The silicone elastomers market is estimated to grow 8.2 per cent a year though 2019, reaching a global market for all processes of $10.2 billion, according to a recent research report. Growth is attributed to the material’s excellent physical and chemical properties.
One of the hottest sectors of the market is micro injection molding for medical applications.
One example is the new hybrid servo-pneumatic Microlim liquid silicone injection molding machine from Wabash MPI. It’s designed for shot sizes from less than 1 to 15 cc and features include a patented plunger design with center shutoff nozzle for accurate shot size control. The company says that easy changeover works well for short run applications. The machine has a maximum clamp force of 17 tons and platen size of 9” X 9”.
At the upcoming Fakuma show in Germany, KrauissMaffei will be demonstrating production of a nasal ventilator made of liquid silicone rubber. The product will run on an all electric AX with 500 kN clamping force in a four-piece mold. An Elmet metering and mixing unit provides for draining of residual fluids.
The key companies on the materials’ side of the market are Dow Corning Corp., Wacker Chemie, Momentive Performance Materials, Shin-Etsu Chemical, China National Bluestar Group, Wynca Group (China), Mesgo S.p.A, and Speciality Silicone Products Inc.