PLASTIC MOLDING BLOG

Silicones vs. TPEs for Infant Care Products

Posted by Mike Fil on April 15, 2019

Designers of infant care products need safe, clean materials with the right performance properties and processing capabilities. Silicones, a group of synthetic elastomers, are used in baby care products such as pacifiers, baby bottle nipples , feeding sets, sippy tops ,...

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Choosing the Right Color for Your Silicone or Plastic Product

Posted by Corie Yodis on March 2, 2018

The color of your plastic or silicone product can make all the difference, especially for your consumers. It’s the first thing any customer will see of a product and can make a real impact on sales. The right color choice can set you apart from competitors and other brands,...

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Silicone Overmolding Secrets

Posted by Mike Fil on July 31, 2019

Silicone overmolding is an injection molding process that molds silicone over, under, or through a substrate material to complete the final part. By allowing product designers to combine the best of two materials, this manufacturing process supports variations in durometer...

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Silicone - Sustainable & Eco-Friendly

Posted by Kaitlin Chitaman on February 15, 2021


       

                  Silicone - Sustainable & Eco-Friendly 

                       Kaitlin Chitaman - Engineer         /         Penny Rodden - Sales 

 

cover for blog 2-12-2020

The environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote, "In every curving beach, in every grain of sand, there is a story of the Earth."  Silicone is part of that story. 

 

silicon rockLet us start at the beginning, shall we?  Once upon a time thousands of years ago rocks began breaking down through erosion. One of the components not broken down was quartz (silica).  Silica is made up of two main elements: silica and oxygen. Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2.  Silicon dioxide is a major component of Silicone. Lots of chemistry for you there.

interesting facts2

                     Did you know Silicon is also the second most abundant

                   chemical element found in the earth’s crust?  Silicon makes

                   up about 27% of an average rock. True story!

 

 

Silicon mixsilicone dioxide imageed with carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen makes silicone, a synthetic elastomer.  One of the biggest upsides to silicone besides the eco-friendly components is that it is durable. It is more resistant to hot and cold temperatures. It can be reused for years. Silicone resists stains, unlike its counterpart Plastics, it can be sterilized and autoclaved. It will not break down easily giving way to microplastics in our oceans or waterways.

 

There are also no estrogen mimicking toxins (BPA). Silicone is not biodegradable likebeach clean up plastics which might be viewed as a bad thing. But unlike plastic, silicone can be recycled without the worry of toxins being released when plastics are burned. There are seven different types of plastics, each with their own list of toxins that can be released without proper recycling.

 

 

plastic in oceansWhen silicone is not recycled properly, it can likely end up in a landfill. Sitting in a landfill, silicone will do nothing for decades because it can withstand various strenuous environments with very little to no effect on its structure. But on the plus side it will not leach anything into our groundwater to harm us.

 

interesting facts2

                        A study by Yale indicates that the average person

                  consumes a credit card size amount of plastic a week. Yuk!

                                              Click me for more info!

 

   

recycleAlthough commercial recycling of Silicone is not yet readily available there are ways to recycle independently. One of the easiest ways to recycle or repurpose silicone at home is to cut it up into small pieces and join it with just enough new silicone to bond the pieces together. DIY silicone kits are becoming more readily available and it is the perfect way to repurpose something like a broken kitchen spatula. One teacher wrote a blog on recycling with "how to's". Check it out here!

 

 

One of the major ways that silicone is industrially recycled is by grinding it down into finesilicone oil pieces then heating with a catalyst and refined to create silicone oil. Silicone oil is also known as PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane). Because it is non-toxic and non-flammable it has a large range of applications. it can be used just as a lubricant, a coolant, defoamer for oils, printing inks, and acts as a water repellent coating. It can be used in cosmetics and in vehicles as well. Silicone oil functions better than mineral and synthetic oils without any harmful effects on metals, wood, and polymers. 

 

If you are looking for a sustainable and environmentally friendly product solution look no further than Silicone. It is perfect for most consumer and medical products. Contact our Sales Representative Penny Rodden at Penny@extrememolding.com for assistance with your products.

Tags: Rubber Manufacturing, Liquid Silicone Molding, Pet Products, Infant Products, children products