At Apple Rubber, we specialize in the manufacturing of rubber products that have various applications in business and everyday life. Silicone is a multipurpose polymer, and if you browse through our product listings on our website, you’ll notice we offer silicone materials as applications for many of them.
Silicone is incredibly common. In fact, 405k tons of it was produced in the US just last year. So, when exactly is silicone the ideal choice for sealing material? We’re diving deeper to answer that exact question.
1. To withstand a range of temperatures.
Different types of silicone can be manufactured to possess different properties, but a fairly standard characteristic across the board is that it can withstand a wide range of temperatures. The most resistant silicone products can withstand temperatures up to 350℃ (that’s 662℉) for short periods of time. Having a high tolerance to heat is more than a good resistance factor. In manufacturing, it means that silicone can be both more flame retardant and more chemically stable, compared to other materials. The same goes for colder temperatures; based on the molecular design of silicone materials, silicone retains its compression and is water repellent in freezing temperatures.
2. When there is a set standard that requires it.
Based on the durable properties certain types of silicone offer, there are standards in different industries that require a specific silicone to be used in manufacturing. This is a common occurrence for companies who distribute for defense and military applications, as well as within the aerospace industry. One example is the military code MIL-DTL-83528, which details out the properties required for silicone to be used in shielding gaskets. The sealant, in this case, has to be able to protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI), which certain types of silicone can do. Many of the aerospace manufacturing codes are concerned with an elastomer’s ability to resist higher levels of fatigue, meaning it should be able to tolerate being bent or flexed repeatedly.
3. If your product needs to endure tough conditions.
Product longevity is important regardless of which market you operate in. One of the staple benefits of silicone is that it is more resilient to wear-and-tear compared to other materials. Not only can it withstand temperature changes, but changes in other conditions as well, including engine heat, high winds, water and dirt/grime. This durability is possible because of the siloxane bonds, which form the backbone of most silicone materials. Their binding energy, measured in Joules (J), is higher when compared to carbon bonds found in nature. This means that silicone materials have more binding energy than other common organic polymers.