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silicone manufacturing

From idea to product: the amazing silicone manufacturing process

If you are a silicone product purchaser or brand owner, or are interested in the silicone industry, and you need to develop your own silicone product, we will explore the entire process of silicone manufacturing together!

1.Confirm design drawings of your custom silicone products

If you only have an idea, you need to determine the purpose, function, target user group and expected market positioning of the silicone product. Engineers from the silicone manufacturer will complete the following design steps
1) Clarify the design goals and market requirements: Before starting the design, you must first clarify the design goals, functional requirements, size restrictions and market acceptance, including the practical performance and price range of the silicone product itself. This is very important to whether your future sales are sustainable.

2) Conduct preliminary design: During the preliminary design stage, you can draw sketches or use computer-aided design software to create preliminary 3D models.
Refining design details: Based on the preliminary design, further refine every detail of the design, including size, material, color, texture, etc. This stage requires attention to detail and precision to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the design.
3) Annotate and annotate drawings: Add necessary annotations and annotations on drawings, including dimension annotations, material descriptions, process requirements, etc. This helps our engineers understand and implement the design.

4) If you already have a sample, the silicone manufacturer will make 3D drawings based on the sample and then proceed to step-by-step production.

2. Selection of raw materials:

The selection of silicone raw materials is a crucial step, which is directly related to the quality, performance and cost of the final product. When choosing silicone materials, you can consider the following dimensions:

Physical properties:

Silicone material selection including hardness, tensile strength, tear strength, resilience, etc. These properties determine the scope of use and durability of silicone products. According to different application scenarios and needs, select silicone raw materials with suitable physical properties.

Chemical stability: Silicone should have good chemical stability and be able to resist erosion by acids, alkalis, organic solvents and other substances. This helps extend the service life of the product and ensures its safe use in specific environments.
Processing performance: The processing performance of silicone raw materials is also a factor that needs to be considered when selecting. Good processing performance helps reduce production costs and improve production efficiency. For example, the fluidity of raw materials, curing speed, demoulding performance, etc. will all affect the product manufacturing process.
Cost: On the premise of meeting product performance and quality requirements, cost is also an important factor to consider when selecting silicone raw materials. Reasonable cost control can help improve product competitiveness.

What is food grade silicone?

Food-grade silicone is an inorganic polymer colloid material formed by the condensation polymerization of silicic acid. Its main component is usually SiO2·nH2O, with a content of more than 98%. This material is non-toxic, tasteless, and has stable chemical properties. Therefore, except for caustic alkali and hydrofluoric acid, it does not react with any acid, alkali, or salt under normal conditions and does not contain BPA.
Characteristics of food-grade silicone: Food-grade silicone is soft, elastic, resistant to kink and deformation, does not crack, has a long service life, and is cold and high temperature resistant. These characteristics make food-grade silicone widely used in food molds, chocolate molds, candy molds, precision casting and other fields.
In terms of safety, food-grade silicone is approved by the US FDA standard or the European LFGB standard, so it is safe and can be in direct contact with food. For example, baby pacifiers, products with very high safety requirements, are often made of food-grade silicone.
At the same time, food-grade silicone usually has a wide operating temperature range. For example, some silica gel can be used for a long time at -65°C~230°C and maintain its soft and elastic properties, and some can even be used at temperatures as high as 250°C. No restore occurs.

Authoritative certification of food grade silicone:

FDA certification: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict requirements for food contact materials.
LFGB certification: This is a German food contact material certification, the full name is "Lebensmittel- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch".
EU CE certification: Although CE certification mainly focuses on product safety and environmental protection requirements, food-grade silicone materials may also require CE certification if they are also used in other EU market products (such as medical devices or baby products).
SGS certification: SGS is the world's leading inspection, identification, testing and certification organization, and also provides testing and certification services for food contact materials. SGS's certification can help prove that food-grade silicone materials meet relevant safety and quality requirements.

What is medical grade silicone?

Medical grade silicone material is a silicone material with special properties and certifications specifically used in the medical field.
Medical grade silicone materials are widely used in various medical devices and medical supplies, such as medical catheters, artificial organs, medical implants, medical device shells, etc. Because medical-grade silicone comes into contact with human tissue, it must have good biocompatibility and not cause allergic reactions or toxic reactions in the human body.
In order to ensure the quality and safety of medical-grade silicone materials, it usually needs to go through a series of certifications and tests, including FDA certification, ISO 13485 certification, CE certification, etc.

Growsilicone a certified silicone manufacturer and supplier. Our raw materials all have FDA, LFGB and other certificates. If you need more special certificates, we can also satisfy you. Welcome to contact me.

Choose solid silicone or liquid silicone?

Solid silicone is a soft and elastic material that is often used to make products that need to be bent or folded, such as watches, glasses, and mobile phone cases. It has higher heat and cold resistance, can withstand more extreme temperature environments, and also has excellent chemical inertness and electrical insulation properties. In addition, solid silicone is also a transparent and environmentally friendly material. There is no need for a glue injection port after molding, making the product more beautiful in appearance.

Liquid silicone is a material with good fluidity and is usually used to make products that require filling or injection, such as electronic components, auto parts, and medical devices. It has excellent softness and elasticity, remains stable over a wide temperature range, and does not become hard or brittle. In addition, liquid silicone also has excellent sealing and waterproof properties, and can maintain stability under high pressure and high temperature.

How to choose silicone hardness?

The choice of silicone hardness mainly depends on the specific needs of the product and application scenarios. Generally speaking, the hardness of silicone can be selected from 0 degrees to 90 degrees, and different hardness levels are suitable for different application fields.

1. When the hardness of silicone is lower than 10 degrees, the tear strength of silicone is low and the elongation is large, so silicone products are easily deformed. This kind of soft silicone is usually suitable for crafts with delicate patterns and softness, such as soap molds. It can ensure that the surface of the mold is smooth and bright and does not deform.

2. Silicone with a hardness between 10 degrees and 30 degrees is more suitable for small or fine product model reproduction, such as products with a size of 10 to 50 centimeters. Silicone with this hardness has good operability and mold release properties, ensuring the fineness and integrity of the product.

3. When the hardness of silicone is higher than 50 degrees, its tear strength will become worse, and silicone products will easily become brittle or even break. Therefore, high-hardness silicone is generally not commonly used unless required by specific application scenarios.
At Growsilicone, Our engineers will help you choose the most suitable hardness based on experience.

What is the stability of silicone products?

The resilience of silicone products determines the ability of silicone to return to its original state after being subjected to external forces. The resilience of silicone products directly affects its service life and user experience.
The resilience of silicone can also be quantified by a specific numerical indicator, namely the rebound rate. Rebound rate refers to the ratio of the original height to which the silicone can return after being stressed, usually expressed as a percentage. The higher the rebound rate, the better the resilience of the silicone.
We usually use platinum vulcanizing agent to change the resilience of silicone products: platinum vulcanizing agent is a two-component addition type silicone vulcanizing agent, and A/B can be used together to achieve the purpose of silicone molding. It is mainly composed of platinum-containing catalysts and has a transparent colloid appearance, similar to transparent glue. Platinum vulcanizing agent has the characteristics of low vulcanization temperature and fast vulcanization speed. After vulcanization, the physical properties of the product are stable, the shrinkage rate is small, and the tensile strength, tear resistance and resilience of the product are greatly improved.
In the application of food-grade silicone, platinum vulcanizing agent is widely used in various food-grade production, such as extruded transparent silicon tubes, molded nipples, cake plate molds, etc., due to its non-toxic, odorless and anti-yellowing properties.

At the same time, platinum vulcanizing agent also complies with the US FDA standard or the European LFGB standard, and can easily pass various strict tests such as EU ROHS, US FDA, and German LMBG food grade certification, proving the safety and reliability of its food-grade applications.

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Color choice:silicone coloring

The process of silicone coloring is very interesting. There are a lot of video lessons on YouTube and Tik Tok, which are very relaxing and interesting.Silicone materials can come in a variety of colors, depending on the pigments or masterbatch used in their manufacture. Common silicone colors include translucent, milky white, light yellow, gray, etc., but other colors can also be customized as needed.

During the silicone manufacturing process, color masterbatches or pigments are evenly mixed into the silicone raw materials to ensure the uniformity and durability of the color of the silicone product. This flexibility makes silicone materials widely used in various fields, including but not limited to kitchenware, medical equipment, baby products, electronic products, etc.

Silicone product surface treatment requirements:

According to the characteristics of your product, determine whether the surface treatment is frosted, matte, glossy, etc., depending on the product's use environment and user needs.

How to customize silicone product logo? Which customization method is the most reasonable?

Mold engraving: This is currently the most common way to customize a LOGO. The main process is to wash out the vacancies of the LOGO in the upper and lower molds. The bulges are dug out in the upper mold, and the concave shapes are dug out in the lower mold. Silicone products can complete LOGO production in the high-temperature molding stage without subsequent processing. They are concave and convex, adding visual beauty.
Silk screen printing: Many silicone products will be screen printed after molding, so that the desired patterns and text can be left on the surface. Although silk screen printing cannot achieve a three-dimensional effect, this process is very mature, has fine patterns, is of high quality and low price, and is widely used. Silk screen printing can prevent the pattern from fading for a long time and more effectively retain the pattern on the silicone product.
Pad printing: Suitable for irregular-shaped silicone products or multi-color LOGO production. Pad printing is to brush out patterns or characters through a silk screen, and then apply ink through a dot printing head to print on silicone products. Although the printing speed is slower, it is suitable for printing in specific methods and locations.
Other printing processes: There are other LOGO methods such as glue dispensing, coating, and sewing. For example, the glue used in drip glue is liquid silicone, which can be dropped in multiple colors at one time to increase the gloss, wear resistance and corrosion resistance of silicone products. In addition, there are processes such as thermal transfer printing and water transfer printing, which are suitable for printing complex patterns, but the cost is relatively high.

Silicone mold manufacturing:

Select mold type: Determine which type of mold to use based on the complexity of the product and production volume. Common mold types include integrated molds and segmented molds. Integrated molds are suitable for products with simple structures and large production volumes, while segmented molds are suitable for products with complex structures that require multiple moldings.

Mold design: Based on the product design, start the design of the mold. This includes determining the structure, parting surface, ejection method, etc. of the mold to ensure that the silicone product can be formed and demoulded smoothly in the mold.
Mold making: According to the mold design, start making the mold. This usually includes steps such as preparing mold materials (such as aluminum, steel, etc.), processing mold parts, and assembling the mold. During the mold making process, the accuracy and durability of the mold need to be ensured to ensure the quality of the silicone product.
Mold trial and adjustment: After the mold is made, it needs to be trialled. During the mold trial process, observe the molding of the silicone product in the mold and check for defects or problems. Based on the mold trial results, the mold will be adjusted and optimized until the silicone product can fully meet the design requirements.
Mold acceptance and delivery: After many mold trials and adjustments, after confirming that there are no problems with the mold, acceptance will be carried out.
Conventional  silicone manufacturing all use steel molds.

After the sample is confirmed, we will start mass production of your silicone!

Silicone molding:start mass production

Now that we have begun mass production of customized silicone products, it is also very important to choose the molding process. Factors such as the shape, size, performance requirements, production batch size, and cost of the product need to be comprehensively considered. Different molding processes have their own advantages and scope of application.

Compression molding:

Principle: Using high-temperature molds and vulcanization machines, the silicone raw materials added with vulcanizing agents are vulcanized into a solid form through pressure and high temperature.
Application: Widely used in the manufacture of silicone industrial accessories, buttons, bracelets, watches, kitchenware, gaskets and other products.
Features: Simple operation, low cost, suitable for various silicone products.

Liquid injection molding:

Principle: Use a press to mix the liquid silicone raw materials of components A and B in a ratio of 1:1, and press them into the hot mold cavity through the injection machine for molding.
Application: Suitable for single-color silicone products, especially those plastic encapsulation moldings that are not very resistant to high temperatures.
Features: The molding temperature is relatively low, the output value is high, and it is easy to automate production, but the cost of raw materials and molds is high.

Extrusion molding:

Principle: The silicone raw material is extruded into the desired shape through an extruder, such as strips, tubes, etc.
Application: Mainly used for manufacturing strip or tubular silicone products, such as silicone tubes, sealing strips, etc.
Features: Product cross-section shapes are diverse and production efficiency is high.

Glue dispensing process:

Principle: Put the liquid silicone raw material into the syringe, drop the silicone onto the mold through pneumatic and manual operations, and then heat and vulcanize it to form.
Application: Mostly used in the manufacture of handicrafts or silicone products that require fine operations.
Features: The operation is relatively precise and suitable for small batch or customized production.

Infusion process:

Principle: Inject the liquid silicone raw material into the mold through the pouring port of the mold, and then heat and vulcanize it to form.
Application: Suitable for manufacturing silicone products with complex shapes or requiring smooth surfaces.
Features: Able to produce smoother and more complex products, but the mold production cost is higher.

Baking process:

In order to ensure the quality and user experience of custom silicone products, it is recommended that silicone manufacturers perform appropriate baking processes during the production process and use high-quality raw materials and vulcanizing agents to reduce or avoid product odor.
The baking time is usually 2-4 hours, which is determined according to the characteristics and attributes of the product.
Baking temperature range: Generally speaking, the baking temperature range of silicone products is roughly between 70°C and 250°C.
For food-grade silica gel, since it needs to meet higher hygiene and safety standards, the baking temperature is generally controlled in a lower range, usually between 70°C and 100°C, to avoid the release of harmful substances that may be caused by high temperatures.
For some special high-temperature-resistant silicone, due to its high high-temperature resistance, the baking temperature may reach 200°C or even higher. However, it should be noted that even for high-temperature resistant silicone, the baking temperature should not be too high to avoid damage to the silica gel product or affecting its performance.

Product quality testing:

This is also an important part of the silicone manufacturing process
external assessment:
Carefully observe the surface of the silicone product to check for bubbles, scratches, impurities or other defects.
Evaluate whether the color, transparency, etc. of the product meets standards or design requirements.
Pay attention to whether the product has a smooth surface and no burrs or burrs.
Odor and taste detection:
Smell the silicone product to check for any pungent smell or odor. High-quality silicone is usually odorless or has only a slight odor.
For food-grade silicone, special attention should be paid to whether it meets food safety standards to ensure that no harmful substances are released during use.
Physical performance test:
Use hardness testers, tensile testing machines and other equipment to measure the physical properties such as hardness and tensile strength of silicone products.
Evaluate a product's elasticity and resilience to ensure it maintains good form and function during use.
Chemical composition analysis:
Use X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and other equipment to detect the content of heavy metals, organic matter and other harmful substances in silicone products.
Ensure that the content of soluble substances in the product meets national standards and does not cause potential harm to human health.
Temperature resistance test:
Place silicone products in high and low temperature environments to observe whether they deform, crack, etc.
For food-grade silicone, special attention should be paid to whether it can maintain stability at high temperatures and not release harmful substances.
Environmental protection indicator detection:
Ensure that the content of harmful substances in silicone products meets national environmental protection requirements and protect the environment and human health.
In addition, depending on the specific use of silicone products and industry standards, other specific tests may be required, such as flammability testing, UV aging testing, etc.

How to choose best silicone manufacturer?

Choosing a silicone manufacturer is an important decision-making process. The professionalism, service capabilities and professionalism of the silicone manufacturer are all within the scope of your consideration.
Market research:
Through Internet searches, industry exhibitions, professional magazines, etc., understand the market situation of the silicone industry, including major silicone manufacturers, product types, technical levels, etc.
Collect information about potential manufacturers, including company name, address, contact information, product range, etc.
Assess the manufacturer's capabilities and credibility:
Examine the manufacturer's production capabilities, including production equipment, process level, production capacity scale, etc.
Understand the manufacturer's quality management system, such as whether it has passed ISO 9001, BSCI and other quality certifications.
A third-party testing agency can be entrusted to conduct more comprehensive testing and evaluation of the samples.
Price and delivery time:
Inquire for prices from multiple manufacturers and compare price levels and quotation details from different manufacturers.
Understand the manufacturer's delivery and service commitments to ensure your timelines are met.
Willingness to communicate and cooperate:
Communicate in depth with the manufacturer to understand their understanding and suggestions for the project.
Assess the manufacturer's willingness and attitude to cooperate, and choose a manufacturer that is willing to work with you to solve problems and provide technical support.
Field trips:
If conditions permit, conduct an on-site inspection of the manufacturer to understand its actual production environment, equipment status, employee quality and other actual conditions.

Growjaa: top silicone manufacturer from China

Established in 2016, full of love for the silicone industry, we have served more than 320 silicone professional companies around the world, we have more than 270 sets of custom silicone molds, we can restore you within 1 hour professional issues.
We can custom silicone products for you including customized raw materials, appearance, logo, etc., one-stop customized silicone product service experience
We provide services to all customers, whether you are a seller on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon or a brand owner, we have strong service experience

We are ready for any size of business, inquiry now!

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