Supporting a customer’s strategic change from LSR to HCR

How Elkem Silicones experts facilitated a customer’s industrial conversion from Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) to High Consistency Rubber (HCR)

One of Elkem Silicones’ long-standing manufacturing customers, specializing in technical parts for the electrical insulation market, wanted to switch from Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) over-molding to High Consistency Rubber (HCR). This was a demanding move since the customer manufactured a very wide range of products, subject to very stringent regulatory standards. The customer had decided to make the conversion as part of an ambitious new strategy, to enable the company to make its sophisticated products even more competitively.

Elkem Silicones experts were faced with a major technical challenge. To begin with, the new HCR product specifications needed to equal and surpass those made with LSR, including electrical and mechanical performance, temperature stability and resistance to climatic conditions. Furthermore, the manufacturing process needed to fit in with the customer’s overall industrial organization and operators had to be trained so that the transition remained seamless. Finally, the raw materials used needed to be competitively priced and offer a high quality for both processing needs and end-user expectations. The whole transition had to be the shortest as possible to not affect productivity. To streamline production, the curing speed of the HCR had to be optimized, while ensuring adhesion of the silicone on the over-molded core.

Drawing on its expertise, developed over many years to improve the performance levels of our HCR silicone rubber compounds for electrical cables and wires, Elkem Silicones worked closely with the customer to ensure a smooth and quick transition. The customer asked the Mix&Fix CentersTM, the Elkem Silicones compounding network, to find a tailor-made solution that met their needs. This HCR product was tested in the customer's facility and, following some minor adjustments, it was ramped up to full industrial production. This collaboration created synergies between the companies and was an opportunity to exchange technical expertise between both of them. The customer is now successfully using this new HCR formulation and Elkem Silicones is proud to have demonstrated its ability to listen to its customers and accompany them efficiently in "Delivering their potential".