The softer side of Bluestar Silicones (Lyon, France) was on display at the MD&M West show in Anaheim, CA, USA, this week. The medical materials supplier presented the latest addition to its Silbione brand of soft silicone technology at the massive event: a 1 Shore A hardness liquid silicone rubber. The performance attributes of Silbione LSR 4301, notably its high tear strength and elongation, open up a number of healthcare applications, says Karen O’Keefe, Healthcare Market Manager.
“With a low-durometer material, you typically run into problems related to tear at elongation and tackiness,” says O’Keefe. “This product delivers high tear strength and elongation, and we have developed an additive that provides a silky feel.” The additive eliminates a step for customers, she adds, who typically would have to process the material to achieve smoothness. Medical applications for the liquid silicone rubber include prosthetic liners and face masks, “any time that you need comfort and durability, really,” says O’Keefe.
The company also showcased a patent-pending foam silicone technology at its stand. The low-density, open-cell silicone foam benefits applications that require flexibility and breathability but also must be durable. “External breast prostheses are one example,” says O’Keefe, who adds that customers have been coming up with “all sorts of possible uses” that, of course, she can’t talk about.
These two products, like most of the company’s medical-grade materials, are manufactured at the new facility in York, SC, USA, which opened in June 2012.