AKRON—Shin Etsu Silicones of America, along with several industry partners, debuted a pair of "wayfarer-style" sunglasses at the 2022 Silicone Expo in Detroit in October.
And while the Ray-Ban-like sunglasses were a hit, it was Shin Etsu's liquid injection molding system "KEG-2001-60" that caught the watchful eyes of expo-goers.
The new materials maintain "advanced handling and molding properties," according to Shin Etsu.
The LIMS silicone is supplied as two translucent components, mixed in a 1:1 ratio, with a 60 durometer and Shore A hardness with low viscosity.
"The material features high tear strength, rapid cure time at elevated temperature, and long pot life at room temperature," Shin Etsu said.
Outside of the complex geometries required by the wayfarer sunglasses, the silicone is excellent for use in O-rings, diaphragms, gaskets, medical devices, baby care components and consumer products.
Shin Etsu was assisted in the demonstration application process by Sumitomo Demag Plastics Machinery of Suwanee, Ga., using one of Sumitomo's all-electric injection molding machines.
"This is great for micro-molded LSR parts where a fraction of a millimeter means the difference between a good and bad part—particularly with optical grade parts that require precision to maintain their optical integrity," said Tony Marchelletta, Sumitomo's national sales manager.