More than just implants

Breasts, cake molds, joint seals - there’s no other material that is as versatile as silicone. starlim//sterner can demonstrate that silicone can be employed in an endless variety of ways. They use silicone to manufacture technical molded parts and they are the world’s biggest liquid silicone processor.

Both hard and soft at the same time

Highly transparent or in the color of your choice, shore A hardness 5 to 85 - over 200 injection molding machines located in Marchtrenk, Austria and London in Ontario, Canada, produce 14 billion such components per year. They all have one thing in common: They contain silicone. Around 90% of the components they manufacture are made from silicone, yet it’s happening more and more often that composite parts are being produced from several types of silicone, or a combination of silicone with thermoplastic and metal. We’re dealing with multi component injection molding. This is a technology which makes hard-soft compounds, two-color combinations and positive-locking connections between two non-adhesive materials possible. The applications are often used in the automotive, sanitary or electrics industry, as connectors, jets or switches on steering wheels, for example.

From Mexico to Russia

A seal in a car has to be able to withstand both the high temperatures of Puebla in Mexico and the biting frost of Novosibirsk in Siberia. And that’s what silicone is made for. One of its extraordinary features is being able to remain stable under extreme changes in temperature, from minus 50° to 180° Celsius on a long-term basis (over the entire product lifecycle), and up to 300° Celsius in the short-term (several hours depending on material composition). Another feature is its low temperature flexibility, in other words, liquid silicone retains its elastic properties and remains unperturbed when there are extreme differences in temperature. “You can also guarantee that the silicone seal in a plug won’t become brittle or lose its form when temperatures are high,” reiterates Leopold Pühringer, head of the starlim//sterner product development team, about the popular use in the automotive industry. Almost 50% of the silicone components manufactured by starlim//sterner are installed in vehicles for this reason, among others.

Medicine: It’s not always about implants

Whoever hears the words silicone and medical technology in the same sentence will inevitably think of implants. However, silicone has actually become an essential component in medical appliances. starlim//sterner manufacture vital o-rings for dialysis filters, valves for inhalation devices and seals for infusion systems. The silicone used in these devices can be sterilized with ethylene oxide and steam, as well as gamma and E rays. It’s also examined by FDA in terms of biocompatibility for use in the medical and food industry in accordance with USP category VI/ISO 10993 and is completely odorless and tasteless. It’s completely harmless to your body and has no negative effects whatsoever on organisms or ecosystems.

Whether it be components used in medical technology, silencers for kitchen drawers, dummies for babies, protective covers for mobile and PC keyboards, or microscopic components used in hearing aids - silicone performs important functions everywhere - and most of it is produced by starlim//sterner.