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Silicone & Rubber Membranes

Steinbach Silicone & Natural Rubber Membranes

Steinbach Membranes are designed to be both extremely flexible and durable. They are used in a wide variety of industries such as woodworking, solar, automotive, and glass.  Smartech is committed to providing a wide range of Steinbach Silicone and Natural Rubber Membranes to meet the varying needs of our customers and their industries.

At Smartech, we offer a wide range of smooth or textured silicone, and matte natural rubber membrane options to meet your specific needs. Smooth silicone membranes and matte surface natural rubber membranes are best for products that depend on a smooth finish, like with a high-gloss surface. Textured silicone membranes reduce the visibility of scuffs and shadows, and also prevent the problem of memory effect marks that may show during the next press load if your edges are really sharp. Textured silicone membranes also have a lower friction coefficient and will separate from the 3D Laminate more easily than smooth silicone membranes.

There isn’t one type of membrane that is fundamentally better than the other. The best choice depends on what type of industrial application is involved and how the silicone or natural rubber membrane will be used. Some projects may depend on a high-gloss sheen finish, in which case the smooth silicone membrane options are the better choice. Other applications may have different requirements in which case a textured silicone or matte natural rubber membrane would be more appropriate.

Smartech and Steinbach have partnered to develop silicone and rubber membranes 3D lamination applications, solar panel manufacture, glass lamination, and auto interior components.

Smartech keeps hundreds of Steinbach membranes in stock for fast delivery to keep your production running. This has helped establish Smartech as one of the most trusted names in the 3D lamination industry.

Check out our options of smooth and textured silicone and matte-surfaces rubber membranes – then call us to determine what type of Steinbach membrane would be best for the needs of your project!

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Silicone Membranes

Steinbach AG of Detmold, Germany, has worked closely with 3DL component producers, vacuum former manufacturers, and membrane press experts to create a line of very effective, high-quality membranes for use in the woodworking industry. Whether you call it a membrane, a bladder, or a diaphragm, there is no better option for these products than a Steinbach.

Steinbach silicone membranes are designed to last through hundreds and even thousands of pressing cycles as long as the parts are spaced properly and well-designed. With a variety of elongation capabilities, Steinbach membranes are tailored to provide excellent durability for a range of applications.

Rubber Membranes

The higher tear resistance of the Steinbach Natural Rubber Membrane makes it a preferred choice when working with real wood veneer or tricky contours. The matte surface resists scuffing and is good for high gloss as well. But check your operating temperature – anything over 120°C or 248°F won’t work for natural rubber so you’ll need to go with silicone. The press temperature is often determined by your adhesive, so make sure your membrane and glue will work well together.

Factors that Affect Rubber Sheet Membrane Use

There are a number of different factors that can play a part in how rubber sheet membranes are used. The durometer is one such factor. The durometer is simply a term used to state how hard the rubber used in the membrane is. This international standard is measured by using a small device that makes an indention in the rubber. Depending on the hardness, the membrane is then given a value. These values are written as a whole number ranging from 5 to 100 followed by +/- 5 to show that the hardness of the membrane actually falls into a range. This means a membrane with a durometer of 50 would actually have a hardness between 45 and 55. There are three types of durometers, Type A, Type D, and Type 00.

  • Type A – used for soft rubber
  • Type D – used for hard rubber
  • Type 00 – used for sponge and foam

The surface also impacts the use of the rubber membrane. We offer both textured and smooth surfaces. One option is not better than the other—it depends on your needs and how the membrane will be used. A textured surface can improve the transfer of heat or can give the final product a different sheen. For some applications, one option may work better than the other, but one is not inherently better than the other.

Color has absolutely no bearing on anything other than to indicate the durometer of the membrane. This makes it easier to tell at a glance how thick the membrane is.

Why 3D Lamination

3D lamination is a method of creating a surface that does not require edge banding or T-molding. It also doesn’t have any visible seams. This is ideal for surfaces that aren’t completely flat or are contoured in such a way that standard lamination can’t be used. 3D lamination can be used to create aesthetic visuals that resemble wood and other surfaces, while providing outstanding durability and affordability.

There are a number of benefits to using 3D lamination:
• It offers unparalleled flexibility.
• It’s very affordable and can be used as a solution for applications that once would have required a much larger budget.
• It’s water resistant.
• It’s mold-resistant.
• It’s easy to clean
• It’s very durable.
• It can be used in a wide number of commercial spaces.

If you’re looking for rubber membranes to use in your 3D lamination projects, you can’t go wrong with the Steinbach brand. Contact us today to discuss your project and how we can help you find the right rubber sheet membrane.

Membrane FAQs

What Difference does the Color Make?

The color is really just to make it easier to differentiate between different material durometers. The same color from different manufacturers are NOT THE SAME kind of membrane!

What’s Better: A Smooth Or A Textured Surface?

It depends on what works best for your application. Some customers need a smooth surface for high-gloss finishes. Some prefer a matte or textured surface toward the heating platen for improved heat transfer. Others use the textured or matte surface down toward the foil to get a slightly different sheen on their foil, or to prevent darker foils from scuffing.

I Call It A Membrane, But My Co-Workers Keep Calling It A Bladder And Now You’re Telling Me Some Others Call It A Diaphragm! What’s The Real Name?

Stop giggling and call it whatever you like, we’ll know what you mean. Although there are various names for the same product, we are able to decipher your needs and help you get the best product for your application, whether it’s a bladder, diaphragm or any other name your team calls it.


Smartech’s roots in the woodworking industry go back over 30 years and we’re proud to list many of the industry’s most prominent names as our longtime and loyal customers. Smaller shops also know that service comes first at Smartech, and they can rely on receiving our VIP treatment every time they call. See for yourself – our excellent products and superior service will lower your production costs and improve your bottom line.

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The composites industry has discovered the versatility of Steinbach's super flexible and reusable membrane materials. They save labor time and cost, don't require extensive training, and can be used over and over again for different shapes without retooling.

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Steinbach demonstrated their commitment to the solar industry by developing the patented Lamibran® Diaphragm that stays flexible for thousands of cycles even when exposed to caustic EVA vapors. Then they developed laminator-specific mixtures to provide the best product for specific applications.

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Glass Lamination

Steinbach's vacuum bags for glass lamination ovens are both durable and have the elongation needed for flat glass panel lamination.

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Dye Sublimation

Steinbach's membranes for dye sublimation provide both the durability and temperature resistance of this demanding industry.

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Steel Rule Die

Steinbach’s 2mm thick Natural Rubber Membrane is a popular replacement for Gerber and other steel rule die vacuum presses. With or without mounting holes – these durable membranes have been the go-to in the industry as a reliable and affordable alternative to the OEM replacement membranes.

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