Silicones are a whole group of synthetic polymers (silicon-organic compounds) that are widely used in construction, medicine, and cosmetology.
Silicone has many useful properties: it repels water that is chemically neutral and resistant to various temperature effects (it can withstand from -70 to +250 degrees Celsius). This material is characterized by high resistance to deforming force, minimal degradation over time and resistance to hydrolysis and oxidation. The polymer may be in the form of a liquid, rubber (unvulcanized silicone composition), lubricant or rubber.
Silicone is used in various fields - in building structures for sealing windows and glazing, for water supply and sewerage, for sealing the surfaces of engines, gearboxes, sides, buildings, for sealing roofs, pipes.
Chemically inert and biocompatible silicone is used for implants. Medical products (capillary, drainage, vacuum tubes, blood transfusion systems, cords, porous products, tapes, multi-channel and corking products) are produced from it.
Even mobile phone cases and handbags are made from silicone rubber. These polymers are widely used in cosmetics. For example, the most popular of them are Dimethicone and Phenyl Trimethicone antifoam agents, Cyclomethicone and Methicone antistatic agents.
To organize our own silicone production, you will need premises for a workshop and a warehouse (the area depends on production volumes), as well as special high-tech equipment.
You can purchase both a semi-automatic and a fully automated line. The first includes: an extruder with an air-hydraulic pump, a metering device with continuous volume control, a press to seal the tube. The automatic line also consists of an extruder, a metering device, as well as a feed sorter and boxer.
The decision about which line to choose depends on the size of your starting capital, the type of products manufactured, as well as the planned production volumes. In any case, when servicing a semi-automatic or automatic line you cannot do without the help of a specialist-adjuster. And to work on the line will require at least ten workers. The organization of such production is a large-scale project requiring large investments, which amount to several million rubles or even dollars.
In addition, you can purchase a mini-workshop for the production of molded products from polyurethanes and silicones. It includes all the necessary equipment, tools and accessories. With the help of such mini-shops, it is possible to produce pillows and silent blocks for cars from polyurethanes and silicone. The cost of used equipment for a mini-workshop is only about 300-350 thousand rubles, depending on the configuration. For work in such a production, two or three workers will suffice, provided that they work in shifts.
For the production of silicone, components such as silicon, chromium, boron, manganese, nickel, tungsten, selenium, copper, cobalt, etc. can be used. Under the influence of high temperature or damage to silicone, they can be released and cause harm to human health. Therefore, such potentially hazardous components are used only in the manufacture of building silicone. The requirements for medical or food grade silicone are, of course, much more stringent.
If you do not have a large start-up capital, pay attention to the narrower and, accordingly, low-cost areas of production. For example, silicone bakeware, for the production of soap at home and souvenir products are in great demand among Russian consumers. They are produced both on an industrial scale, and by the piece - according to the sketches and drawings of the customer.
For the manufacture of silicone molds, it is best to use safe food grade silicone from the USA as raw materials. However, there is no need to purchase expensive equipment. Such molds are made using ready-made dies, where cold-curing silicone is manually poured, which solidifies at room temperature. For such a production, there are no strict requirements for the premises (a special ventilation system, personal protective equipment, etc.), so you can do this at first time at home.
Thus, to start this business in the microformat of the business there will be enough capital in the amount of 10 thousand rubles, not counting the costs of advertising: printing and distributing leaflets, placing ads in advertising newspapers.
Many companies with a narrow specialization have their own designer (plus a minimum of 15 thousand rubles per month, depending on the region), who designs various decorative elements and patterns for silicone molds. According to his sketches, matrices are created with which silicone molds are made. The cost of one form starts from 500 p. The markup is often more than 300%. The payback period of such a small production is from six months to a year.
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See also: video about making silicone molds at home