Every once in a while you come across a technology that is simple and well-timed. Printing onto a silicone part seems to mystify most. But now; color filled silicone wrist bands are routinely printed through a heat process using silicone ink. Many inks will cure and give the appearance of adhesion yet they rub off rather quickly. Some use silicone ink without the heat process yielding similar results; the ink will cure yet adhesion is never formed. Nothing adheres to silicone but silicone. Today U.S. made silicone ink is the finest in the world and available in a simple 10:1 mix ratio formula. All you need are a gram scale, some mix cups a stick and a cure oven (400F for 2-6 minutes).
Although silicone wrist bands became popular with Lance Armstrong and his support of cancer victims; they are immensely popular now as corporate giveaways and promotional giveaways. Silicone wristbands are cost effective, memorable and cool! There are many other parts being made of silicone too which means the uses for silicone ink are endless. Silicone keypads and silicone control buttons need to be printed on with silicone ink. Silicone swim caps are extremely popular and need to be printed with logos and such. More products include cell phone holders, tool handles, cable and wire, medical and other tooling. Everyone and their brother wants to take advantage of the characteristics of silicone which means silicone parts. Messages can be printed, labeling for silicone tubing, wire and cable, business logo’s on swim caps and any product can be printed. The ink can be pad printed or silk screened as well as sprayed or dipped. US silicone ink will sit in an ink cup for 24 hours yet cure in two to six minutes when exposed to heat. The reality is it has never been easier to use and more widely needed. Silicone ink comes in vivid primary colors plus clear. With the clear silicone ink you can add your own colorant to get the pan-tone color you may require. Colors include silver, black, white, green, blue, red, yellow, gold. Colors can be mixed to create custom blends. New is a Glow In The Dark additive!
You’ll be in a very select group if you are a silk screen printer or if you are a pad printer who will specialize this area early on; lots of people are trying to solve to same problem over and over again – “Why can’t I print on my parts?” If there are electronics to be embedded in the part do everything possible to print before the electronics are inserted; they sometimes cannot stand the heat.