The use of injection moldable liquid silicone rubber (LSR) in the electronics /connecting solutions area has been on an upsurge over the last few years, with emerging applications in automotive. Global annual growth estimates in automotive are now in the double-digits (15-18%).
LSR is touted for its excellent property profile: It is chemically inert, has good chemical and UV resistance, remains flexible and elastic below -40°C and retains its properties at up to 240°C. It offers elongation of 100-900%, is fatigue and compression-set resistant, and provides superior electrical insulating characteristics.
Due to its extremely low viscosity, LSR can be used for complex molded parts with finer detail and tighter tolerances than are often possible with other materials. When molded onto thermoplastic substrates, the resulting multi-material performance options are more and more prolific.
Among the emerging LSRs are fluorosilicones for enhanced chemical resistance, self-lubricating silicones that assist in assembly and application usage, self-adhesive materials for multi-material overmolding applications, and optical-grade silicones that offer high-temperature resistance along with optical clarity—suiting them to the booming field of LED and other lighting applications.