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Many Industries Benefit from Use of LSR

Many Industries Benefit from Use of LSR


LSR material technology is changing rapidly. Use of LSR is growing in both traditional rubber applications and those where traditional rubber materials had not previously been used. Key examples include medical devices, wearables, automotive, industrial, and even such home goods as bakeware and kitchen tools.


Medical devices LSRs inert qualities make the material ideal for many medical device types. LSR cures completely and quickly. This is especially critical when medical devices are placed in a patients body, because it means the device will not leach chemicals and cause potential adverse reactions. By contrast, latex, a material long used in the medical industry, does not fully cure during production, and can lead to adverse patient reactions.


Due to the materials chemical makeup, it does not degrade until heated to very high temperatures way higher than most other polymers could tolerate. This means it can handle sterilization processes, contributing to its effectiveness for medical and baby care uses.


A final (and critical) advantage is the ability to use LSRs to manufacture drug-eluding devices (DEDs). For example, hormones used in the NuvaRing contraceptive product are injected as an additive in the LSR dosing process. LSR DEDs can also be placed in pacemaker heart catheter leads, enabling the leads to introduce anti-inflammatory medication directly into heart tissue for improved results.


Wearable technology: Wearable fitness trackers, such as FitBit and Jawbone, are largely responsible for the expansion of the flexible wearables category. With its ability to handle both high and low temperatures, ultraviolet (UV), and ozone without degrading, LSR is a better fit than traditional materials for wearable technology used under constant sun exposure. Unlike other rubber, products manufactured with LSR are unlikely to cause adverse skin reactions when worn by users, even for extended periods of time.


Household goods: The inert nature of LSR makes it useful for bakeware and other kitchen goods. The consumer market is filled with kitchen products manufactured with LSR, from protective gloves and trivets to spatulas and barbeque brushes, and even cooking pans, where its non-stick properties are useful. These applications benefit especially from LSRs high temperature resistance; the material is stable and food-safe even at very high temperatures.


Automotive: LSR-based products have also begun to be used in automotive applications, particularly windshield wiper blades and LED headlights. With windshield wiper blades, LSRs greatest benefit is that it remains flexible throughout the products life. Traditional rubber materials continue to cure due to UV exposure and heat, gradually making the windshield wipers ineffective, while LSR does not. This greatly extends the products useful life.


In the case of LED headlights, reflectors and lenses are made out of special LSR grades designed for clarity and longevity. The reflectors are manufactured with additives that allow the LSR product to reflect back nearly 100 percent of light, amplifying the LED light. As a result, low-energy, long-lived LED bulbs can be as bright and effective as higher-energy, shorter-lived light sources. LED lenses are made with optical grade silicone, which offers glass-like clarity. The benefits of LED headlights made with LSR reflectors and lenses also make them suitable for traffic signals, streetlights, and other LED applications.


Industrial applications: In the electronics industry, LSR is being used for millions of parts, including connector seals, grommets, and strain relief devices. Offering resistance to extreme temperatures, UV and ozone, LSR also acts as an insulator or conductor, dependent upon material additives. On its own, silicone is a highly effective insulator, but can also serve as a conductor when manufactured with such fillers as carbon black.


LSR-based connector seals are often manufactured with an additive of red iron oxide to increase the products temperature resistance to 500 degrees. As new additives are created and physical properties of LSR products improve, the use of LSR for seal and gasket material will likely grow even further.



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