How Long Does Silicone Rubber Last?

Silicone rubber is a popular material because of its lifespan, but how long does silicone last?

A suitable material for use in a range of applications, silicone rubber has become one of the most popular materials across the world. With uses in all industries, it is a long-lasting high-performance polymer that can transform the way your business works. So what is the expected lifespan of silicone rubber and what factors affect it?

What is the typical silicone lifespan?

The lifespan of silicone rubber varies depending on the way it is cured, the form it takes, and a number of other factors. As a general guideline, silicone tends to have a long shelf-life of around 20 years.

However, the curing process for platinum-cured and peroxide-cured silicone can extend the life, with some silicone rubber profiles lasting upwards of 45 years. If you’d like further information on silicone lifespans and how we can formulate specialist grades of silicone to suit your needs, you can contact the Viking Extrusions team to discuss your requirements in detail.

How long does it take for silicone to decompose?

Silicone can lose its integrity and properties over time. This could be caused by numerous factors or simply the material itself reaching the end of its life. It is not affected by general weathering, UV, or ozone exposure, making it ideal for use outside in a number of applications.

It is an extremely durable material, and as a result, silicone rubber can take anywhere from 50 years to 500 years to decompose, making it the long-lasting product many businesses need.

Does silicone break down and what factors can alter the lifespan of silicone rubber?

There are multiple benefits of using silicone rubber. That said, the quality and integrity of silicone rubber can be affected by numerous factors, from exposure to specific chemicals to use outside of the temperatures it can withstand.

  • Temperature – The temperature range of silicone rubber can go as low as -70°c and as high as 300°c. However, exposing the material to temperatures outside of this range can cause the material to degrade significantly.
  • Chemicals and oils – Silicone can tolerate some exposure to chemicals and oils. However, if it is to be exposed for longer periods of time, you will notice that silicone will swell. A specialist-grade silicone can prevent swelling.
  • Damage – Silicone rubber is extremely durable as a material and able to withstand a lot of pressures. However, significant damage to the material, such as cutting or tearing, can weaken the overall integrity. If you expect the silicone to be exposed to elongation and significant force, a specialist-grade silicone might be better suited to your needs.


Is silicone eco-friendly?

The durability of silicone rubber means that it will not break down into smaller pieces, as plastic does. It will only break down with external assistance. Its long lifespan makes it a popular choice for businesses, and we have manufactured over 8,000 silicone rubber profiles for customers throughout the years. One key element is that it isn’t likely to pose a risk to wildlife as it is not small enough to be ingested. In some cases, it can be recycled.

In a blog post from Operations Manager Matthew Bishop, we explored the topic of making silicone circular:

"At present, silicone is not recycled as much as it should be. Perhaps the most important reason for this is that silicone is difficult to break down, which makes recycling expensive and discouraged. This resistance to chemical degradation is also why silicone is so highly valued – and possibly the reason why we have been so slow collectively to recycle and reuse it. Silicone is not like plastic. It does not break up into microplastics and, if landfilled, it generally holds together and could resist the environment for at least 500 years. This actually makes silicone environmentally friendly, in a way. If silicone is dumped into the environment, it just sits around doing nothing. It doesn't make its way into the oceans or food chains and is therefore easy to ignore. This is a mentality that must change."

Is silicone rubber right for your business needs?

Silicone rubber is an extremely versatile and durable material, making it ideal for use in a number of applications. We work with a variety of industries to create the right product for your needs. If you need a specialist-grade silicone rubber or need to discuss your requirements, contact us today for further information.

Get in touch with Viking Extrusions

Contact our expert team of silicone engineers for advice, quotations or any other queries.

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