Silicone Rubber Dies for Hot Foil Stamping Onto Plastics

Silicone die

What are silicone dies?

To foil onto plastic you will need what is called a silicone rubber die. Silicone dies are moulded from a metal master die using special high temperature resilient silicone substrate.

Silicone dies are an irreplaceable tool in the print industry, perfect for heat transfer on cosmetic cases, bottles, plastic caps and so much more. With excellent heat, durability and release characteristics these dies guarantee high-precision, clean and dynamic impressions.

Decorating plastic surfaces with hot stamping involves a transfer of foil through an application of heat and pressure, this process is possible with a soft, heat conductive silicone rubber. Silicone rubber dies will conform to any flat, curved or irregular surface area. They can be used on a variety of materials, including:

  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • And even some paper and film!

Advantages of Silicone rubber dies

Other advantages of silicone rubber dies; once worn out they can easily be remade from the master die – saving time and costs on long runs and/or repeat jobs.

Foil colours are not restricted in the same way as pad printing. With pad printing you are limited by ink colour choice, whereas the foil range for stamping onto plastics is extensive, including options for holographic, metallic and pigment foils.

Pad printing inks are usually solvent based and will have additives included. Solvents and additives are required to break up the resin and pigment within the ink, to ensure its tackiness for adhesion onto the product. Thankfully hot stamping onto plastic does not require pre-treatment, solvents, additives or even curing times (pad printing can take anywhere between 10 minutes and 6 days to fully dry depending on the ink used and curing process applied). Hot foiling with silicone rubber dies is an instant process, as the products can be handled immediately after decoration, offering impressive turnaround times.

Why not use metal dies?

Metal dies are limited to certain substrates such as paper and card, with the exception of leather/faux leather for which we would recommend extra deep CNC brass die. However a silicone die can decorate practically any product due to the elasticity of the material. It permits consistency and impressive flexibility even with surface irregularities. And will therefore result in fewer quality control issues and faster setups.

Profoil Systems does not manufacture silicone dies, but magnesium or brass dies can be a great alternative, providing the surface is flat.