Silicone liquid is a versatile thermoset elastomer that maintains mechanical properties over a broad range of temperatures. It has lower compressibility than petroleum-based insulating oils and synthetic lubricants.
It is also nontoxic, tasteless and transparent, making it hypoallergenic and safe to use for items that come into contact with the skin. This makes it perfect for medical products and kitchen items.
Stable at Extreme Temperatures
One of the main reasons why liquid silicone is so valuable in many industries lies within its stability at extreme temperatures. Completely cured silicone can tolerate heat, fire, and cold within the general temperature range of -100 degC to 300 degC without degrading.
When compared to rubber, silicone can withstand temperatures way above 200 degC and down to below -60 degC, all while still maintaining its shape and other physical properties. It also has very low flammability, making it an ideal material to use in places that require strict fire safety standards, such as hospitals or high-rise buildings.
Liquid silicone is highly resistant to a variety of chemicals including oils, solvents, acids and bases. This makes it a popular material to use for kitchen items like liners and rubber spatulas and baby products like baby bottle nipples that need to be able to withstand contact with liquid.
Completely cured silicone is also unaffected by 10% alkaline aqueous solutions at ambient temperatures and does not react to aluminum, stainless steel or most other metals. However, it may gel or lose its elasticity if exposed to lead, selenium or tellurium.
Silicone has an excellent electrical insulating property, which is why electronic components are often encased in it (a process known as “potting”). It also offers good resistance to corona discharge and does not negatively affect the conductivity of finished electronics parts.
Silicone is an inorganic material that is considered hypoallergenic. Unlike organic materials such as natural rubber latex that have carbon-to-carbon backbones, silicone is odorless and tasteless.
It’s also oil-free, meaning it won’t clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. In fact, it has occlusive properties, which keep skin moist and soft.
This makes it an ideal material for baby products, such as soothers and teats. It’s also easy to sterilise, making it an essential material for medical companies who manufacture pumps, feeding devices and long-term implantable materials. Likewise, it can be crafted into products that require a high level of chemical resistance, including lubricants and seals. The material is also resistant to UV radiation and extreme temperatures. This helps to extend the life of your product and reduce repair costs.
Silicone liquid has an extremely fast curing rate, allowing it to be injection molded quickly for rapid manufacturing and automated equipment. This fast curing cycle also leads to very high shear resistance, making it ideal for the production of high-precision industrial components and appliances.
Fully cured silicone maintains its mechanical properties across a wide temperature range from -100 to 300 degrees Celsius. This low temperature stability makes it a popular choice for electronics encasement, where durability against vibration and shock is essential.
Silicone rubber can be cured using the following methods:
Easy to Manufacture
Silicone can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh environmental conditions, while also being hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria growth. Additionally, it’s a natural electrical insulator. This makes it a great material for covering wires, data cables and other materials that need to be protected from heat, cold or vibrations.
This liquid silicone can be molded to a variety of shapes, and it is easily color-matched using pigments. It is a good choice for products that need to look as realistic as possible, like prosthetics and medical devices.
The most common use for liquid silicone is injection molding, resulting in high-clarity and high-strength molded parts. It’s usually delivered to the manufacturer in two sealed drums or 40 lb buckets, one containing a catalyst and the other containing a crosslinker.