Silicone rubber is one of the most popular extrusion materials on the market. It is the go-to choice for a huge number of industries and applications. Silicone is a synthetic polymer that is made from the chemical element of silicon. Silicon sounds similar to silicone, however, they are two separate entities. Silicon is a raw chemical element and silicone is a rubber material, the link between the two is that silicone rubber is made up of mostly silicon as well as hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.
What Are Extrusions?
The process of extrusion is where a material, in this case, silicone rubber, goes through plastic deformation through the application of force which causes the material to flow through an orifice or even die (circular steel disks containing openings to create a profile). During the process the material adopts the dies cross-sectional profile, if the material has suitable properties then the shape will be retained at the end of the final extrusion. It helps to create an excellent finish to the material and also gives phenomenal freedom of form in the design process.
Here at Viking Extrusions, we have been providing the highest quality silicone rubber extrusions to a huge number of industries for over 30 years.
Why silicone rubber is so popular
Silicone rubber is one of the most popular extrusion materials, and it is for good reason. The material has a long list of extremely great benefits that help to make it the go-to material for a huge number of different industries and applications. These advantages include:
One of the most impressive advantages of silicone rubber is its ability to withstand and perform phenomenally in extreme temperatures, both high and low. The material can withstand temperatures up to 305°c and as low as -70°c. The performance range from hot to cold is extremely impressive and can only be found with silicone rubbers.
With silicone rubber commonly being used in both the medical and food industries, it is extremely important to have good sterilisation. Silicone rubber has a non-porous nature which means that it will not be susceptible to a build-up of bacteria like E.coli and MRSA. The material is FDA-approved, meaning that it can be used in both the food and medical industries.
High Tensile Strength
There are a number of reasons why silicone rubber can be used in far more applications than regular general-purpose silicone. One of the main reasons is that the material was made to have far better elongation and tensile strength than the general purpose grades meaning that it is more resistant to abrasion and fatigue.
Due to the material’s long list of benefits, it can be used in a number of different industries and applications. Its ability to work in all kinds of extreme temperatures means that it can be used in pretty much any environment and perform incredibly well. Many other materials will underperform when met with different temperatures and environments.
What industries commonly use silicone extrusions?
Due to all of the silicone rubbers’ incredible advantages, it is the go-to material for a huge number of different industries. There are a few industries that more commonly use silicone rubber extrusions. The industries that most commonly use the material are:
Silicone rubber is hugely popular in the food industry, for a number of reasons. Gaskets and other machine parts that come into contact with any food or drink are normally silicone rubber. This is because it is a non-reactive material meaning that it is phenomenal at stopping food contamination. In addition to this, silicone is also a reusable plastic which is far better for the environment than other single-use plastics.
Silicone rubber is also FDA-approved. This means that the material has been through extensive testing to ensure that it is safer for use in industries where contamination of material could pose severe health risks to the public.
The medical industry is another industry that often goes to silicone rubber as its number one choice for different applications. With medical applications, it is super important that the material used is safe. That is why the FDA-approved silicone rubber is so popular in the industry. Silicone has a non-porous nature which means that it will not be susceptible to bacteria build-up making it perfect for an industry where health is paramount.
Silicone is also high flexibility and tear resistant, making it perfect for transporting liquids and contains no plasticisers that could potentially contaminate a drug and create toxicological issues.
The last industry that commonly uses rubber extrusions is the automotive industry. Viking Extrusions started out 25 years ago providing rubber door seals to the automotive industry. Silicone is so popular in the automotive industry because of its immense reliability in both extremely high and extremely low temperatures.
In addition to this, the material is also resistant to weathering, UV, ozone, salt and a huge number of chemicals making it perfect for use in automobiles. These qualities make it the perfect choice for applications such as rubber seals, car door seals, windscreen rubber seals, and other seals found in cars.