Berres, head of marketing and communications, and Leon Dyshelman, business development manager, discussed the business at the conference.
Robert Pelletier discussed dosing system controls for adding color and other additives to LSR.
Pelletier of South Lyon, Mich., handles technical sales of dosing systems for Elmet North America Inc.
The system generates verifiable data tracking each cycle and tracing production of critical parts. "You are able to control data on the additive that you transmitted," Pelletier said.
Parent company Elmet GmbH is based in Oftering, Austria.
William Inman discussed the role of post-curing, also known as the post-bake step, to achieve "removal of volatile material from the cured article of silicone. Inman is an applications engineer with Dow Corning Corp. of Midland, Mich.
In another presentation, Steve Wilson reviewed the value of solid and shaved dry ice cleaning techniques for maintenance of mold surfaces including matted and textural versions. He is director of global business development for Cold Jet LLC of Loveland, Ohio. The product utilizes recycled carbon dioxide and high-velocity airflow to remove contaminants.
Carrie Yodis described the added value for secondary processing techniques in molding silicone parts. She is manufacturing engineer with injection molder Extreme Molding of Watervliet, N.Y.
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The only North American conference targeting plastics caps and closures makers, the Plastics Caps & Closures conference, held Sept. 9-11, 2019, in Chicago, provides a hotbed of discussion on many of the top innovations, process and product technologies, materials, trends and consumer insights that influence both packaging and caps and closures development.