Mechanical properties and manufacturing processes of PDMS

 João Ribeiro
Instituto Politécnico de Bragança 

Polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS is an elastomer which belong to the siloxanes group and that was developed in the middle of the 20th century. PDMS has a wide field of applications and has been used in different industrial areas from mechanics to electronics, through biomedicine. This popularity is due to its flexibility, elasticity (some researchers consider hiperelasticity), optical transparency, biocompatibility, gas permeability, good thermal stability, biodegradability and low cost.

The manufacturing processes of the PDMS are relatively simple, being the most used the gravity cast which is usually used to manufacture biomodels, among other products. The soft lithography is also frequently used in electronics application and hemodynamics studies using micro-channels. The other frequent manufacturing processes are the hot embossing usually to manufacture micro-optical lens, the micromachining with replication mold which is used to manufacture of molds to diffraction gratings and, finally, the additive manufacturing that is more recent than the previously mentioned and allows manufacture biomodels.