Materials used

Throughout our 60 years of existence we have witnessed the development of raw materials, and our experience now enables us to offer you advice on the best choices.

Whether for optics with Optical Silicone, PMMA or PC, whatever your constraints, please do not hesitate to ask our sales engineers for assistance. Their skills and their networks will be able to meet your requirements.

Optical silicone

Gaggione goes a step forward by adding new materials and process to its know-how and capabilities, in order to achieve new design freedom and possibilities.

Already considered an expert in making very thick transparent plastic-injected secondary optics for LED lighting for almost twenty years, today Gaggione integrates a new dedicated workshop to provide Liquid Silicone Optics. Key investments include state-of-the-art injection technology and talent base.

Silicone resin provides the opportunity to make parts with complex design features, some of which are simply not possible with thermoplastic. Liquid silicone breaks down design barriers allowing designers to create new types of parts never before possible leveraging the fast changing technologies in our market.

Some of liquid silicone key features include:

  •  More than 90% transmission in the greater than 350nm wavelength spectrum, even with thick parts.
  •  Incredible resistance against UV rays, and more chemical agents than polycarbonate (PC) or acrylic (PMMA).
  •  Incomparable resistance to high temperature (> 150°C) whereby PC (130°C) and PMMA (90°C) breakdown.
  •  New optical design concepts thanks to micro-detail replication from liquid material properties.
  •  Increased ability to integrate new functions for unique applications and total system integration.
  •  Impact resistance unmatched by thermoplastics with reformation properties.

The above is only a sample list of benefits and unique technical features of liquid silicone.

PMMA Acrylic resin

PMMA is known above all for its exceptional optical properties. This amorphous polymer has remarkable transparency (92% light transmission). Its impact resistance is relatively low and polymer is breakable. PMMA is tasteless and odourless and may, in certain cases, be approved for food use. It has very good resistance to light ageing.

Its electrical properties can be significantly affected by humidity absorption. PMMA is combustible and burns without excessive smoke.

Gaggione specialises in the transformation of PMMA by injection: we use it to manufacture Fresnel lenses for road or automotive signalling, collimators for led-based lighting or again lenses of all geometric forms.

PC or Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is an amorphous polymer with excellent transparency. In great thicknesses, it has a slightly yellow tinge.

PC only absorbs small quantities of water (<0.6%) and its mechanical properties are unaffected. PC is not attacked by diluted mineral and organic acids. It is insoluble in the aliphatic hydrocarbons, ethers and alcohols. Polycarbonate has good insulating properties.PC is practically self-extinguishing.

Gaggione recommends PC for automotive applications such as aspherical lenses or diffusing lenses. It can also be used for micro Lens Array.

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