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FAQ: Silicone Molds&Vacuum Casting 
Vacuum Casting components can be used in applications from automotive pipes, digital products covers to electronic appliance frames. All possible without the need for hard steel tooling. The vacuum casting process involves encapsulating a master model in liquid silicone rubber. By this, a silicone mold came into form from the liquid rubber with an exact simulating cavity in its heart. Till the mold becomes stable in terms of shape, chemical and physical properties, castable will be injected into the cavity. After complete curing, the mold is cut open and the component shows itself. One mold can duplicate 20 to 30 components on average. In this analogy, once we get enough optimal silicone molds, low volume production won’t be a problem.
Silicone Molds
Silicone molds are universally used in vacuum casting manufacturing. Silicone molds are featured by high tenacity and often used to make plastic parts with complicate structures, intricate surface and stable measurement. They are extremely ideal for performing low volume production.
By reviewing vacuum casting process, we learn that silicone mold serves as a bridge between the original master model and the end products. The basis of turning out highly simulated parts is to ensure that their silicone molds are produced and preserved in perfect condition. Thus low volume production can be realized. But occasionally we may come across a few troubles. For example, there are bubbles. Here let’s see a few FAQ about silicone molds.
Q1:why mold and prototype glued together?
A1: If mold is made of pottery, glass or stone, mold and prototype are likely to be glued together. The resolution to this problem is to brush and clean the prototype with detergent.
Q2: Why bubbles on the surface of mold?
A2: There are three possible reasons. 1) Air hasn’t been totally squeezed out. If this is the case, try to vacuumize the mold till bubbles totally disappear. 2) Air leaks in if there are cracks on supporters. Under the circumstances, try to plug the cracks with putty. 3) Air lingers if there are condensate water or excess release agent on the prototype. Dry up the prototype.
Q3: Why silicone mold's lifespan is reduced?
A3: There are four possible reasons. 1) Mold isn't heat to proper temperature. Try to preheat mold to 60~70℃ before pouring in resins. 2) Mold is continuously used without a break. Please reduce usage frequency. 3) Either one of the two resins isn't correct, causing too much heat. Exchange to correct resin. 4) Resins haven’t been fully mixed or catalyst or additives are put in false dosage. Please ensure total mixture and right ratio. 

Besides, there are Six Problems in the Process of Silicone Rubber Mold Making, check to see more details.
If you are facing problems of vacuum casting prototypes being deformed, check the link to see the possible factors.

You may also interested in Silicone Mold in Rapid Prototyping.


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