• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

    How Are Rubber Phone Cases Made!

    Recent trends in smartphone technology have led to thinner and more compact devices, making it necessary for phone manufacturers to find new ways to accommodate all of those features while still keeping the device protected. One such solution is putting a rubberized case or layer on the front surface of your phone.


    Many mobile phone companies offer their users the chance to purchase cases that feature this protective layer. The layers typically are two parts, one part being a soft gel material and the other being a clear plastic cover. When you put your phone through some activity (browsing, texting, taking pictures), the gel layer absorbs the impact instead of protecting only the glass of the screen.

    The gel also acts as a tactile feel so people can easily pick up the touch sensitive screens without having to use both hands. This way they do not need to navigate using just their thumb!

    There are several different methods used to make these gel cases. Some say that ethylene oxide (EO) gas is the main ingredient in our recommended types of gels. Therefore, we must ensure that EO exposure is limited to an acceptable level to protect employees from health concerns. As such, we conducted an internal review of exposed workers and determined that appropriate safety measures were taken to avoid overexposure.

    For this article, we will be focusing on one specific type of gel product; how polyurethane gel is made.

    Mix and vulcanize

    One of the most important steps in making phone cases is mixing the rubber compound with the proper ratio of chemicals to create the right consistency. These additives play an integral part in creating your case!

    The two main ingredients in all soft, durable rubber are silicone and polyurethane. Both of these products are manufactured by reacting alcohols or organic compounds with diisocyanates (or “hard” reagents) to form chains that repeat themselves.

    The length of each chain determines the properties of the material. The longer the chain, the softer the product, which is why most silicone gel materials are short polymers. However, you want your case to be firm so you have to add more polyol (organic compound) to get longer chains.

    You can also add fillers such as carbon black or talc to reduce the cost of manufacturing but they will not react well with the polymerization process and may cause chunks or bubbles in the final product.

    Pour into molds

    One of the most popular ways to make phone cases is by using plastic molding machines to create your new case. These days, there are many companies that offer this service. Some will even do it in-house so they can control every step!

    The process goes like this: you pick your material and thickness, the company adds some final touches, and then bam – your new case!

    Thicker cases typically take longer to produce since you have to pour the plastic really thickly before pulling it out of the machine. On the other hand, thinner cases take less time due to how thin the finished product becomes.

    But what if I wanted thicker or thinner than what their standard equipment allows for?

    That’s where things get tricky. Companies that use these machines as a source of income need to keep up with changing technology and market demands to stay in business. So, sometimes engineers are not allowed to go outside of those limits when creating cases.

    What about people who want something different than our normal size, shape, or style?

    Well, we still have options! There are several websites and apps that let users upload their own custom cases which can be made at no cost.

    Let set up

    One of the most important steps in making your own rubber phone cases is selecting what type of material you want to use! There are three main types of materials used for cell phones: plastic, gel, and silicone.

    Plastic covers are probably the least expensive option as well as one of the hardest to work with. They are not durable at all so if it breaks, that’s okay because you can buy another one. People have made great designs like pinching the cover together or using magnets to attach them however these products do not last.

    Gel phone covers are slightly more expensive than plastic ones but they are way better than nothing. These are designed to be pressed down onto the device which helps prevent water from being exposed to the phone. Unfortunately, this feature does not hold true when lifting the case though, so cannot fully protect the device.

    Silicone covers are by far the best choice over the others. These are manufactured through repeated heating and chemical reactions which create a strong bond between the surface and the item covered. This makes their durability very high!

    However, unfortunately, they are also the most expensive due to the cost of the chemicals used during production.

    Cut out shapes

    One of the most popular phone cases is the rubberized case or gel cell phone cover. These are made by either cutting out solid shapes or creating thin, curved designs to fit in different places on your device.

    The materials used to make these covers include latex, plastic, and silicon. No matter which one you pick, they all have one thing in common: They’re both durable and easy to work with.

    Durable means this material will last longer than a normal case would. This could be because it is thicker or more rigid, or maybe even chemical-resistant.

    Easier to work with includes things like moulding the cover onto your device or using a liquid form of the material instead of a powdery dry version. Moulding can easily be done with tools and equipment that are similar to those used for making toys.

    Stick with adhesive or apply pressure to keep shape

    When an edge of your phone is not working properly, it can be frustrating. You may have hit it too hard when trying to take off the case, or the case could stick too easily.

    The cases that we review for this article are made from either plastic or rubber material that has an adhesive layer. This allows you to choose which type of attachment you would like to use to put on and take off the case.

    If you pick an adhesive case, you must apply some sort of steady pressure to remove the case. If you do not, then the adhesive will remain stuck to the surface of the phone, causing trouble.

    Add decorative accents

    One of the most popular ways to add some personality to your new smartphone is by getting a case or sleeve that can be decorated with fun, patterned lugs or touches. These are called touch-up cases as they typically have small openings for the phone’s sensors and/or volume controls.

    Person Holding Blue Cased Smartphone

    Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels

    These designs are usually printed onto the plastic using screen printing, dry film photovoltaic printers, or gel inks which are dried and solidified via heat. Some even use 3D printing technology!

    These additional decorations not only give your device extra style but also help protect it from bumps and shocks. Since these cases are designed to fit closely, they increase the risk of drops too. If you like this type of protection, then there are many brands to choose from.

    They all seem to offer quality products, and most are affordable as well.

    Store in the fridge to harden slightly

    While most people know that plastic phones need to be protected from scratches, cracks, and drops, what many don’t realize is how phone cases are actually made!

    Most clear protective covers are manufactured using lamination or coating techniques. Laminating is where a thin layer of material is put onto another surface. For example, if you wanted to protect your cell phone by coining it in a thick rubber cover, the manufacturer would have to apply a very thin layer of liquid silicone onto a machine that rolls the case up into a big slab.

    This roll of silicone then has to be sliced off-or cut-into individual cases, which is why there are sometimes weird looking edges and/or chunks. These pieces have to be glued back together so that they stick and form a seal, but will also let some air get to the phone.

    The difference between both types of silicone is whether or not the ingredient is pure or mixed with additives. The quality of the finished product depends on what attributes the additon gives, such as hardness or flexibility. Some make the casing more durable, while others contribute to lighter weight. It all really comes down to what qualities you want for your specific device.

    Harder, thinner casings are great for protecting against bumps, but might not fit properly under clothing due to its thickness. Thinner, heavier ones are better for extended use because they are more flexible.

    Tips for cleaning your phone case

    When you get your new cover, make sure to wash it properly!

    Never use soap or liquid to remove the protective layer off of your device as this could damage the phone slightly or even hurt someone if you hit them with the exposed metal.

    You can use some rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner to take out any residue, but never scratch the surface of the phone or else it may not hold its shape or crack.

    After using either solution, let each part sit for at least five minutes before putting back together so that they fully dry.

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