For many who own expensive metal rings, an alternative for many settings is desirable. You don't want to risk scratching, damaging or even losing a high-priced ring, many will look to one realm for their answer: Silicone rings.
That's right, silicone has become one of the most popular alternative materials for many forms of jewelry, including rings of all shapes and sizes. At Enso Rings, we're proud to offer a huge selection of silicone rings for women and men alike, with hundreds of different styles and options -- all made from a quality, sustainable material that's inexpensive to replace and still brings you fantastic aesthetics. How does silicone get made into jewelry options like rings and others, and why is this such a beneficial material to many buyers? Here's a rundown.
Tools Needed for Silicone Ring Creation
Before our team of silicone ring manufacturers gets started on the actual process of creating new rings, they ensure they have the proper tools on-hand first. These will include not only the actual silicone material itself, but also specialized tools like molding machines, ring mold holders, ovens, etc.
Just like any other manufacturing job, these equipment pieces should be carefully inspected to ensure they're in good condition and won't leave our silicone rings manufacturers with a bunch of headaches later on. If you're interested in learning about the quality control process our team takes with each individual ring, simply contact us.
Once the proper tools are laid out, we get into the first major task in the process: Mixing the silicone, which involves the use of a mixing machine. This is used to combine the basic materials needed for silicone rings, such as those containing an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) base and other ingredients.
Our team typically makes use of four main ingredients when it comes to creating silicone, including:
Silicone Liquid Rubber - Commonly referred to as Sili-Rubber, this is the primary ingredient of its kind and can be easily poured into a variety of molds.
Silicone Emulsion - This component of our silicone mixture helps increase the adhesive properties, among other things. Its use varies slightly depending on what type of ring we're working with: standard rings, silicone rings with gems, etc.
Silicone Resin - This element's use is mainly centered around durability -- it helps provide an airtight seal that prevents the ring from suffering any damage over time. Other benefits include increased flexibility and more.
Vinyl Latex - Used to give that final silicone product some flexibility, this material can be mixed with the silicone mixture before it's poured into a mold. It also allows for some room when it comes to manufacturing rings with small inner diameters.
In addition, this process will involve a vital component: Adding any dye that might be required for color purposes. There are both gel-based and powder forms of dye that may be used during this step.
Pouring Into Mold
Once the silicone itself has been mixed and formulated into the desired mixture, it's time to pour the mixture into a mold. This is where our silicone ring manufacturers are incredibly creative, utilizing many forms of molds in order to create the perfect finish for each individual ring that makes its way through their facilities.
Silicone rings are typically poured into "mother" molds, which are temporary at best and used to create the final "master" molds. The mother mold helps to create more of the silicone mixture, which is then combined with pastel colors (if necessary) and transferred into the master molds themselves. Some of these molds will be made entirely out of ABS plastic, while others may make use of two or three components -- check with your manufacturer on the specifics of each mold.
Removing Bubbles and Imperfections
If you're thinking the process is over at this point, you'd be wrong. Next up is a vital step: Removing any bubbles left in the ring while it's still in the mold, which risk making the ring more brittle and likely to break in the future. We use specific tools to suction out any remaining air that might be present in the silicone ring, among other tools used to give the product its final shape.
Taking this step is essential if you want your rings to remain durable throughout their potential lifetimes. The last thing any of our clients want is to have a ring that isn't safe for daily wear -- removing these bubbles takes care of that issue right here and now.
Cleaning Mold Edges
Finally, finishing your ring involves creating clean, simple lines at their edges, which will be made by submerging the ring in liquid hot wax. This step is an essential one for protection's sake, as it ensures that your silicone ring isn't going to crack or break prematurely.
The process also gives the rings their final shine and prepares them for any final touches -- such as placing a logo onto the silicone so you can easily identify it.
And once the ring has been fully manufactured, the only step remaining is the curing process, which to the layman can be defined as "the process by which the mixture changes from a liquid to a solid state."
During this step, the silicone ring will form its basic shape and define any other qualities you might want your product to have. The curing process may take just an hour or two, or could take much longer depending on the specific materials that were used and some other factors.
For more on how silicone is used to make fantastic rings for a variety of purposes, or to learn about any of our silicone ring products or services, speak to the staff at Enso Rings today.