Shin-Etsu Silicones Partners for Demonstration Of New Optically Clear KE-2062 LIMS SERIES 70-Shore A

July 14, 2016
Shin-Etsu Silicones of America (SESA: A U.S. subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., Japan) recently premiered its new KE-2062 Series, 70-Shore A optically clear silicone LIMS material at LIGHTFAIR International 2016 (San Diego, CA), in conjunction with manufacturing equipment partners M.R. Mold & Engineering (Brea, CA), Arburg, Inc. (Rocky Hill, CT), and Graco, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN). The prime focus of the demonstration was SESA’s new optically clear product in the production of a magnifying glass.

New and exciting, the optically clear KE-2062-70 LIMS material was utilized to mold the entire magnifying glass including two key surfaces: the textured, embossed handle and bezel, and the diamond polished lens. The differing surface textures gave the appearance of a 2-component part with the simplicity of a single material.

The new material was designed as an innovative response to meet the increasing thermal requirements for High-Brightness LED optical lenses. As LEDs become brighter, their operating temperatures are rising beyond the capability of typical thermoplastics like acrylic and polycarbonate for automotive, architectural, and display lighting applications. Additionally, the inherent elasticity of silicone allows for geometries with undercuts to be successfully molded that would be impossible with a rigid thermoplastic, and its lower viscosity enables silicone to precisely fill and replicate intricate mold surfaces to improve optical efficiency. Collectively, these features provide optical engineers with superior design freedom.

The following SESA machinery and equipment partners collaborated on the optical lens molding demonstration:

ARBURG: The entire process ran fully automatic on their 110 ton, all-electric ALLROUNDER horizontal liquid injection molding press.
Featuring an integrated ARBURG MULTILIFT robot which peeled the parts out of the cavity, the fully automated mold and robot minimized the ejector pins required in the handle area. The ALLROUNDER provided gentle material recovery and controlled injection speeds to ensure the parts were 100% transparent and not milky or cloudy.

M.R. MOLD: Provided their four (4) cavity optical lens mold, mounted onto a Royalloy stainless steel universal base that featured a 1 drop cold runner system. The lens cavity was polished to a SPI A1 standard. Ejector pins presented the parts to Arburg’s EOAT (End of Arm Tooling), which then separated the runner from the parts.

GRACO: Provided their new Fluid Automation F4-5 silicone pumping system, which delivered increased precision and better ratio color control for mixing two-component silicone and two additive color streams at .5 to 5% ratios. This high-precision dosing system provides seven times the measurement resolution of the previous models, resulting in material savings for the end-user.

Arburg’s Director of Technology and Engineering Juergen Giesow Ph.D. noted, “The demonstration proved that when the right partners get together for the right challenge, good things can happen?as in the case with the optically clear silicone.”

M.R. Mold & Engineering’s Marketing Director Geri Anderson noted, “This was a great partnership as everyone was on board for the demonstration. The magnifying glass really works and the interest in optically clear silicone was evident at this event!”

Graco’s Business Development Manager, LSR & Medical Systems Mike Pelletier stated, “It was a pleasure and an honor to participate with our World Class partners on this project. It was the perfect example of the four major puzzle pieces that are required to meld and come together to form a First Class LSR Injection Molding Cell. The Optically Clear KE-2062 Silicone was definitely the Star of the Show and our finished product garnered much attention and excitement.”

According to SESA’s North America Marketing Manager Eric Bishop, “The KE-2062 Series offers a wide operating temperature range, high transparency, and flexibility. These performance-enhancing characteristics can meet the increasing demands of cutting-edge LED technology, and can be an innovative solution for high performance optical applications.”

Bishop also noted that a next-generation KE-2062 Series, 80-Shore A demonstration will be conducted at the MD&M Minneapolis Show (September 21-22: Minneapolis Convention Center) with the same collaborative partners on hand.


Author: Eric Bishop / Shin-Etsu Silicones of America, Inc.

Editorial & Photo Contact: Ray Farrar / Method Media LLC