Made In Massachusetts: Creating Jobs In The Bay State

Last month Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President and CEO of Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, participated In the latest installment of the WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Business Breakfast series. The panelists of business leaders & experts discussed the importance of making products and profits in Massachusetts. The group also discussed how the state’s manufacturing sector is staging an epic turnaround. The event examined and discussed the stories behind manufacturing success and how the state is helping to foster this growth and the beneficial ripple effect it is creating for the Commonwealth and beyond.

Click here to watch the video of the Business Breakfast.

Click here to learn more about Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

3 Benefits to Using a Cold Deck System for Silicone Molding

A cold deck (cold runner) system is an assembly of insulated feeding units that prevents liquid silicone from curing while conveying silicone into the cavities of the mold. The following are a few reasons that using a cold deck system can be very cost effective in high volume molding applications.

1. The cold deck eliminates waste (sprue and runners) that is generated in a conventional silicone injection molding.

2. The cold deck also reduces cycle time because it eliminates the need for a secondary process to remove the sprue and runner from the molded part.

3. A cold deck can also provide you with greater flexibility with both gate style (open vs. valve gated) and location.

Read the rest of Albright’s November newsletter.

What is the best test to determine the sealing capability of a silicone compound or design?

Two common tests are (1) to put the device or component under pressure using regulated compressed air and then submerging in water or other fluid. The leaks will show as bubbles or (2) use a colored die solution that contrasts with your part colors under pressure and the die will highlight leaks.

Ultimately whenever possible pressure testing of the final assembly under the working load or more, in as close to the final environment as possible can help identify failures caused by condition stack up.

Alternatively for many applications there may be published standard test methods that have been shown to be effective. Medical devices and aerospace both have test standards and you may find some relevant test standards under ASTM.

Click here to learn more.

Life Expectancy of a Silicone Part

While it depends on the specific application, generally molded silicone parts will have a considerable life expectancy. Once fully cross-linked a silicone rubber part will be virtually inert, meaning it won’t degrade or react chemically with most anything in the environment, aggressive solvents can break silicone down. Compared to thermoplastic elastomers and other rubbers silicone tends to retain its physical properties for much longer periods of time, and over numerous cycles of use, hundreds, thousands, millions (again this is somewhat dependent upon the application).

Click here to read the full article.

Albright Technologies President to Receive EMERGE Award

After recently being named President of Albright Technologies, Bob

BobWaitt will be receiving an EMERGE Award this week. This award is given to 10 young professionals who work in North Central Massachusetts for their outstanding work professionally and in the community. Each nominee was scored by a small selection committee on his or her career history and trajectory, community involvement, community dedication and recognition by others.

Read the rest here.

What criteria should people consider in selecting the hardness of a silicone compound?

Question: What criteria should people consider in selecting the hardness of a silicone compound?

Answer: Criteria for hardness may be best answered by considering what it means. Durometer is a measure of the resistance to indentation by a probe tip. Most silicones fall into shore A range although there are exceptions. Lower durometers feel softer like pressing a rubber band versus harder like an eraser. Neither of which are silicone but make the point.

The durometer does not necessarily indicate a materials elongation, modulus, tear strength, chemical resistance, or opacity but in the same product lines higher durometer does often but not always come with greater strength and modulus but lower elongation and viscosity. From one supplier to another and from one product line to another doesn’t always apply.

The criteria to use depends on your need, you may need to look at other properties for highly engineered products with strict performance requirements such as diaphragms, valves, gaskets, etc. On the other hand, products such as handles, covers, and skin contact components may lend themselves to the feel by durometer. Samples of different durometers can be helpful for both types of products to give you a sense of the differences between materials