Leave a commentLeave a comment

Gentle may be outlined as electromagnetic radiation which has totally different frequencies and wavelength. The spectrum that may be picked up by the retina of a human eye is called seen light [1]. Materials by means of which light can refracted, mirrored, transmitted, dispersed, polarized, detected and reworked are called optical supplies [2].

Optical Supplies

The variety of optical supplies has expanded just lately. Up to now, glass and different ceramic supplies had been the few supplies obtainable that supplied the best refractive index values. If we look at glass specifically, the chemical structure of glass is formed by Silicon (Si) and Oxygen (O) with low-vary arrangement [3]. The atoms in glass are organized randomly, and because of this construction, glass is transparent (Fig.1) [2]. Conversely, metals have an organized structure and due to this fact are not transparent. In glass, photons (the elementary particles that kind the light) are able to cross by way of glass without interacting with any atom [2]. Due to this construction, it has low mechanical properties and high density (between 2.Three and 6.Three g/cm3) [1], which might be considered a drawback.

Fig. 1 Chemical structure of glass

Optically Transparent Polymers

Some polymers have innate properties much like glass, but they have low bodily properties. Examples of some of these polymers embody the thermoplastic supplies Polycarbonate (Computer), and Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) that are processed utilizing injection molding; and Epoxy resins (EPI), thermoset materials that are compression molded [4]. These thermoplastic and thermoset materials have advantages, including top quality surfaces reflecting the mold floor, they are easily processed, and so they are available in a variety of grades with a variety of properties. There are disadvantages as nicely, including thermal stability − their thermal properties are low in comparison with glass [3].

Optical Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)

Optically clear grades of LSR polymers supply benefits over both glass and thermoplastic and thermoset optical polymers. Optical silicone rubber has been round awhile, with the primary optically clear silicone rubber developed within the 1950s [5]. The chemical structures of liquid silicone rubber and glass have parts in frequent. Like glass, LSR can also be formed by Si and O (Fig. 2), nevertheless the additional radicals in its structure is what makes silicone rubbers opaque or translucent by nature. Though widespread in some regards, the mechanical and bodily properties of Liquid Silicone Rubber are superior to glass and carbon-primarily based polymers [6]. In relation to hardness, LSRs will be as flexible as 5 Shore A, or as arduous as glass (approximately 90 Shore A). Its density is also a plus, it ranges between 1.1 and silicone mold wholesale 2. In case you adored this article and also you want to receive more details about silicone mold wholesale generously check out our website. 3 g/cm3, significantly lower than glass [7].

Thermal Efficiency

Most applications specifying optical materials will probably be in excessive temperature environments. Because of LSR’s good thermal stability, optically clear Liquid silicone products Rubber performs well and maintains its transparency with out decreasing over time [7]. Thermoset epoxy resins for example do not perform effectively, their readability decreases and can flip black when subjected to 200°C for 200 hours. LSRs provide benefits over polycarbonates as effectively, the optical LSR materials will maintain homogeneous mild distribution over a spread of wavelengths, whereas when polycarbonate is used at particular wavelengths, it is going to turn yellow [3].

Fig. 2 Chemical construction of silicone rubber [3]

Chemical Structure and Additives

Optical Liquid Silicone Rubber, with none additives and with different molecular weights, have been proven in material literature to contain Phenyl, Methyl and Trifluoropropyl groups in its chemical construction [8]. So how does one-part optical silicone rubber differ from different liquid silicone rubbers? Throughout the synthesis, the polymer repeat unit is modified and creates a brief-vary construction just like glass. The disadvantage of this modification is its clarity will lower due to thermal aging, just like the carbon-primarily based polymers. Table 1 presents the refractive index of these optical silicone rubbers as compared with glass [3].

Table 1. Refractive indexes of various silicone rubbers compared with glass [3]

Although one-part optical silicone rubber can be used, optical silicones with two-part addition curing are extra commonly used and most popular. In two-half LSRs, the vulcanization is activated using a platinum catalyst [9]. Also, particular silicone rubbers catalyzed utilizing 2,5-dimethyl-2, 5-di(t-butylperoxy) hexane is considered optimum due its absence of by-merchandise [4]. To improve the readability of silicone rubber, it is necessary to change its chemical structure, sometimes using additives. The main objective of the additives is to alter the refractive index till it is the same or very similar to glass’s refractive index. The most commonly used additive is the silicon dioxide (silica) which has a rod-form morphology and an average particle measurement of roughly 15 nm. Aside from the primary objective being to improve the mechanical properties, this additive may enhance the optical properties as well [10]. The addition of further-superb silica or wet-course of hydrophobic silica affects the morphology so it retains its readability even at high temperatures, and likewise improves processing.

Optical Clarity Measurement

The readability of a cloth might be evaluated utilizing different properties: proportion of mild transmission, refractive index, percentage of haze (a measure of the diffused and transmitted gentle), Abbe number (measurement of the material’s gentle dispersion), and yellowness index, (calculated based on shade modifications in the material attributable to pure or synthetic radiation). In assessing the optical high quality of Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) vs. glass based mostly on these metrics, optical LSRs are superior in all besides haze and yellowness index, where glass has higher values. Overall, the optical properties of a modified optical LSR, are generally better than Computer and PMMA polymers, silicone gadget and glass as properly [3].


Optical Liquid Silicone Rubbers are more and more replacing glass in lighting functions, notably in bulbs. Glass used in all these purposes, with high energy consumption the excessive temperature on the glass floor is the primary trigger for the quick life of the product [11]. In 1962, mild-emitting diode (LED) have been introduced. The LED is a two-lead semiconductor gentle source that is activated when a voltage is applied that releases vitality in the form of photons (light). The use of optical LSRs in these functions presents increased product life, because of the material’s thermal stability even in excessive temperature even over an prolonged time frame [1]. Determine 3 reveals the comparability between the glass bulb and the LED lightning system with a Liquid Silicone Rubber enclosure.

Figure 3. Glass mild bulb and optical silicone rubber LED bulb [3]

Other merchandise the place silicone rubber can be utilized embrace white reflectors and diffusers utilized in lightning, electronic or automotive purposes. As a refractive or TIR (Whole Inside Reflection) lens, with the appropriated design, the sunshine loss during reflection is eliminated completely. Optical LSRs are also used efficiently in imagery and scanning applications, in bar-code scanners, spectrometers and particle counters [3]. In medical functions, optical Liquid Silicone Rubber will be present in tubing, endoscopy elements, catheters and lenses. In new, rising telecommunications fields, optical LSRs are utilized in microlens arrays, and diffractive optical components; in electrical purposes they are often present in solar assortment products and as fibers in photonics [8]. For photonics applications, ultraviolet (UV) mild is used to cure the silicone rubber; the publicity of the material to an applicable wavelength permits the era of waveguide’s patterns that can be utilized successfully in lithography.

Along with functions for optical silicone rubber with seen spectrums of mild, there are also purposes in different ranges of light. For instance, functions with UV-seen / Near Infrared vary used for data transmission [11]. Depending on the chemical composition of the grade and additives used, LSR wavelengths can range between 850 nm and 1300-1600 nm.

Processing Liquid Silicone Rubber

The processing of optical Liquid Silicone Rubber is also important for attaining fascinating properties in the ultimate product. Much like optical carbon-primarily based polymers, silicone rubbers could be injection molded, compression molded or solid [6]. LSR’s brief processing time, no material waste due to the elimination of sprues and runners, and its preliminary low viscosity, permits for the production of tight tolerance complicated products. As well as, wear on the machine, and mold elements happens at a really sluggish charge, and very low birefringence is generated which may be an issue for some optical purposes. Throughout the cooling course of (after processing), inner stresses will not be created when processing LSR, even in thick partitions, providing increased mechanical and dimensional stability ultimately merchandise [13]. From the rheological standpoint, optical Liquid Silicone Rubber’s inherent viscosity is unbiased of the shear rate, and is decrease in contrast to standard LSR, positively affecting the processing, for instance the stream will be managed and predicted simply. Figure 4 reveals the comparison in conduct between standard LSR and optical Liquid Silicone Rubber.

Determine 4. Comparison of habits between normal and optical silicone rubber [14]

Although LSRs have many processing advantages, there are also some issues to take into account when processing. The first consideration includes the composition of the material, as a result of most optical LSRs are comprised of two-parts, mixing is required. It can be crucial that the fabric is homogenous and combined effectively before processing [14]. Also variables resembling shrinkage, part geometry, and the floor finish of the mold can negatively have an effect on the optical properties and must be addressed. Due to its low viscosity, there’s a tendency for flash to be generated in the product, for that purpose, further design issues are necessary to avoid or reduce flashing.

LSR injection molders, for example SIMTEC Silicone Components, who’re regarded as specialists in Liquid Silicone Rubber technology, make the most of their knowledge, expertise, and advanced manufacturing to optimize the manufacturing of high quality LSR, Two-Shot, and Multi-Shot LSR parts.


1. https://www.merriam-webster.com.

2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279946258_Optical_Supplies

3. http://ww.dow-corning.com

4. M. Altman, J.D. Lytle. Optical design methods for polymer optics. S.P.I.E. Proceeding, Vol. 237, 380-385, 1980.

5. G. Gu, Q.L. Zhou. Preparation of high power and optically clear silicone rubber. European Polymer Journal, Vol 34, No. 11, 1727-1733, 1998

6. http://www.wacker.com

7. http://omnexus.specialchem.com/centers/liquid-silicone-rubber

8. http://www.momentive.com

9. https://www.wacker.com

10. Jones, W. Ando, J. Chojnowski. Silicon-containing polymers, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrech, 2000

11. http://www.quantumsilicones.com

12. http://www.nusil.com

13. E. Mark. Some attention-grabbing issues about Polysiloxanes. Accounts of Chemical Analysis, Vol.