silicone rollers?

Has anyone had experience with RTV or silicone rollers?



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Yes, we use silicone rollers quite a bit in processing materials with open adhesive. They will not serve well as inking rollers.

John Henry

Hi John -

Thanks for the reply.
Is this because the ink won’t stick to the silcone?

I am asking because I work in a shop that does rtv casting.
Another material?



Yes, the silicone will most likely reject most printing inks. You could take some spare trim off a casting job and see if it picks up ink, but I think it will not because of the low surface energy of the silicone materials. If it does work, you may have a good source for your own rollers.

I do recall, however, that there are silicone molded plates which are used for hot-stamping foil on curved or difficult surfaces.

This is actually the principle that “Waterless Lithography” is based on- silicone rejection of printing ink.

Actually…. I think RTV silicone might work just fine for rollers. A few minutes ago, I took a piece of pink silicone from an old parts mold…. and oil-based ink stuck to it just fine, and transferred quite nicely. Then I cleaned it up with mineral spirits, and it cleaned up ok.

While this was not a scientific test, my opinion is that the pink rtv silicone just might make very good rollers. It is certainly no worse an idea as making them out of Gummie Bears…. and we all now know that Gummie Bear Rollers work just fine.

I think if you’re going to have problems with it, you’ll find the ink sticks initially but transfers unevenly and that it slurs more easily on the rollers too, but I don’t know that for certain.

If you do test it, please come through with your results. I mean, the roller industry probably uses the rubber type they do for a reason, but a little innovation every now and then is a good thing, right?

Thanks for all the comments.
Great community.

I will give it a try and post results.

Any thoughts about durometer for rollers?

Thanks again!


Rubber durometer is usually 20-25 (shore D if I recall correctly?) Not sure if it would need to be different for silicone.

Thanks all for the helpful insights.
I will post on my experiments.