MONTREAL-LA-CLUSE, France—Optical component supplier Gaggione S.A.S. has launched a dedicated injection molding facility for liquid silicone optics.
The company cites a number of advantages for silicone over thermoplastics in optical applications:
• Greater than 90 percent transmission in the >350nm region of the wavelength spectrum, even with thick parts.
• High resistance to ultraviolet radiation and to more chemical agents than polycarbonate or acrylic.
• Heat resistance to >150°C, by contrast with the breakdown temperatures of PC (130°C) and PMMA (90°C).
• Greater optical design possibilities attributable to "micro-detail replication" resulting from liquid material properties.
• Impact resistance greater than that of thermoplastics, with "reformation properties."
David Veryser, Gaggione's global sales director, said: "Silicone resin provides the opportunity to make parts with complex design features, some of which are simply not possible with thermoplastic. Designers will be able to … leverage the fast-changing technologies in (the optics) market."