In this article, you’ll discover 10 benefits of using silicone rubber products and why it makes it the ideal material.
10 benefits of using silicone rubber
Silicone rubber products are gaining popularity because of these 10 benefits.
1 – Resistance to heat
Silicone rubber is incredibly resistant to extreme heat – direct flame or steam. It’s safe for use at a low of -100° C and a high of 250° C. This makes it ideal for product applications in processing plants, food and cooking preparations, and even near engines.
Using silicone as a material can also give a product self-extinguishing properties. But this is only possible if you add a small about of flame retardant to the silicone rubber product. That way, when the silicone rubber burns, it won’t emit black smoke or toxic gas. This makes it ideal for electronic products and devices in enclosed spaces like subways or aircraft.
2 – Food-grade rating
Silicone has non-toxic qualities that make it safe to be near food, drink, or anything that humans will consume. This makes it safe for handling and producing food. But before using it for this purpose, the silicone material should get approval and a good rating from the FDA.
Getting approval is usually easy because silicone does not have plasticizers to be flexible. That means it won’t leak chemicals like BPA into food.
Once it gains a food-grade rating, it’s now ideal for producing tools for cooking, tubing for conveyance belts or machinery, seals for ovens and refrigerators, and even containers for food storage.
3 – Medical-grade rating
If food-grade ratings are hard to get, it’s harder to get medical-grade approval. But silicone rubber is one of the few materials that are safe to use for medical purposes. It follows stricter guidelines and testing procedures to get a medical-grade rating.
Since silicone can withstand extreme heat, it can thoroughly sterilize without damaging itself. Even if the sterilization process involves dry heat, ethylene oxide, electron beams, steam autoclaving, and gamma radiation, silicone can retain its form despite going through any of these.
That means silicone is easily medical-grade material. Its applications include seals for dialyzers, IV components, feeding equipment, medical pumps, and implants.
4 – Resistant to compression
Silicone rubber products are durable because they are resistant to compression. That means they won’t break even if they’re under a tremendous amount of pressure. This is possible because the production of silicone rubber includes a curing process. This allows silicone to retain its mechanical properties throughout its lifespan. You can rely on silicone rubber products to maintain their high performance for long periods.
5 – Exceptional weatherability
Even natural rubber ages over time, especially after exposure to outside elements. However, silicone rubber has a silicon-oxygen composition that gives it protection even after a lengthy UV exposure. This means silicone is best for applications exposing the product to outdoor elements.
The weather ability of silicone rubber products makes them ideal for hostile environments, unlike organic rubbers. You can even add phenyl groups to the silicone’s polymer molecules. This will make it resistant to radiation as well. This means you can use it for connectors and cables in nuclear power plants.
6 – Tensile strength and flexibility
Rubber materials are naturally flexible. But silicone rubber products take it to the next level. It’s not just flexible. It’s also very resilient.
There’s a hardness rating for silicone that you can measure to ensure that it has the suitable properties you need. Its tensile strength is incredible even when you compare it with regular rubber. It can withstand 200-1,500 psi. You can also stretch silicone by up to 700%.
Depending on the application of silicone rubber, it’s possible to make its composition even harder. You have to add a silica aerogel to increase the hardness rating.
7 – High inertness
Silicone rubber is naturally inert. This means it doesn’t react to many chemical or biological elements. This includes acid, water, oil, bases, fungus, and other chemicals. This is why it can quickly get a food-grade or medical-grade rating from the FDA or similar regulatory authorities.
Because of its inertness, silicone has hypoallergenic properties, making it an excellent material involving skin contact and other medical applications. Of course, this has to go through intensive testing first, but silicone’s inertness makes it the best material for medical purposes.
8 – Extreme versatility
It’s effortless to mold and customize silicone to any shape you want. So if you have unique designs for a product, silicone rubber is an excellent option as the primary material. It’s also possible to adjust certain compounds to strengthen specific properties of the silicone. You can tweak its composition or process to meet the requirements if there’s a need for more tensile strength or compression resistance.
This means silicone rubber products can be as specific as you need them. It’s straightforward to make innovative designs and devices because of it. If the design is complex, you can use LSR or liquid silicone rubber so the silicone can conform to the mold it uses.
9 – Ideal porosity for sealing
Silicone is an excellent option for a sealant because it’s non-porous. Typical rubber material has microscopic holes in it. But silicone doesn’t even have these holes. This means no bacteria, fluids, or microorganisms can penetrate it. This is why it’s ideal for medical use. There’s a low chance of infection or health issues when you use it.
10 – Non-conductive properties
Silicone rubber products have non-conductive properties that make them great for various electrical applications – even in sensitive industries like health care or reactors. In its purest form, silicone is naturally capable of being an electrical insulator. That means you can use it in intense electrical environments, and it won’t compromise the integrity of the silicone rubber product.
Silicone rubber products offer many benefits that fuel their popularity as raw materials for various products. Apart from being resistant to extreme temperatures, harmful chemicals, electrical effects, and even UV rays, it’s versatile enough to manipulate its composition to suit specific designs and applications.
Of course, getting the proper manufacturer to create the silicone material for you will help make unique designs possible.
Buy Custom Silicone Rubber Products from Hongju
Hongju Silicone is one of the leading manufacturers of rubber products in China. With years of experience in the field, you can get high-quality silicone rubber products that fit your specific requirements. You’ll benefit from our experience manufacturing various products like rubber grommets, gaskets, O-rings, conductive silicone keypads, etc. Contact us with details of your specific design, and we’ll give you a fair quote.