Are you in need of a silicone sheet for vacuum press, but don’t know which one to get? With so many colors, sizes and thicknesses out there, it can be an overwhelming thing trying to make the right choice.
Well, look no further! This post will break down the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing vacuum press membrane materials.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about selecting the ideal silicone sheet for applications like foil pressing, glass lamination, solid surface materials forming, composite industries, etc.
What is Vacuum Forming Silicone Sheet?
Vacuum forming is a manufacturing process of thermoforming silicone sheet under vacuum pressure to form a mold. The process is commonly used for quickly and easily creating wood, metal, plastic and other components over a mold. It’s a popular method for developing 3D objects, especially if the parts will be made in a short-run production.
The process begins with a performed panel placed over a mold. The mold is then placed in a vacuum membrane press, using vacuum pressure to suck the panel sheet onto the mold. Once the sheet is in place, it is heated until soft enough to be shaped into the mold. After the sheet has cooled and hardened, you have the finished product.
Thermoforming silicone sheets are commonly known as vacuum forming silicone sheet. It has demonstrated suitability for hot presses and vacuum forming applications thanks to its own excellent temperature tolerance and high elasticity.
Silicone Membranes VS Natural Rubber Membranes?
Silicone membranes offer superior strength, high elasticity and films that are high temperature resistance up to 250°C. Many silicone membranes are highly recommended for areas of application laminating of PVC foil, wood veneering, bending of wood, MDF, shaping and thermoforming solid surface sheets and thermoplastic materials.
Unlike natural rubber membranes, silicone membrane exhibits excellent extremes in weather conditions including temperature, sulfurization and UV exposure. In addition, some silicone membrane sheets are designed to be hydrophobic making them a better choice in wet or humid environments.
Natural rubber membrane is a kind of vulcanized natural rubber sheets, only developed for vacuum pressing machines with working temperature till 100-130°C. It is typically a less expensive choice than silicone membrane; however, it is best used in areas that have mild weather conditions or indoors with limited exposure to sunlight.
What Are Vacuum Press Membranes Used for?
Vacuum press membranes are used for various applications like lamination process, inserting decorative elements, creating custom cabinet door skins and furniture panels, veneering and more.
They are helpful in forming rigid composite materials with precision dimension control that can achieve high strength bonds over large area. Vacuum press membranes also allow users to reduce production time while maintaining overall product quality.
- 2D and 3D vacuum forming of acrylic and thermoplastic materials.
- Production of worktops, sinks, shells, bar counters, bathrooms, window sills and elements of the interior.
- Veneering and laminating of ﬂat and curved solid surfaces.
- 3D application foil pressing PVC.
We provide tailored advice for simple 3D and large format sublimation for a variety of hard substrates, including aluminum, acrylic stone, glass, metal sheeting, acrylic sheets (PMMA), textiles, wood (HPL, MDF, HDF).
Where to Buy Silicone Sheet for Your Vacuum Press?
Are you searching for an economically friendly and dependable silicone sheet for your vacuum membrane presses? Deer Hunter has the perfect solution!
Our vast experience in production and state-of-the-art machinery allows us to provide silicone sheets of a variety of sizes and thicknesses, ensuring it’s the optimal fit for your specific project.
Additionally, we are open to customized production with possible special quality and quantity – simply provide your sample to us and will take care of the rest!
What Is the Best Silicone Membrane for Vacuum Forming, Pressing, Bending and Laminating?
Deer Hunter has been focusing on manufacturing and supplying high elasticity silicone rubber sheets, designed to give long service and reproducible results in your woodworking vacuum presses. The specially formulated silicone sheets provide excellent elongation and high tear strength characteristics, increasing their operating life in the process of vacuum or lamination considerably longer than those natural rubber sheets.
The silicone membrane can be with Max width of 3800mm ideally and roll lengths cut according to the customer’s requirements, subject to minimum order quantities. This silicone membrane is available in thicknesses from 1mm to 3mm. This ensures that you always get the perfect product to suit your application.
- High tear strength vacuum or lamination process material with self-healing properties
- High flexibility (860%)
- Excellent abrasion resistance
- Ability to withstand puncture damage without catastrophic failure
- Durability and Lifespan
- Developed specifically for thermoforming Solid Surfaces, wood laminations and even in composite industries, including the aerospace and automotive sectors.
- Supplied as standard in Gray Transparent
- Capability to color match if required
- Rubber sheet tolerance allowance – width 3%, length 5%.
- Sold based on per square meter.
|Roll Length (m)||Any|
|Width (mm)||3800mm Max|
|Sell by the square meter||Yes|
|Hardness (Shore A)||40-45|
|Maximum Working Temperature (°C)||250|
|Minimum Working Temperature (°C)||-60|
|Tensile Strength (MPa)||11.5|
|Elongation at break (%)||860|
***Dimensions can vary, they are typical only.
Which Brand of Vacuum Presses Can be Installed with Our Silicone Sheets?
With excellent durability, high temperature resistance and high elongation properties, DH2211 silicone membrane is effective in the forming of intricate shapes. Widely used in vacuum and thermoforming presses, wood lamination machines and also serving industries in the Composite sectors for parts within Aerospace and Automotive.
When it comes to choosing a reliable supplier, trust is everything. Here you are in the right place to decide on the right silicone sheet for vacuum membrane presses. Our silicone rubber sheets are specially designed to fit many brands like SECABO, ADAMIK, ARTEX, BAO YUAN TONG, BARTH, BUGATOOL, COLUMBUS, ELKOM, GLOBAL, ISTRA-A, ORMA, RIBEX, WISCHT, Vac-U-Clamp, etc.
How to Install a Silicone Sheet for Your Vacuum Presses?
1) Before installation, make sure that the silicone membrane is intact, smooth and free of defects.
2) Be sure that there is no folded silicone sheet when fixing it on the metal frame after installation.
3) Please do not fix the silicone membrane too tightly. For new vacuum presses, make sure that the silicone membrane sheet is not folded.
4) Usually the frosted side or the smooth side is the working surface. Put some talc powder on the working side to reduce the surface friction and electrostatic effect so as to prevent the defected parts caused by the uneven temperature on the PVC foil film. Talc powder can be coated when you finish 500 sqm of wood parts.
5) It is important to place the cushion in the right position. Do not keep many gaps between each cushion and make sure there is a continued cushion under on wooden working unit. Especially at the sharp corner of the working unit, the cushion plate can be indented by about 0.5cm more than the working unit.
6) The higher wooden parts should be placed at least 15cm away from the metal frame; door panels should be placed 10cm away from the metal frame.
7) The door panels and parts can not be pressed again, because PVC films have been already cut.
8) Please stop the vacuum pressing machine if there is a lack of pump pressure, abnormal noise or silicone sheet breakage. And disassemble the silicone membrane after the air has been released completely, then fix the silicone sheet.
9) If the silicone rubber sheet is broken at the same position twice, please solve the trouble before changing a new one.
*** Deer Hunter has the final explanation for the above instructions.
What Are the Steps Involved in the Vacuum Forming Process?
*** This video is showing that one of our customers is using our 3mm thickness high quality silicone membrane with 860% elasticity in their multi-function vacuum membrane press to make thermoformed solid surface washing basin.
The process of vacuum forming involves six essential steps that require technical expertise. Professionals must carry out these steps with caution.
Step 1: Mold Forming
The process begins with a mold forming process. A mold is prepared for shaping of the final product.
The mold can be prepared from a variety of materials. They include wood, MDF, or polystyrene. Ideally, they should have angled edges. It will ease the removal of the finished product from the mold.
Step 2: Placing the mold on the Vacuum former
Take the mold into the vacuum former, and hold a sheet in place above it, but not touching it.
Step 3: Positioning over the heater
The heater in the vacuum former is then placed above the material to heat it and make it flexible and moldable.
Step 4: Putting the shelf in front of the material
When the material is hot enough to allow for molding, use a handle to raise the shelf containing the mold.
Step 5: Turning the Vacuum former ON
You can then turn the Vacuum former ON. Do this and remove all air from the machine. Next, allow the material to take on the shape of the mold.
Step 6: Take the sheet out of the Vacuum former
After the material has cooled, please remove it from the vacuum former. You can then remove the mold from the machine. Any excess or unwanted material is then trimmed from the formed sheet.
What Can Be Done to Extend the Life Span of Silicone Sheet?
There are many factors outside of our control. Silicone rubber sheets are known for their long life span and extreme durability. This type of silicone membrane is often referred to as “elastomeric”, which means it is capable of stretching under stress and then returning back to its original shape. With proper installation and maintenance, our high elasticity silicone membrane can last well over 5 years.
To help extend the life span of silicone sheet, it’s important to store it properly, keep it out of direct sunlight, and avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals.
Additionally, regular inspection can help catch any developing issues in order to address them promptly. Cleaning with a mild detergent and warm water may also help enhance longevity.
Tips For Using a Silicone Sheet for Vacuum Press
1) To ensure the integrity of silicone rubber sheets, you should store them in a location free of oil. The place should also be free of acids, alkalis, and other organic solvents. It would be best if you did not expose it to direct sunlight.
2) Upon receiving the goods, inspecting the packaging for any damage is essential. Contact the supplier immediately with the proof provided if you find any damage.
3) You should store the silicone sheets at room temperature for two years at most. Store them in an environment with no more than 80% relative humidity.
4) You can package the sheet in rolls, fold them, and place them in carton boxes for storage.
5) Textured silicone membrane can be used for vacuum forming solid surface materials (CORIAN, HI- MACS, STARON, Hanex, Avonite, Krion, etc.), thermoplastic such as acrylic, PVC, and also suitable for wood/MDF door and furniture 3D foil lamination. Because the membrane has high working temperature up to 250°C and textured finish, it has also proven to be the superior choice for vacuum heat presses, where continuous air evacuation is needed.
How Can You Order a Silicone Vacuum Membrane?
We welcome end users, distributors and wholesalers to order our tear resistant silicone sheets. Here are the most common purchase order process flow steps:
- Send out request for quotation (RFQ)
- Analyze and select products
- Negotiate contract and send PO
- Receive and check invoice
- Authorize invoice and pay the advance
- Mass production begins
- Production completion and pay the balance
- Packing and shipping
- Goods receiving and record keeping
Now, it is your turn.
We hope this article has helped you in understanding the importance of silicone sheet for your vacuum pressing machines.
If you have any more questions or need assistance in choosing the ideal silicone membrane for areas of application laminating of veneers, Plywood bending, MDF thermofoil, thermoforming of solid surface and thermoplastic forming materials, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We’re here to help! Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you.
For more information, please contact us via your sales associate, our contact form, our mobile/WhatsApp number +86-13823789007, or email us at email@example.com