Extruding growth in HCR silicone
Shin-Etsu Silicones of America Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., Japan, recently launched its newest high consistency rubber (HCR) product line – Sil-X-Shin Silicone Elastomers. The platinum, addition-cure series includes two distinct HCR extrusion versions: methyl-vinyl and phenyl silicone specifically engineered for extruded tubing and profiles, and designed for use in healthcare, beverage, and architectural glazing applications.
Both series are available in a wide range of Shore A Hardness – from 40 to 80, and come in a convenient 10:1 ratio of base compound to catalyst which provides more overall mixing confidence. The unique advantage of having one universal catalyst that can be used with each base provides the ultimate benefit of flexibility. This also translates into reduced working capital and material logistics costs of stocking multiple products.
According to Steve Craig, SESA’s national business manager / HTV & LIMS Group, “We have intentionally engineered the formulations to have a longer working time between milling and extrusion. This increases material scheduling flexibility, as the product can actually be staged for nearly twenty-four hours during the processing gap.”
Kendall Kozinski, HTV TS&D Supervisor for SESA adds, “Having processed every product in the series on production-scale equipment, I observed that the materials mill very easily and do not require a long time to freshen prior to adding catalyst. We’ve also processed successfully in both horizontal and vertical extrusion equipment.”
Sil-X-Shin’s methyl-vinyl extrusion grade series represents a second generation, optimized line of products that feature unique translucence and clarity. Notably, extruded tubing exhibits no bubble formation while curing in the oven, and it produces a smooth surface finish.
Sil-X-Shin’s Phenyl Silicone extrusion grade series is even more unique, having more specific applications as it works exceptionally well in temperatures lower than -40°C-with a -60°C minimum for optimal usage. Notably, this benefit provides better resistance to gamma sterilization and is ideally suited for applications such as pharmaceutical process tubing requiring low temperature resistance.
Specifically engineered for extrusion, both series’ platinum, addition-cure chemistries produce a tight surface finish with few residual by-products. When properly cured, the finished products will resist taking a set which can alter the dimensions of an extruded article. Additionally, both products are biocompatible and are currently being tested for USP Class VI compliance.
Sil-X-Shin Silicone Elastomers are manufactured in ISO 9001 facilities at SESA’s USA headquarters in Akron, Ohio and are available for sale and sample in 1,100 lb. kits.
What are the biggest challenges you see the medical device manufacturing industry facing in 2019?
- Ability to invest in technology
- Access to capital/credit/financing
- Changing regulatory environment
- Increased market competition
- New product development
- Pricing pressures
- Retaining/growing a skilled workforce