. "It's a big announcement for us."
Bluestar Silicones' new facility in York, S.C., will support the company's implant-grade liquid silicone rubber (LSR), high consistency rubber (HCR) and room temperature vulcanized (RTV) rubber. The company says that since it has prior experience in long-term implantable applications, it will fully be able to support the market's specific needs.
As part of its global growth strategy, Bluestar Silicones has made a significant investment in North America with the 2012 opening of the York facility. The investment includes clean rooms and enhanced systems to ensure the highest level of quality.
The company relocated its Ventura, CA and Rock Hill, S.C., operations to this 226,000 sq-ft facility.
The new facility marks the first milestone in the implementation of the company's 10-year strategic plan to position Bluestar Silicones as a significant silicones player in the North American market and the global healthcare market, York said.
"Our goal is to be the most responsive partner in the marketplace," York said. "We are investing in people, products and our workshops, building a functional expertise that customers appreciate and trust."
In December 2013, Bluestar Silicones achieved certification under the Responsible Care Management System (RCMS) after three external audits. This system ensures all processes and procedures are documented, executed and tested on an ongoing basis.
York said that the new facility has allowed it to extend its footprint in order to tackle the specialty silicon marketplace.
The company is broadening its high durometer liquid silicone rubber (LSR) portfolio, adding a 65 Shore A (ShA) hardness material. Bluestar Silicones also highlighted its ultra-low durometer LSRs. The company now offers a 1 ShA material Silbione LSR 4301, which rounds out the company's 5 and 10 ShA low durometer LSR range, delivering high tear strength and elongation for soft cushioning and vibration dampening applications.
These specialty LSR products are manufactured in a clean room environment at Bluestar Silicones' in its facility in York.
Bluestar Silicones also launched a new RTV additive, Silbione FLESH 10 ADD, that when added to Silbione RTVs, which reduces shock and vibration and provides realistic flesh-like feel in prosthetic devices.
In addition, the company introduced its Bluesil ESA products for medical electronics. Available in a range of durometers, Bluesil ESA is a primerless system designed to bond to most plastics and metals. The product line offers deep-section cure with "no released by-products, excellent dielectric properties, thermal management and corrosion resistance."
"It's an exciting time at Bluestar Silicones," said Karen O'Keefe, healthcare market manager. "We are investing in new products, new markets and continuous improvements in our new plant to deliver the highest quality silicone solutions to the healthcare and medical market."
The company also offers high consistency rubbers (HCR), room-temperature vulcanized silicones (RTVs), skin adhesive tacky gels, cushioning gels and permanent adhesives for the healthcare market.