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How to Select Materials for Silicone Molds?

Molds must be made before producing all silicone products. We must develop new products through the mold. In the production of silicone molds, the first issue is to consider the mold raw materials. Silicone mold selection is a very important part in the mold making process.

Silicone mold materials selection need to meet the three requirements: First, the silicone mold should meet the wear resistance, toughness and other work requirements; second, the silicone mold should meet the technical requirements; and lastly, silicone mold should meet the economic applicability requirements.

The main performance of silicone molds excellent quality is under the following working conditions:

1. Wear resistance
The friction between the blanks will easily lead to mold failure due to wear and tear. Therefore, the wear resistance of silicone materials is one of the most basic and important performances. Hardness is the main factor affecting wear resistance. Under normal circumstances, the higher hardness of mold parts, the lower wear amount, the better wear resistance. In addition, the wear resistance is also related to carbide materials in the type, quantity, shape, size and the situation of distribution.

2. Strength and toughness
Most of the working conditions of the silicone mold are very bad, and some often bear a greater impact load, then resulting in brittle fracture. To prevent the mold parts sudden brittle fracture in operation, the silicone mold should have high strength and toughness performances. The toughness of silicone mold mainly depends on the carbon content of the material and the organization of grain size.

3. Fatigue fracture properties
Silicone molds work in the process of cyclic stress in the long-term effect, often leading to fatigue fracture. In the form of low energy impact fatigue fracture, tensile fatigue fracture and bending fatigue fracture. Silicone mold fatigue fracture performance depends mainly on its strength, toughness, hardness, and the content of inclusions in the material.

4. High temperature performance
When the mold temperature is high, the hardness and strength will decline, making early wear or plastic deformation of the mold. Therefore, the silicone mold material should have a higher resistance to tempering stability, to ensure that the mold can work with high hardness and strength under high temperature.

5. Resistance to cold/thermal fatigue
Some molds are repeatedly heated and cooled in the working process, making the surface of the cavity changed because under variable stress of tensioned and pressure. It causes surface cracking and peeling, increases the friction force, hinders the plastic deformation, and reduces the dimensional accuracy, and then resulting in mold failure. Cold/thermal fatigue is one of the main reasons of mold failure. These molds should have a high resistance to thermal fatigue properties.

6. Corrosion resistance
Some silicone rubber molds, such as plastic mold, will release HCI, HF and other strong corrosive gases in operation. These gases will corrode mold cavity surface, increase surface roughness degree and wear failure.

If you are making large-scale handicraft sculpture and Buddha mold crafts model with silicone mold, you should use high hardness silicone. The selection of mold silicone and silicone rubber material also should be based on the texture, shape and size of production.
Large scale handicraft sculpture
Buddha mold crafts model

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