How many castings can I expect to get out of my rubber mold before it becomes unusable?
What you are really asking is, “what is the expected production life of my rubber mold?”.
First, we need to distinguish between the “production life” and “library life” of a rubber mold.
Library Life refers to how long a rubber mold will last in your “mold library”, just sitting on a shelf and not being used. Some mold rubbers last longer than others. Below is a chart giving you an idea of the library life you can expect from various mold rubbers:
Mold Rubber Approx. Library Life
Urethane (polyether based) ReoFlex, VytaFlex, Some PMCs – 25+ Years
Urethane (polyester based) PMC-724, PMC-726 – 1-7 Years (Moisture Exposure Dependent)
Silicone – Economy (tin cat) OOMOO Silicones – 1 Year
Silicone – Library Life (tin cat) Mold Max Series – 5-7 Years
Silicone – Platinum Catalyst Smooth-Sil, Dragon Skin – 30+ Years
Polysulfide FMC Series – 40+ Years
Latex – 10+ (With Proper Care)
Vinyl – 5+ (With Proper Care)
The FAQ list is offered as a guideline and offers possible solutions to problems encountered during mold making and casting. No warranty is implied and it is up to the end user to determine suitability for any specific application. Always refer to the provided Technical Bulletins (TB) & Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) before using any material. A small scale test is suggested to determine suitability of any recommendation before trying on a larger scale for any application.