Akron, Ohio – Recent demos at a trade show by Shin-Etsu Silicones of America Inc. featured the company’s KEG-2000 LIMS (liquid injection molding system) products’ advanced handling and molding properties being run with a Make-a-Wish Foundation wristband processing demonstration, amongst others, in collaboration with LIMS machinery and equipment partners.
Shin-Etsu’s KEG-2000 series is supplied in two components, which are mixed in a 1:1 ratio to ensure easy and accurate blending with optimized physical and processing properties. Offering “Dynamic Viscosity,” KEG-2000 products exhibit higher viscosity under low shear stress (pumping and shut-off) and lower viscosity under high shear stress (injection). Customers benefit from faster mold filling and minimal flash. The KEG-2000 series is engineered for outstanding performance in cold-runner systems with both open and closed-nozzle configurations.
KEG-2000 LIMS products have consistent properties from batch to batch, have high clarity, and range in Shore A hardness from 20 to 80. Physical properties such as tensile and tear strength, modulus, and elongation have been maximized for physically demanding applications. Additionally, the products have been tested for compliance with FDA, USP Class VI, and ISO 10993 regulations.
Demonstrations showed versatility of Shin-Etsu’s KEG-2000 LIMS products in conjunction with the latest technology advancements of the following SESA partners:
Boy Machines Inc., Exton, Pennsylvania
A leader in high-precision small and micro-injection molding machines with clamping forces up to 110 tons, Boy Machines demonstrated their BOY 25 E that was individually tailored to produce customized LSR wrist bands for the Make-A-Wish foundation−the largest organization in the world fulfilling the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Recently, these bracelets were offered to 60,000+ registered attendees at a conference for a small donation to the foundation’s North Central Florida chapter.
With a press clamping force of 27.5 tons, the 25 E processed SESA’s KEG-2000 LIMS material in conjunction with Graco Fluid Automation’s F4-5 LSR pumping unit, silicone color dispersions from GSDI, a chiller from Thermal Care Inc., and a direct inject cold runner mold from Kipe Molds, that ran automatically with the assistance of a robot from Yushin America Inc., that also removed the wristband from the tool.
According to Boy Machine’s Sales Manager, Franco Pettine, “The KEG-2000 material worked great as it was easy to mold−resulting in no tears or flaws with each wrist band.”
Graco Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Graco Inc.’s Fluid Automation F4-5 two-component silicone pumping system, released to the market in June 2015 was provided as part of the collective Make-a-Wish foundation promotional wristband production effort.
Replacing two previous systems, the key to the Graco Fluid Automation F4-5 system is better ratio control for mixing two-component silicone and two additive color streams at 0.5% to 5% ratios. This high-precision dosing system provides seven times the measurement resolution of the previous models, resulting in material savings for the end-user.
Additional benefits of the Graco Fluid Automation F4-5 design include: a reduced footprint for more storable/movable floor space, the elimination of PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers), and the move to proprietary Graco Control Architecture (GCA) controls.
According to Graco’s Global Product Manager, David Bordwell, “This translates into easy startup and operation for the end user. The GCA controls are more user friendly thereby saving time, service, and support requirements.”
Katie Brockhaus, Graco marketing manager, noted that, “Shin-Etsu’s KEG-2000 material worked great with the Graco Fluid Automation F4-5 system. The Make-a-Wish bands came out extremely well, with a vibrant consistency of color thanks to the system’s precise ratio control.”
Kipe Molds Inc., Placentia, California
In addition to providing the tooling for the Make-a-Wish wristband production, Kipe Molds offers the MD 125 Micro Injection Unit system. The patented Microdeck technology demonstration featured SESA’s KEG-2000 LIMS product and GSDI silicone color dispersion for direct injection of micro-silicone parts.
The system has been proven to provide highly repeatable automatic molding for parts as small as 0.003g. It also features a servo actuated micro plunger with fully controllable injection parameters, which eliminates the market standard requirement of having a runner to produce parts of the same size. The fully self-contained injection system can also be used as a second barrel for 2K applications. Designed with several plunger options, the MD 125 can produce direct inject parts as small as 0.003g, and up to approximately 1.0g for nano-molding of liquid silicone. Larger size options are also available providing a shot capacity of up to 8g.
According to Kipe’s General Manager, Dana King, “Mini-device applications are growing for silicone−particularly in medical and automotive. The new MD 125 has a great price point and is super accurate for small LSR shots. In the case of the mold we demonstrated on the Boy machine, it effectively produced automatic flash free parts of 0.009g.”
King also noted SESA’s KEG-2000 Series’ optimal performance in the new system, “Easy processing begins with a pre-mixed cartridge built into the cold-runner system. The pot life is excellent, consistency is great, and there were no hassles involved in the process.”
The Make-a-Wish wristband was truly a collaborative processing effort amongst key LSR manufacturing leaders to support a great cause− while conveying the benefits of advanced LSR processing.
According to SESA’s North America Marketing Manager, Eric Bishop, “Our workhorse KEG-2000 series products offer a wide processing window. This was readily reflected in the collaborative Make-a-Wish wristband, and other processing technology demonstrations with our manufacturing partners. The series is designed to take full advantage of and complement these latest developments in molding equipment and tooling technology.”
Bishop also stressed that world-wide customers depend on Shin-Etsu’s consistency to ensure that their process remains in control, and does not require constant adjustments to compensate for batch-to-batch variations in the liquid silicone−thus improving the quality of the parts and efficiency of the process. Molded articles from Shin-Etsu’s KEG-2000 series are commonly used in the healthcare, infant feeding, automotive, and consumer products market applications.