As more and more companies are using silicone components in their applications, we take a look at the silicone cutting process, how silicone components are used and how we are designing and developing silicone components for our clients.
Cutting silicone and how silicone components are prepared
Silicone is increasingly becoming the go-to choice of application material for manufacturers because of its strength, resilience, durability and versatility, and silicone components are prepared using a range of cutting methods.
These cutting methods include the precision cutting of silicone for cables, the cutting of complex profiles and the cutting of angled cuts, including 90-degree corner profiles. Most of the cutting is carried out by machine, but some is still done by hand, such as the 90-degree corner profiles.
How manufacturers use silicone components in their applications
A range of silicone components are used in a variety of applications across the industry spectrum. Some are standard parts, but there are also bespoke components that are designed and developed for specific functionality.
For example, silicone rubber is used to make joined rings for manhole covers, autoclaves and food machinery, and joined gaskets are used in windows, doors and various machinery. Angle-cut 90-degree corner profiles are most commonly used for windows and doors.
In addition, straight-cut-length silicone rubber profiles are widely used in applications such as draft excluders and printer arms. Inflatable seals and food grade sponges are other commonly manufactured silicone components.
How Advanced Materials prepares client silicone components
As part of our commitment to product quality and a high level of customer service, we invest in the latest machinery and technology. This includes silicone cutting machinery.
One of our latest investments has been in a bespoke silicone cutting machine. The addition of this new piece of equipment has allowed us to further improve the accuracy and speed of our cutting capability.
Designed by a specialist machine builder, the cutting unit means that now almost three quarters of our silicone components are cut by machine. As a result, clients are benefiting from shorter lead times and higher-quality products thanks to our ability to further reduce human error in the cutting process.
Producing silicone components for an electronics industry client
A manufacturer in the electronics industry asked us to manufacture a bespoke silicone component that could be wrapped around small cables in order to protect and insulate them.
The client wanted a 5mm ID silicone sleeve with a 1mm wall, measuring 20mm (+/- 0.75mm). The sleeve needed to be able to open and wrap around the cables, rather than being closed and the cable having to be pushed through the sleeve.
To meet these requirements, the Advanced Materials team developed a silicone extrusion that matched the specifications and created a tool that could slit the sleeve to allow it to wrap around the cables. Next, we developed a collet system for the cutting machine that would accurately cut the silicone extrusion to the required length.
The client was very happy with the work and the silicone component continues to perform to a high standard. We are currently producing over 200,000 silicone sleeves a year for this client.
To find out more about Advanced Materials’ silicone rubber manufacturing services, contact us on +44 (0)1903 713566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.