I have been seeing silicon cups and oven mits and cereal bowls everywear. I really want to experiment with foodsafe silicon. Is it a material I can obtain? Can I cast it in my studio? Where can I get it?
If you have any suggestions, please tell me. The foodsafe aspect is very important to me.
There are quite a few different options for silicone product making. Your Choice will depend, not only on your food-safe cnstraints, but also other things like durometer (“squishyness”) toughness, and complexity of the part to be cast. But is something to get you started.
Dow Chemical company makes RTV silicones for mold-making. These vary in durometer and viscosity(when liquid), depending on the complexity of the mold shape. High viscosity silicones will not be able to re-produce a complex mold well. But, higher-viscosity materials usually translate to tougher molds later.
Silastic® E, Silastic® J, Silastic® L, Silastic® M and Silastic® M-2 silicone rubbers are rated for food safety (by the FDA, so those of you under different regulation will want to double check this). A quick look on the Dow-Corning website should help you find properties of each, and you may be able to get a free sample if you talk the talk. Here are a list of all the Silastic data sheets:
All silicons I have worked with are either two components (50:50) or need a catalyst. Keep in mind that the higher the viscosity of the silicon the more airbubbles may be incapsulated while mixing. When your design is cured with heat, the bubbles will expand and leave you with an ingerior product…
Also mind, that besides being one of the flexible materials with highest properties, it is also more expensive than most other plastics I know.