What Is Silicone?

Scientifically, silicones are polymers that include any inert, synthetic compound made up of repeating units of siloxane, which is a chain of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms. All of which is frequently combined with carbon and/or hydrogen.

How can silicone be used?

Silicones have been used as adhesives and sealants for over 60 years. During those years, there have been many developments, pushing the use towards industry sectors. Silicone based sealants can move with expansion and contraction. However, they can only be subjected to relatively small mechanical loads, low surface tension and cannot be over-painted. Therefore, generally only used as sealants.

Amongst the unique properties of silicone, is its excellent resistance to temperature. The product can withstand anything between -60C to 200C without deforming. They’re very easy to apply, due in part to their viscosity, and are very easy to tool up.

Now silicone is most used in the construction sector and is easily suited to structural glazing/ electrical potting.

So, is silicone right for me?

To help you decide whether the use of silicone is right for you, we have put together some of the key characteristics so that you can make an educated, informed decision.

Stress recovery – Good

UV Resistance – Good

Heat Resistance – Excellent

Low Temperature Extrusion – Good

Tear Resistance – Poor

Paint-ability – Very Poor

Availability In Colours – Good

Non-bubbling – Good

Adhesion Spectrum – Fair

Staining – Very Poor

Environmental Friendliness – Poor

Where can they be seen?

Silicone fluids and gels
Automotive – protection of electricals
Cooking equipment
Medical applications – dressings, medical tubes and orthopaedic products
Windows and facades

There’s a lot to consider when thinking of the solution that best fits your needs. If you want some non-biased advice, feel free to contact one of our experts on the number above. Alternatively, click here to request product data sheets.

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