In architectural molding, materials like concrete or gypsum are cast into molds, made from silicone or polyurethane, that allow for quality detailed reproduced designs that appear as though they were marble or stone. A faux stone fabricator specializing in quality and innovative architectural products was looking for a new material that could increase the life cycle of the molds they use in their manufacturing process. The customer required the new material to achieve a certain hardness and increase the amount of reproductions per mold.
To increase the mold life of their molds and obtain more pulls per mold, the customer was open to testing new silicone materials from our Elkem Silicones product range. The customer was facing supply issues from the two other suppliers they bought material from. Not only was the supply not reliable, but they had to mix the materials from the different suppliers together to obtain the right properties and proper mold. The customer needed to make their process easier by eliminating extra mixing and have a material that had low shrinkage, good dimensional stability, better pot life, and longer mold life.
To best meet this customer's request, our Elkem Silicones team developed the Bluesil™ V-2033 in combination with Hi Pro Red 33 catalyst. This new polycondensation silicone material has excellent properties with the right hardness and tear strength. The Bluesil™ V-2033 material increased the life of the customer's molds by 20% to 40% depending on the mold type, resulting in more reproductions being pulled from the mold than the incumbent material. The increase of mold life and improved physical properties of the material allows for ease of use and less material consumption resulting in both time and cost savings for the customer.