Silicone gels used in electronics and LED manaufacture
The silicone chemistry used to produce silicone gels is known as Addition Cure, using a platinum based catalyst system. They normally come as 2-part systems with a 1:1 mix ratio, although there are a few 1-part systems available in the market. Most of these gels will cure at room temperature with speeds ranging from 1 to 24 hours. Heat can also be used to accelerate these times down to a few minutes. Products can be formulated which will only cure with the use of heat and therefore, have a very long pot life.
When optical clarity is not required fillers can be added to produce tougher gels with slightly more rigidity. If required, a degree of flame retardancy or thermal conductivity can be formulated into the gels. The refractive index can be increased using special polymers, an important feature for many LED applications.
To summarise some of the benefits of silicone gels:
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