Silicones are a family of high-performance materials whose unique molecular structure mean that they will are available many various forms, including liquids, solids, semi-viscous pastes, oils, greases and rubber. We use this versatile rubber material during a range of settings, from visual, highly aesthetic components to food-grade kitchen utensils. In this article, we explain the benefits and drawbacks of silicone rubber.
What is silicone rubber?
Silicone rubber may be a remarkable material. This semi-organic rubber (not to be confused with the element silicon) consists of a sequence of silicon and oxygen atoms, as against the carbon and hydrogen atoms prevalent in most other sorts of rubber.
This molecular structure may be a mixed blessing in terms of silicone’s properties.
On the one hand, this backbone of siloxane bonds gives silicone its low thermal conductivity, leading to a particularly heat resistant and thermally stable material. On the opposite hand, whilst stable and versatile, silicone’s chain is weak, which suggests it tears easily.
Let’s check out the benefits and drawbacks of silicone rubber in greater detail.
Advantages of synthetic rubber
One of the most beneficial of silicone rubber is its heat resistance. It offers outstanding high-temperature resistance, with some compounds ready to withstand temperatures up to 305 °C. Silicone’s thermal stability means it retains its structure and properties over a good temperature range. This extends to low temperatures too, which suggests this rubber can maintain its flexibility even at -100°C.
Have you ever wondered why numerous kitchen utensils are made from silicone? Well, that’s because another advantage of synthetic rubber is its non-porous nature. This makes it immune to bacterial build-up, making silicone particularly useful in food and beverage applications, where food-grade compounds can provide total peace of mind. Silicone is additionally non-toxic, water-repellent and recyclable at specialised plants.
Disadvantages of synthetic rubber
One of the main disadvantages of silicone rubber is its poor tear strength. this will be improved with the addition of other ingredients, but it doesn’t naturally offer strength or abrasion resistance, therefore the application must be carefully assessed for the suitability of silicone as an answer .
Another disadvantage of silicone elastomers is that as a premium product they will accompany a similarly premium tag compared to another rubber materials. However, this first outlay is usually offset by improvements in uptime and internal control . Again, chatting with a specialist like Martin’s Rubber will enable you to realize a clearer understanding of silicone’s ROI with regards to your specific application.
Like all materials, silicone rubber has its benefits and shortcomings. Despite a number of its more impressive qualities, it certainly isn’t applicable for each application. to seek out out more about the advantages of silicone or to debate how our rubber moulding services can support your application requirements in additional detail, speak to at least one of our friendly and knowledgeable experts. they're going to be all too happy to supply their advice and guidance.
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