Shin-Etsu Opens LIMS Technical Center

Located in Akron, Ohio, the facility supports the design of new LIMS materials and products.

Shin-Etsu Silicones of America, a subsidiary of Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., has opened a new technical center in Akron, Ohio to support liquid injection molding system development.

At the epicenter of the 7,020-square-foot facility is a 110-ton, all-electric horizontal liquid injection molding press from Arburg. The tech center is under the leadership of LIMS process engineer Craig Lustek, whose primary focus is to support the design of new LIMS products, provide full-scale process development of LIMS materials, and assist new and existing customers with training, molding trials, and process improvements.  

“The goals of the LIMS Technical Center are to drive the design of new LIMS products and provide full-scale process development of LIMS materials,” Lustek says. “Additionally, we provide value-added support for new and existing customers with training, molding trials, prototyping, production start-up, and process improvements.”

During the production demonstration, Lustek provided a detailed profile on the key advantages of LIMS materials including (but not limited to): a wide range of thermal stability (-60°F−400°F), non-conductive thermally and electrically so it’s a great insulator, the elastomeric molecule has the ability to expand and elongate naturally without additives and has a wide range of elastomeric hardnesses (5-to-80: Shore A), boasts high tear strength properties, is chemically inert (ideal for healthcare products), is a translucent material but can also be colored with dispersions, has a low surface energy so objects don’t stick to it (ideal for the bakeware market), and meets USP Class VI and ISO 10993 regulatory standards for biocompatibility.

Given this myriad of property benefits, Shin-Etsu LIMS products are increasingly specified for market applications including healthcare, infant feeding, automotive, and consumer products which has drawn significant production back to the USA.

According to Lustek, “We will leverage the LIMS Technical Center to provide advanced LIMS analytical testing and competitive studies−providing R&D runs and customer trials to test processing issues with customers’ molds to eliminate defects. Additionally, we are considering more processing equipment which may include vertical, horizontal, and multi-shot presses so customers can come in and work hand-in-hand with us.”