Why Silicone Rubber?
Versatile, resilient, and highly durable, silicone rubber is one of the most popular synthetic polymer materials available. Dependability in even the harshest of environments makes this elastomer uniquely suited for use as a sealant across a vast range of industries.
This type of rubber is composed of silicone, a type of polymer formed by combining the metalloid silicon with methyl chloride. These polymers are resistant to extreme temperatures and are available as solids, liquids, pastes, and greases. Due to the fact that they are non-toxic and odorless, silicones have become a popular and safe sealant option for medical devices and food-grade products.
One of the significant attractions offered by silicone rubber is its immense versatility. Depending on its formulation, this material can display characteristics of both organic and inorganic materials. Unlike many other options, silicone elastomers retain their flexibility even in extremely low temperatures.
Other silicone rubber properties include:
- Noise reduction
- Tensile strength
- Thermal stability
- Vibration dampening
- Weather resistance
- Chemical resistance
Benefits of Silicone Rubber Sealing Solutions
Silicone rubber boasts a wide range of advantages as a sealing solution.
This material maintains consistent properties at extreme high and low temperatures. Its ability to retain its elasticity in high heat and extreme cold makes it an ideal choice for components used across a variety of harsh environment types. Silicone rubber has a temperature range of approximately -100°F to 500°F, and it will hold up to frequent usage at 300°F without experiencing any changes in its properties. It can also often maintain its properties under exposure to temperatures up to 600°F for brief periods of time.
Low Chemical Reactivity
Silicone rubber is relatively inert as a material. It resists most chemicals and is hypoallergenic and biocompatible. This makes it versatile for use in applications ranging from chemical processing to medical implants.
Resistance to Outdoor Environments
Silicone rubber displays a high resistance to the negative effects of most weather conditions. It will retain its physical properties despite ongoing exposure to elements such as rain, wind, snow, and UV rays.
Silicone rubber is highly resistant to moisture and steam. It will maintain its mechanical strength and only absorb approximately 1% of water, even after lengthy immersions in cold, warm, or boiling water.
Multiple Hardness and Color Options
Silicone rubber is available in a variety of formulations to target certain aesthetic or physical properties. It is available in a range of colors, and can be customized to different hardness levels depending on the intended usage.
Good Electrical Properties
The low conductivity of silicone rubber makes it a popular option for applications involving high-voltage currents. Silicone is also flame-retardant and won’t smoke under exposure to heat.
Due to its stability at high temperatures, silicone rubber withstands a wide range of sterilization methods, such as autoclaving, without detrimental effects. As it is non-toxic and easy to sterilize, silicone rubber is classified as a medical-grade material. Manufacturers may utilize this polymer as a sealant for products such as feeding devices, medical pumps, or IV components.
FDA Approval and Mil-Spec Standards
Its inert properties make silicone rubber an ideal choice for food-grade and medical-grade applications. Silicone rubber formulations are available that meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and military standards (Mil-Spec).
What Makes APM Hexseal Sealing Solution Unique
At APM Hexseal, we have spent the past six decades manufacturing RoHS-compliant sealing solutions for military, land, aviation, and naval applications worldwide. Industry leaders continually turn to us for silicone rubber seals that can be depended upon even in the harshest environments. To learn more about our sealing solutions, ask the experts at APM Hexseal today.