RDAbbott’s Laboratory Expertise Shapes LSR Virtual Molding Simulation

RDAbbott demonstrated its material characterization and data mapping expertise at NPE 2024 and is offering these same capabilities to customers. RDAbbott’s research team characterized liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and provided multi-point data to Moldex3D, which then used its computer-aided engineering (CAE) software to produce flow predictions and cavity fill simulations. Virtual molding simulations can save companies considerable time and money but require robust and reliable data sets, which can be challenging with LSRs.

Material Characterization and Industry Collaboration

Rick Ziebell, Technical Fellow and Vice President of Technology, led the efforts of RDAbbott’s central research team and used its inhouse laboratory capabilities, to define the viscoelastic and chemorheological behaviors of Dow SILASTIC™ RBL-9200-50 LSR using 2% NovaSperse® red pigment from NovationSi, RDAbbott’s manufacturing subsidiary. The Moldex3D technical team, led by Applications Engineer April Brown, then uploaded RDAbbott’s material characterization data to its comprehensive CAE software.

Together, RDAbbott’s data and Moldex3D’s software produced detailed flow predictions and cavity fill simulations for an injection molded umbrella valve. The goal was to evaluate the LSR’s filling and curing behavior while using an entire mold, including the cold deck. M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp. used data from the simulation to design and manufacture a complex four-cavity tool. An all-electric Milacron® Roboshot injection molding machine produced the LSR parts.

This YouTube video describes the collaboration between RDAbbott, Moldex3D, M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp., and Milacron at NPE 2024.

CAE Simulation for LSR Injection Molding

CAE simulation is commonly used with plastic injection molding, but the behavior of thermoplastics is very predictable. Not to mention, plastics can be melted and reprocessed. Silicones are more complex, in part because curing is permanent. Other variables, such as part design parameters, heat, and the use of additives or pigments, also require an in-depth understanding of the rheological and viscoelastic behaviors of LSRs.

Most CAE software supports virtual molding simulations with silicones, but the data sets tend to be limited and unreliable. RDAbbott’s multi-point testing exponentially improves the scope and reliability of the silicone data sets, and the demonstration at NPE 2024 highlights laboratory capabilities that are available to current and future customers. RDAbbott can also map the data for specific Dow silicone grades so it’s ready for import into various CAE software.

To learn more about RDAbbott’s material characterization and data mapping capabilities, contact us.