Liquid silicone: why Apple uses it in the iPhone case

If you are a fan of Apple gadgets or mobile phone cases, you can easily find that the official iPhone case is made of liquid silicone. This is not the first time Apple has made full use of new innovative materials for the iPhone itself and iPhone accessories.

You can see the flexible glass material that Apple is using, 3D touch technology, on the iPhone screen. You will see titanium alloy materials used to make iPhone 11 Pro Max. You can see that thermoplastic materials are used on the iPhone to improve water resistance. 

In any case, please go back to the original position-the official iPhone case made of liquid silicone. Nowadays, the protective phone cases for the iPhone series are produced by many third-party manufacturers. They are made of many materials, such as plastic and wood. But when it comes to Apple’s official iPhone case, it is made of a special material called liquid silicone.

But what is liquid silica gel? What are the advantages that make it the material of choice for the official iPhone case? What are the advantages of the iPhone liquid silicone case? Well, if you still don’t know anything, please don’t be upset. Keep reading to find all the answers easily.

What is liquid silica gel

Liquid silicone, also known as liquid silicone rubber, is a widely used silicone polymer composed of silicon, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen at the elemental level. At the molecular level, this silicon polymer contains a silica and oxygen backbone, which is different from most polymers made from a carbon backbone. If classified more specifically, liquid silicone rubber can be regarded as an elastomer.

When it comes to how to find and use this material, it was developed from solid silicone. Solid silicone-based elastomers were first used by chemists in the 1940s due to their heat-resistant properties. Then, it takes the dominant position as electrical insulators to insulate motors and generators.

With the development of separation technology, silicone rubber is gradually separated into two parts of platinum cured elastomer, which is the so-called liquid silicone resin. Different from solid silicon, liquid silicon is in a liquid state and has high fluidity, making it an ideal material choice for injection molding.

Uses and applications

Liquid silicone has proven to be a very valuable material that can be widely used in various industries and applications, such as medical equipment, household items, food contact and kitchen supplies, high-precision industrial components, clothing, and cosmetics. Because of its gel-like properties, it is most commonly used to make rubber, resin, foam, and metal molds for a variety of industrial products.

What are the characteristics of liquid silicone

The reason why liquid silicone has high value and is used in various industries lies in its special good performance. These characteristics make it more reliable than other materials in the entire range of parts in many industries and applications.

Stable in extreme environments

Part of the reason why liquid silicone has a high value in many industries is its stability in extreme environments such as heat, fire, and cold. The general working temperature of fully cured liquid silicone resin is -100°C to 300°C, so it can withstand heat, fire, and cold in this temperature range.

Having said that, even when exposed to extreme conditions, liquid silicone can still maintain its original shape and retain other physical properties. This characteristic makes liquid silicone material of choice for industries and applications that require manufacturing materials to be stable even in extreme environments.

Chemical resistant and inert

Another characteristic of liquid silicone is its chemical resistance, making it an ideal material superior to other manufacturing materials in various applications. Liquid silicone made from a silicon-based framework is an inert chemical material that makes it hypoallergenic and does not react with other chemicals.

This makes it the primary material of choice for applications that require exposure to oils, solvents, acids, and alkalis. In addition, chemical resistance also means that liquid silicone is biocompatible and non-toxic, making it safe for items that need to be in contact with food and medical equipment.

You will see it being used in kitchen utensils, such as bakeware, cake lining, rubber spatula, etc. You will see that it is used in baby care products such as baby bottle pacifiers. In the medical industry, you can see that it is especially used in the manufacture of prostheses.

Translucent appearance

In terms of basic form, liquid silicone is translucent and shiny. This feature makes it an excellent choice for applications that require a product with a clear and glossy design. Moreover, with the application of pigments, liquid silicone resins have multiple uses in terms of color. This attribute is most prominent for prostheses that need to simulate real skin tones.

Fast curing process

Today, materials are no longer strong, stable, soft, or chemically resistant. It also needs to be manufactured very quickly to meet the needs of automation and mass production. Yes, liquid silicone is a very suitable material for ultra-fast manufacturing processes.

This is due to its fast curing cycle. When combined with its components, the uncured liquid silicone polymer can be quickly injection molded. This characteristic and flexibility make liquid silicone have great commercial value in a wide range of industrial and commercial environments because it can realize fast-paced production, mass processing, and full automation.

Natural electrical insulator

Liquid silicone is also a natural electrical insulator, which can insulate wires, data cables, and other electrical components. The dielectric properties make it an ideal material choice for electrical applications, especially consumer electronics.

Water resistance

Due to the chemical structure including hydrophobic groups, water-based groups, and methyl groups, liquid silicones are also water-repellent. This feature makes it an excellent choice for electrical products or electrical-related products.

In short, liquid silicone is a special material that outlines all the characteristics that a powerful material should have. Due to its flexibility, stability, translucency, thermal conductivity, non-conductivity, and fast curing ability, liquid silicone is a valuable material that can be widely used in various industries and applications.

Why Apple uses liquid silicone to make iPhone cases

Everything about liquid silicone and its special properties and advantages is already clear. Now, please keep these attributes in mind to explore why Apple uses liquid silicone as the material for the official iPhone case. In other words, this is to explore the advantages of the iPhone case made of liquid silicon.

Low manufacturing cost

As mentioned earlier, liquid silicone is very suitable for very fast curing processes, enabling ultra-fast manufacturing through large-scale and automated processes. Moreover, the manufacturing process is very simple and easy. Therefore, by using this material, it is possible to use automated equipment to manufacture iPhone cases very quickly in mass production. This makes the manufacturing cost very low, resulting in relatively low prices for the iPhone case and considerable sales of the case.

Soft feel and comfortable grip

As shown in the above information, liquid silicone resin has a translucent and transparent appearance. Therefore, by using this material, the iPhone case can bring you a soft and smooth feel. The gloss of the surface also protects the iPhone case from scratches and fingerprints. In addition, the use of lighter-weight liquid silicone on the iPhone shell can ensure the comfort and robustness of the iPhone.

Drop protection

The reason why Apple uses liquid silicone as the main material for the iPhone protective case is partly due to the flexibility of liquid silicone. As mentioned earlier, liquid silicone is made from a backbone of silica and oxygen called polysiloxane chains. This chain creates longer bonds, resulting in a more flexible polymer.

Therefore, by using liquid silicone as the main material of the iPhone case, the case can become softer and tougher, thus providing excellent protection for the phone against sudden drops, shocks, and vibrations.

Waterproof and moisture-proof

Waterproof properties are also the reason why Apple chose liquid silicone as the material for the iPhone case. Smartphones or other mobile devices are things we carry with us anytime, anywhere. When we are around water, we always hope that the mobile phone we carry with us is waterproof. By using waterproof liquid silicone, the iPhone case can protect the iPhone from water and moisture.

Anti-grease and anti-corrosion

As mentioned earlier, liquid silicone is an inert chemical material, so it is chemically resistant. Therefore, the iPhone case made of liquid silicone can prevent the damage of grease, solvents, acids, and alkalis, which can protect the phone for a long time.

Electrical insulation

Liquid silicone resin is a natural electrical insulator. This dielectric performance makes the iPhone case made of liquid silicone, which can insulate the wires, data cables, and nearby sockets, thereby providing users with a safe iPhone experience.

Safe and durable under overheating or other extreme temperatures

As mentioned earlier, liquid silicones are stable even at extreme temperatures. In the temperature range of -100°C to 300°C, the material can still maintain its original shape and possess other physical properties. On the one hand, this property allows the iPhone case to protect itself and the phone from overheating and burns. On the other hand, it allows the use of a more durable iPhone case.

Summarize

Liquid silicone is a kind of silicone polymer. Due to its flexibility, stability, translucency, thermal conductivity, non-conductivity, and fast curing ability, it is a very valuable material and can be widely used in various industries and Multiple products in application. Because of these good properties, Apple uses liquid silicone as the material for the official iPhone case, which makes the iPhone case powerful, practical, and attractive.

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