Extruded Silicone

Extruded silicone products are manufactured by the process of silicone extrusion. In silicone extrusion, raw silicone materials are fed through an extrusion machine, heated to their melting point, and formed into a continuous profile. This manufacturing technique can produce products in nearly any shape or size, and is extremely effective and efficient for high-volume manufacturing.

Silicone Extrusion Process

In silicone extrusion, silicone materials in their raw form (generally small bead-like pieces called “resin”) are gravity fed from a top mounted hopper into the first chamber of an extrusion machine. This chamber, called the barrel, includes a rotating screw that conveys the silicone resin from one end of the barrel to the other. The barrel is heated to temperatures beyond the material’s melting point, and the silicone reaches a molten state as it travels along the barrel.

At the end of the barrel, the melted silicone is forced through a screen at high pressure, often in excess of 5000 psi. This screen filters out contaminants, unwanted materials, and any bits of resin that have not fully melted.

Passing through the screen, the melted silicone is then fed into a die. This die is constructed in the desired shape of the finished product. The die must be manufactured so that the molten silicone will flow evenly into the die chamber—an uneven flow of material can put mechanical stress on the extrusion equipment, potentially causing damage. Uneven flow can also cause the silicone material to warp as it cools, resulting in an unusable product. With the right die, extruded silicone products of nearly any shape or size can be created.

After the silicone material is ejected from the die, it is cooled in a vacuum sealed water bath, which helps speed up the cooling process. Vacuum pressure is necessary to help the extruded silicone maintain the desired shape as it cools.

Extruded Silicone Manufacturers

  • Northwest Rubber Extruders is an industry leader in silicone extrusion. Since 1978, Northwest Rubber Extruders has provided customers in a wide range of industries with superior quality extruded silicone, plastic, and rubber products.
Linkedin Facebook Twitter Email