Why Is LSR So Popular?

Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) is a very pure, platinum-cured elastomer. LSR starts out as a 2-part liquid that is heated in order to accelerate the reaction of the two parts to form solid rubber. LSR has excellent properties, such as a low viscosity and low shrink rate, that make it a great choice for injection molding and the manufacturing of complex products and intricate parts. One of the benefits of LSR is that it cures faster than most other rubber materials; additionally, due to the highly automated nature of injection molding and the potential for 24/7 manufacturing, high volumes of LSR products can be produced in a short period of time – adding to its popularity!

There are several types of LSR that can be manufactured such as medical, self-lubricating, conductive, flame-retardant, and radio opaque. The type of LSR produced is determined by the additives incorporated during the manufacturing process. Additionally, LSR is available in different grades, namely medical, food, and industrial. As you can see, LSR is a very versatile material that is well suited for a wide range of industries – so it is not surprising that the worldwide demand for LSR continues to grow!

Growing Demand for Liquid Silicone Rubber

The LSR market has continued to steadily grow in recent years and some sources estimate the global market for LSR will reach a valuation of US$ 7.9 billion by 2026. Additionally, the global LSR market is forecasted to have a Compound Annual Growth Rate, or CAGR, of 4.5% through 2026 which is considered moderate growth.

This growth is attributed to several factors. First, enhancements to the physical properties of LSR are expected to allow LSR to continue to replace traditional rubber materials in various applications. Additionally, injection molding of LSR produces consistent parts, cycle to cycle, and is a low-cost option for part manufacturing. For these reasons, LSR injection molding continues to expand into new markets, driving the continued demand for LSR.

Demand for LSR is increasing in traditional rubber applications as well as applications where rubber materials have not historically been utilized. LSR has a broad range of applications from medical devices to consumer goods to electronics to automotive. For example, LSR can be found in catheters, stents, windshield wiper blades, LED headlights, adhesives, wearables, bakeware, microwaves, seals, and grommets. Below are some key sectors that are experiencing growth in the use of liquid silicone rubber.

  • Medical Devices: LSR has many attractive properties such as durability, low viscosity, chemical and temperature resistance, and flexibility, but its biocompatibility is outstanding. LSR has demonstrated superb compatibility with human tissue and body fluids, and is resistant to bacteria growth. Medical grades of LSR are temperature resistance and can easily sterilize, which makes them compatible with various medical devices and accessories such as implantable devices, liquid feeding bottles, dialysis filters, and oxygen mask instruments. Additionally, wearable medical devices are also gaining traction, leading to higher LSR demand.
  • Automotive Parts: Historically, automotive parts were made of metal or other materials. Due to their lighter weight, flexibility, longevity, and ease of manufacturers, elastomers such as LSR are increasingly being used by the automotive industry. For example, LSR is found in windshield wiper blades and LED headlights.
  • Wearables & Consumer Goods: Demand for wearable devices outside the medical sector also continues to grow, specifically products used to track fitness and health. LSR is ideal for wearables due to its resistance to moisture, ozone, and UV – resulting in a long product life! In addition to wearables, companies continue to seek LSR for other consumer goods applications. For example, many kitchen products such as bakeware and spatulas are made from LSR due to its ability to tolerate high temperatures and its excellent food safety ratings.

LSR’s growth in demand is also attributed to several societal factors such as growing demand for LSR in equipment and surgical tools necessary to treat the rising geriatric population and the growing awareness about health concerns, accelerated demand within the electronics industry due to continued innovation and technology advancements, as well as global urbanization and standard of living increases. Among the various grades of LSR, medical grade is expected to continue to hold the largest global market share. Moreover, stricter regulations and compliances of many specifications for use in medical products are further projected to drive the overall market growth.

The LSR market faces a couple key challenges including minimization of the carbon footprint associated with LSR production, and improvement of LSR’s reusability and disposability. But even with these challenges, the LSR market is forecasted to have continued growth globally as usage expands to even more markets.

ProMed’s LSR Molding Expertise

At ProMed, we combine industry-leading medical-grade LSR expertise with the latest developments in silicone materials and technology. We have garnered a reputation as the world benchmark of implantable silicone components and assemblies. From helping OEMs incorporate the latest medical-grade silicone formulations into their designs to delivering rapid silicone prototypes, we serve as a premier silicone molding contract manufacturer for medical device OEMs.

ProMed has expertise in working with the full spectrum of silicones covering a wide range of properties and characteristics. Our liquid silicone rubber offerings range from 5 to 80 durometer. We will assist in your material selection to help ensure all design requirements are met.

Our manufacturing facilities and equipment are designed for a single purpose—to mold medical and implantable silicone, combination components, and bio-material grade plastics with uncompromising quality and service. We currently have four divisions that are located within two manufacturing sites. All are certified class 10,000 / ISO Class 7 cleanrooms.

Contact ProMed today at 763-331-3800 to discuss your next medical device project.

Summary
Growth in Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)
Article Name
Growth in Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)
Description
Benefits of and applications for Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) as well as the projected growth for LSR demand in the future.
Author
Publisher Name
ProMed Molding
Publisher Logo