What Are the Requirements and Advantages of Medical-Grade Silicone Molding Technology?

Liquid silicone injection molding technology is helpful for producing high-precision and complex components for medical devices, especially for mass production and meeting the requirement of complete integrity of every component. In this article, we will introduce the main advantages of medical-grade silicone molding technology in medical device manufacturing, as well as some issues that need to be considered.

Advantages of Medical-Grade Silicone Molding Technology

Although many types of materials are suitable for injection molding, the primary material recommended for medical devices application is medical-grade liquid silicone. Silicone is widely used, and it has many advantages as a liquid material in this process, making it the choice material for mass production technology components.

LSR silicone molding process not only creates opportunities for producing extremely complex parts but also well-suited for producing components with many details (such as bottom-cut or thin-walled parts), providing designers with wide design freedom and multiple components made into fully fused components, particularly suitable for avoiding dead corners in medical equipment and achieving sanitary design. In addition, a single component is more suitable than components made from multiple components, with lighter weight, thus avoiding related risks and costs associated with secondary assembly.

But the crucial premise is that the engineering teams of medical device manufacturers and the molding engineering experts of medical-grade silicone molding component manufacturers must work closely together to achieve these advantages.

What are the requirements of medical-grade silicone molding technology?

On the one hand, the mold is the fundamental factor determining the success of component injection molding; on the other hand, the "disease" of medical-grade silicone molding is also related to the complexity of the finished product. The steel mold hot runner or cold runner module and related process automation equipment used for producing medical equipment are very expensive and must be considered from the cost perspective in any manufacturing process. However, high initial processing costs should not be judged solely from the perspective of costs but should be calculated based on inputs in the mold lifecycle. Since LSR silicone molding can produce a large number of high integrity parts, processing costs are relatively low from the perspective of each workpiece throughout the entire production cycle. To ensure long-term high-efficiency and economically efficient continuous production, the initial design of medical devices must be reasonable, and the mold design structure and every link of the entire process must be carefully considered.

Some issues exist in the processing. The parts' thickness can be limited to avoid shrinkage issues, and additional costs may be required for trimming operations. Both these issues can be resolved through close collaboration between medical device designers and medical-grade silicone molding manufacturers. For example, if the mold and processing equipment are professionally designed, such problems can be avoided.