Past Conference

LSR 2017

April 23-26, 2017 in Anaheim, California

Advances in Liquid Silicone Rubber and related materials.


Industry leaders and experts will convene at “LSR 2017” to discuss technological and scientific developments of LSR and related materials and explore new commercial uses for LSR in various markets (Medical, Automotive, Electronics, Consumers Products, and more.) It is a unique occasion to:

  • Learn about new silicone chemistry, novel processing and manufacturing techniques, emerging technologies, market dynamics, and new business directions of LSR.
  • Meet numerous key decision-makers and industry experts representing LSR suppliers, processing equipment manufacturers, Molders, fabricators, and end-users.
  • Discuss your company’s strengths, technologies, and products.
  • Network and develop new business alliances and explore future cooperation.
  • Display your products, technology, and services at the Exhibit.

Organizing Committee

Geri Anderson, M.R. Mold & Engineering
Steven Broadbent, Engel
Rick Finnie, M.R. Mold & Engineering
Oliver Franssen, Momentive Performance Materials
Amos Golovoy, AG Research
Thomas Jenkins, R.D. Abbott Company
Kurt Manigatter, ELMET GmbH
Lynn Momrow-Zielinski, Extreme Molding

Day 1

Sunday, April 23, 2017

7:30 pm

Check-in & Welcome Reception

Day 2

Monday, April 24th 2017


Continental Breakfast

Session 1: Innovations in LSR Materials


The success story of LSR - Winning against functional competition

Dipl.-Ing. Oliver Franssen, Global Marketing Director Elastomers Transportation, Momentive Performance Materials GmbH

Looking at the global elastomers market, Silicone Elastomers continue to be a niche with approx. 0.5% of the global demand in rubber. However Silicones continue to grow faster than many industries and economies. This is influenced by megatrends including aging population for healthcare applications or environmental awareness in automotive and energy application or consumer perception in applications of daily use.

While silicones have an almost universal set of physical properties for rubber applications, they are often not used based on material cost considerations – instead of comparing at system cost levels. Successful silicone elastomer applications happen when engineers understand the silicone product features and creatively build on the connected benefits for new designs. Under consideration of the special productivity and feasibility options provided by modern LSRs, new and different value propositions are possible.

The paper will help to position Silicone Elastomers and LSR vs. functionally competing materials. Those do not only include rubber materials like FKM, ACM, EPDM or natural rubber but also metal replaced through a rubber spring or glass and plastics in optical applications. Examples will highlight successful application of LSRs and start the thinking process for the next win against functional competition by knowing the options of silicones and optimizing their value in use by focused design considerations.

  • Overview LSR development
  • Latest innovations
  • Key features to benefits
  • Winning against functional competition
  • Examples

Understanding Post Curing in Silicone Elastomers

William D. Inman, Jr., Applications Engineer, Dow Corning

Since the adoption of silicone elastomers into the market, OEMs and fabricators are continuously striving to identify process improvements in manufacturing to reduce or eliminate post processing steps and still produce efficient and safe cured articles into the marketplace.

Post-curing is one of those steps. It involves heating silicone in an oven at a given temperature for a certain amount of time. The process is completed for a number of reasons: removing potentially toxic by-products from peroxide-cured silicones, improving the physical properties profile of both peroxide-cured and platinum-cured silicones, and, in medical applications, improving the chances of successful passage of necessary biocompatibility testing. This step can be inconvenient and adds time and money to the overall manufacturing process. While some OEMs feel they must post-cure their products to meet regulatory requirements and safety standards, others can benefit from new developments and recent technological advancements in silicone elastomers.

This presentation will describe the advantages and disadvantages of post-curing, and the circumstances when the process can be eliminated.


Silicone surfaces: from stiction and friction to smooth feel

Agnes Steckler, Ph.D., NuSil Technology

The outstanding versatility of LSRs as a group of materials is one of the many reasons these silicones have come such a long way in our society. LSRs have many desirable properties which have lead to their extended use in advanced engineering, medical applications, and increasing applications in other industries and market segments. However, there are still some properties that have not been fully developed yet and could be crucial to open doors to new applications and opportunities. Tunable surface properties such as smoothness or tackiness are a few of such desirable features for many market sectors. Here we will discuss the challenges, the development and control of these properties, and their potential applications in novel areas.


Coffee Break


Fluid Resistant Fluoro-LSR Technology

Rick Ziebell, V.P. of Technology, R.D.Abbott Company, Inc.

Logically it would seem that a blend of low molecular weight (liquid) fluorosilicone and silicone polymer could be prepared, which would exhibit a range of fluid resistance between that of silicone and fluorosilicone polymers. However, because of the difference in chemical characteristics of the two polymers resulting in the immiscibility of one in the other, blends of silicone and fluorosilicone polymers do not exhibit optimal strength properties. This becomes a challenge in the pursuit of FLSR technology.

The advancement came by developing a copolymer, consisting of in-chain substituents of “di-methyl” and “trifluoropropyl-methyl” monomers. Feedstocks of these monomers are carefully controlled in the polymerization process. Because these monomers have their own unique polarity, one is able to custom-tailor the placement of di-methyl and trifluoro-methyl substituents on the polymer chain in order to dial-in the required swelling characteristics while maintaining physical properties. Because this blending takes place on a molecular level, there is a high degree of interaction between the two substituents. This allows for a broad range of possible attributes depending on the copolymer arrangement. As a result, a tailoring of fluid resistance is possible while maintaining all the benefits an LSR process has to offer.


Low Volatile Liquid Silicone Rubber In Today's Workplace

Scott Richardson and Norman Riley, Senior Technical Research Managers, Wacker Chemical Corporation

The conference presentation will focus on introducing LOW VOLATILE (LV) LIQUID SILICONE RUBBER (LSR) into the marketplace. It will cover market segments where LV LSR is applicable. The benefits to those markets will be explained. Why and when LV LSR should be considered. General physical properties will be discussed. Processing and tooling, as compared to “standard” LSR materials, will also be covered.


Synthetic Amorphous Silica for Liquid Silicone Rubber

Prof. Dr. Wojciech Pisula (speaker), Rick Rosner, Maria Nargiello, Dr. Mario Scholz, Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH

Prof. Dr. Wojciech Pisulaa (speaker), Rick Rosnerb, Maria Nargiellob, Mario Scholza

  1. Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH (Germany)
  2. Evonik Corporation (USA)

The silicone industry as we know it would be inconceivable without the use of synthetic silica.

The molecular formulas of SiO2 for precipitated [1] and fumed silica [2] are identical, but their application properties are quite different and each of the two materials provides a unique set of advantages. Due to this high flexibility, numerous engineered types of technologies have been developed over the decades to provide performance solutions to many silicone rubber types.

This presentation will address how amorphous silica technology is differentiated and engineered to create specially tailored solutions to enhance the performance of liquid silicone rubber. Particle technology and modifications which will be addressed and performance attributes will be highlighted for each of the types of tailor-made modifications.


New Adhesive Technology For Bonding Liquid Silicone Rubbers To Plastics And Metals

Paul Wheeler, PH.D., Staff Scientist, LORD Corporation

LORD Corporation offers new adhesive solutions that effectively bond platinum-cured liquid silicone rubber (LSR) to various substrates, including many plastics and metals, directly in an injection or compression molding process. This technology does not require plasma treatment or other complicated and costly surface preparation steps. This process and product technology offers a number of benefits compared to existing technology, including enhanced design freedom, more robust processing, less surface preparation requirements, and environmental friendliness.



Session 2: Advances in LSR Processing


General overview of LSR Injection Molding Cell

Steve Broadbent, Technical Sales Engineer, Engel

The presentation would give a general overview of an LSR injection molding cell beginning with basic information regarding LSR materials, LSR dosing system and LSR machines and specific options required and recommended for LSR molding. The target audience would be beginning LSR molders or molders that are considering adding LSR to their process capabilities.


Value added Secondary Processing Techniques to Meet New-Age Customer Demand

Corie Yodis, Manufacturing Engineer, Extreme Molding

Secondary processes in molding silicone are becoming increasingly important. Silicone is becoming more “marketable” and the desire for more complex, personalized and customized parts is growing. In order to achieve what the customer wants, molders have to provide more value added services. Examples of the services include multiple colors, adhesives, and small holes and slits. The competition from overseas gives entrepreneurs the idea that almost anything can be done to a product, and inexpensively. It is our job as molders to figure out how to achieve their product in the most economical way. Punching, slitting, painting, screen printing, pad printing and applying adhesives are just a few things that can be done during secondary processes. With these processes, the customer can have their desired part, whether it be a baby bottle nipple with flow holes or a product with a printed color logo. While all these add cost and time, in the end, the customer will be pleased and you have manufactured a very attractive product made from silicone, and made in the USA.


Integration of external devices to centralize all monitoring and control back to the Molding machine

Juergen Giesow PhD, Arburg

Machine Technology for Silicone needs a high level of repeatability. Hence, integration of Process monitoring equipment and features is paramount. What a state of the Art molding machine needs to offer to support this requirement for all molding industries especially for Medical molding. Graphically display and monitoring of feed pressures, vacuums, securing validation parameters and more.


Coffee Break


Intelligent machine functions simplify the production process - shown on a customer application made of 2 components: thermoplastic and LSR

Cordula Regensburger, Product and Technology Manager, KraussMaffei Technologies

– Learn about 2-component injection molding process with LSR and thermoplastic combinations

– Understand the latest developments in intelligent machine functions explained on a real customer application

– Produce uniformly high component part quality, lower your scrap rate and therefore reduce your material costs

The production of technical molded LSR parts requires an extreme high level of efficiency, process and quality stability to be competitive in global markets. Injection molding is conducted these days with very high precision, especially if the movements of the motion axes are realized by individual powered drives. In particular, the translational motion of the screw while injecting the low-viscous material into the cavity is controlled very precisely and reaches a very high reproducibility.

However, batch variations, changing ambient circumstances and heat balance of the mold, varying flow resistances and start-up effects have a negative impact on the part quality. The current approach to stabilize part quality is accomplished by keeping temperatures, accelerations, velocities, etc. over the production time as constant as possible. A new method, the adaptive process control (APC) enables an autonomous switch-over, which adjusts the change-over point and adapts the packing pressure based on the condition of the processed materials. Variations in the process and on the material properties are characterized by the flow behavior of the silicone materials, monitored by key ratios and corrected in situ in the same injection-cycle. The result is a significantly increased process- and quality-stability. Frequently interventions by an experienced operator for example, are no longer necessary.

These positive results will be explained and verified with the help of an 2-component housing part of PA and LSR materials produced on a turntable machine. The audience will learn how an innovative production cell is designed: starting with injection molding machines, continuing with mold technology and ending with automation solutions, supported by intelligent machine functions.


Environmentally Responsible LSR Mold Cleaning with Dry Ice

Steve Wilson, Marketing Communications Specialist, Cold Jet

For Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) and Liquid Injection Molded (LSM) Silicone Elastomer molders there is a great demand to increase the productivity of equipment and the quality of parts, while maintaining healthy margins. Because silicones flash very easily, molds for these high performance thermoset elastomers are manufactured to critical tolerances. Protecting the dimensions on parting lines and sealing surfaces, as well as the mold surface finish is vital. It is also important to keep the vents open in order to evacuate the air out of the mold prior to injection. With dry ice cleaning, you can clean LSR molds in the machine at processing temperature, without causing mold wear – thus, increasing production capacity and improving product quality.

Cold Jet dry ice cleaning uses recycled CO2 in the form of solid dry ice particles that are transported by high-velocity airflow to remove contaminants from surfaces. Dry ice cleaning is a non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive cleaning method that contains no secondary contaminants such as solvents or grit media. Because there is no secondary waste generated, cleaning with dry ice addresses environmental concerns and also advances sustainable development. The small particle size of Cold Jet’s patented shaved dry ice technology enables LSR and LSM molders to clean a variety of mold surfaces, including matte and textured surfaces.


Cheese & Wine Reception

Day 3

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Continental Breakfast


Keynote Presentation: Product Design for Silicone Molding

Rick Finnie, President, M.R. Mold & Engineering

This presentation will outline the do’s and don’ts of design when designing products for silicone injection molding. You’ll learn why some design issues make a product unmanufacturable and how a slight variation of the design can make all the difference. Product designers must understand how a part will be molded. Some design concessions might be needed to have a robust manufacturing process. Designers have to understand how tolerances must be used correctly to allow production to meet manufacturing goals.

The presentation topics will include:

  • Surface finishes
  • Dimensional tolerances
  • Geometry and shape issues
  • Parting lines and gates
  • Part removal from the mold
  • Inspection techniques
  • Over molding onto various substrates

Innovative tool design for processing LSR (liquid silicone rubber) using latest needle valve gate technology

Robert Köttner, Head of Sales and Material Development, ACH- Solution GmbH

Increasing demand for high quality parts for e.g. medical devices requires highly precise tool technology. The presentation is covering the most advanced tool design and providing an overview about the pros and cons of different gating technology. It is helping R&D engineers to understand the possibilities in tool design and how a state-of-the art mold should be built.


Coffee Break


The impact of high end mold making to efficient production

Markus Landl, RICO GROUP

Since the late 1970’s / early 1980’s the market for products made of LSR developed very dynamically. Compared to the superior technology-platform of injection molding in general the required technology LIM for the production of parts made of LSR or multi-shot is rather young. The development of the technology is still fast and at the same time the number of new suppliers using the technology is growing. A number of influencing factors will be vital for the acquisition of new business. Firstly the content of the presentation gives an overview to the audience in order to answer the question about the requirements for a supplier to industry in the field of LSR and multi-shot applications. Secondly it shows the impact of mold making to modern high tech productions from a technical as well as marketing point of view.


Innovative Color Control In Lsr

Bob Pelletier, Technical Sales, ELMET North America Inc.

ELMET newly developed system for adding color and other additives to liquid silicone rubber lifts the precision of dosing to a new level. Verifiable data tracking generated on each cycle to ensure traceability for critical parts.


Revolutionary 3D Printing with Silicones

Katharina Berres, Marketing & Communications, and Leo Dyshelman, Business development, Wacker Chemie AG

The presentation will discuss a revolutionizing technology of additive manufacturing: the world’s first real elastomer which can be 3D printed. The drop on demand process enables freedom in design and accuracy. Therefore proven silicone experts developed not only the material, but also software and hardware opening up new opportunities for various industries such as health care, automotive, electronics or even life style goods only to name a few.



Session 4: LSR Applications


Keynote Presentation: Medical Silicone Manufacturing Today, Tomorrow and Beyond: Business and Technical Trends in the Global Silicone Medical Manufacturing Marketplace

Mark Bonifacio, President, Bonifacio Consulting Services, LLC

We will be discussing and presenting some of the Macro Global trends and drivers of the medical LSR/ Silicone molding and medical landscape while highlighting some of the latest trends, technically and from a business standpoint. Presenting data, statistics and a few case studies, we will examine the state of the global silicone/ LSR medical (molding, extrusion, etc.) industry.

A couple of years after PPACA (Obamacare) how are medical molders, medical devices and medical plastics doing? What’s next?

Where is the Growth? What are the Growth areas of Medical Silicone in the upcoming years.

What will our customer look like 5 yrs. from now, 10 yrs. From now? What will our industry look like?

Key Markets (Geographic and by Market segment). What do the US and Global markets look like.

What does all the recent M&A mean? Who will be the Winners and Losers? Will it continue?

Technical advancements and niche’ segments of Silicone medical molding, new technologies, applications. Implantable and non-implantable applications.

Conclusions and some recommendations.


Advancements of LSR in medical and consumer markets

Dr. Huiping Zhang, Momentive Performance Materials Inc.

The paper will cover some of recent LSR developments in Momentive Performance Materials Inc.

  • Self-bonding LSR provides strong adhesion to various thermoplastic substrates, including polycarbonate and polyester, eliminating the need for a separate secondary operation process and enabling direct two-shot or multiple-shot over-molding process.
  • Medical grade self-lubricating LSR generates robust and long-lasting oil bleed performance and is useful in a variety of healthcare applications where assembly is required.
  • UV-curable LSR enables the combination of silicone rubber with temperature sensitive electronics in making wearable devices.

Coffee Break


3D Printing Silicone, Functional Materials & Devices

Prof. Michael C. McAlpine, University of Minnesota, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

The development of methods for interfacing high performance functional devices with biology could impact regenerative medicine, smart prosthetics, and human-machine interfaces. Indeed, the ability to three-dimensionally interweave biological and functional materials could enable the creation of devices possessing unique geometries, properties, and functionalities. Yet, most high quality functional materials are two dimensional, hard and brittle, and require high crystallization temperatures for maximal performance. These properties render the corresponding devices incompatible with biology, which is three-dimensional, soft, stretchable, and temperature sensitive. We overcome these dichotomies by: 1) using 3D printing and scanning for customized, interwoven, anatomically accurate device architectures; 2) employing nanotechnology as an enabling route for overcoming mechanical discrepancies while retaining high performance; and 3) 3D printing a range of soft and nanoscale materials to enable the integration of a diverse palette of high quality functional nanomaterials with biology. 3D printing is a multi-scale platform, allowing for the incorporation of functional nanoscale inks, the printing of microscale features, and ultimately the creation of macroscale devices. This three-dimensional blending of functional materials and ‘living’ platforms may enable next-generation 3D printed devices.


UV Pre-treatment of Thermoplast Components for LSR - Thermoplastic parts

Ralf-Urs Giesen, Hans-Peter Heim, Annette Rüppel, Michael Hartung

Ralf-Urs Giesen, Hans-Peter Heim, Annette Rüppel, Michael Hartunga

  1. University of Kassel-Institute of Materials Engineering, D-34125 Kassel

The processing of Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) in combination with Thermoplastic is more and more important for industrial applications. Especially the multi-component injection molding is the used process for this material combination.

For materials like polyamide (PA) or polybutylenterephthalate (PBT), self-adhesive materials are available. For other materials like polycarbonate (PC) a pre-treatment is necessary. State of the art for such pre- treatment methods are plasma, flame, silication or the use of a primer. A new developed technology is to pretreat PC with UV radiation. Some of the advantages are no thermal impact to the thermoplastic part, shorter time of pretreatment and less amount to be invested.

The results of our investigations will show regarding the adhesion between LSR and Thermoplastics in dependence to the VDI guideline 2019. Also the influence of aging (temperature, moisture ans sterilization) relating to the pre-treatment method will be shown.

Session 5: LSR Process Simulation


Virtual Injection Molding for Liquid Silicone Rubbers

Harshal Bhogesra, Project Engineer, SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.

SIGMASOFT® Virtual Molding has lead the efforts in capturing the behavior of injection molded Liquid Silicone Rubber within its virtual molding environment. Injection molding of LSR is a complex process because there are multiple interrelated factors within the mold, all occurring simultaneously. Virtual Molding explores a variety of issues during LSR molding and their inter-relationships with the mold, material properties, process and the product design.

Only the Virtual Molding system considers all of the mold components including water cooled cold deck, heated cavities, over-molded inserts, thermocouple driven (PI Controller) electrical heaters, insulation plates, 3D (all kind of Elastomers) runner system with parts, actual molding process, and temperature & curing dependent material properties in the 3D virtual environment. Resulting outputs are accomplished using multiple consecutive cycles to provide realistic mold temperature conditions. This novel approach provides a detailed view into the exact problem areas of the entire molding system during the design stage of the product and mold.

Investigation into the root causes of common LSR Molding issues are investigated and addressed:

  • Shear rate dependent temperature and viscosity which may lead to unbalanced filling of the cavities.
  • Jetting caused due to higher LSR velocity and lower viscosity.
  • Venting issues such as trapped air bubbles or potential burning.

Mold temperature control and resulting cure cycle time are evaluated.


Improving LSR Overmold Designs using Simulation Based Approach

Sagar Bhamare, Innova Engineering Inc.

In some applications, liquid silicone rubber (LSR) has advantages over thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). Its heat resistance, extreme low-temperature flexibility, chemical resistance, and lubricity are attractive. However, designing parts for overmolded LSR is even more challenging than designing for overmolded TPE due to higher temperatures and differential thermal expansion, shrinkage, cure kinetics, lower viscosity, etc. Few grades of LSR are specifically designed for the overmolding applications where the seal and bond strengths are achieved via chemical bonding techniques. However, this is true only for a limited number of compatible materials. For the majority of the non-compatible materials, success of the overmold is driven by the performance of the mechanical interlocks between the substrate and corresponding LSR overmold. Several iterations of design and process changes may be needed to extract the optimal overmold performance.

In this paper, the authors examine the application of molding simulation software to optimize part design and process parameters for overmolded LSR during the design stage, before expensive and time-consuming fabrication of tooling. In the first step, full-scale 3D injection molding simulation of the LSR overmolding process is performed using simulation software. A component is overmolded with a LSR material. Filling, holding, curing and warp stages of the molding process are simulated using a combination of finite volume method (FVM) and finite element method (FEM). Thermo-mechanical interaction between the substrate and overmolded LSR is effectively captured to study its effects on LSR molding. At the end of molding simulation, as-molded residual stresses and warpage for both substrate and LSR overmold is mapped onto a 3D finite element model. These residual stress states are used as initial conditions for subsequent mechanical finite element analysis to predict the durability of overmolded bond. The efficiency of the simulation process is discussed, results are compared, and necessary material data and modeling assumptions are assessed.


Cheese & Wine Reception

Day 4

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Continental Breakfast


Tour to M.R. Mold & Engineering - the LSR experts


Conference Adjourn


Below are a list of companies that sponsored the LSR 2017 conference.