Waterproof materials are the most important thing to consider when building houses or aeroplanes. It’s also essential to manufacture apparel and home appliances using a highly water-resistant material. The good news? Silicone rubber is one of the world’s most waterproof materials in different industries.
What You Need to Know About Silicone Rubber
So what exactly is silicone rubber? Made from Silicon, Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, this synthetic rubber has abundant properties that have made manufacturing much easier for many businesses. Whether it’s pharmaceutical, construction, aerospace or automotive industry, you can bet silicon rubber is being utilised daily.
Highly stable and generally non-reactive, silicone rubber seals, strips and gaskets can withstand extreme environments and temperatures. While natural rubber can tolerate heat up to 85 degrees Celcius, silicone rubber can take continuous heat up to 200 degrees Celcius.
With a blend of organic and inorganic properties, silicone extrusions offer a unique and reliable resistance to water, fire and heavy chemicals.
Water-Resistant Silicone Extrusions For Construction
With silicone rubber’s stability and strength, it’s no wonder most builders use it during construction. Whether providing solutions to prevent vibrations and sound or to protect properties from heat, cold and water, this flexible elastomer can do it all.
So what exactly is water-resistant silicone rubber used for in construction?
- Silicone rubber can be added to concrete when laying foundations to enhance durability and compressive strength while reducing splitting.
- Electrical insulation needs to be fire and water-resistant, so silicone extrusions are the perfect choice for construction wiring.
- Sealing windows with silicone rubber strips will ensure maximum weatherproof protection from rain and storms.
- Bridging metal joints with extruded silicone increases longevity and provides a stable connection.
- Silicone rubber gaskets are used in construction to dampen vibrations in high-rise buildings. It also minimises acoustics and sound pollution.
- Thermal insulation is essential when constructing a residential or commercial building. Silicone rubber is an effective way to seal windows and doors.
Everyday Silicone Rubber Use
Many products for sale require the super strong water-resistant properties of silicone rubber. Let’s explore some of the most popular silicone-based objects:
Over the years, shoe designers and companies have added silicone rubber to soles instead of leather to prolong shoe life and keep feet dry and protected at all times. Silicone rubber is also fatigue resistant, meaning it can withstand repeated use’s wear and tear without compromising quality. In addition, apparel industries love silicone rubber due to its hypoallergenic and odourless qualities.
Utensils, cookware and moulds would be useless if they were weak. Luckily, most food industries use silicone rubber in cooking equipment to protect against deterioration from liquids and extreme heat. Food-grade silicone rubber is also one of the most hygienic materials to use thanks to its non-porous properties, making them easy to clean and remove bacteria.
Water-resistant, hygienic and durable materials are crucial in the medical industry. Whether hearing aids, tubing, packaging, chemo cooling caps, surgical trays or face masks, silicone rubber offers a practical solution for most apparatuses.
Silicone rubber-based toys are a safer alternative to traditional plastic. This polymer is super flexible and can mould into any shape and colour. Plus, it’s highly durable and waterproof, making them perfect for bath toys.
Silicone Rubber Vs Latex
Latex is also known as natural rubber. While rubber is produced naturally from the sap of rubber plants, silicone also contains natural latex blended with synthetic additions to enhance its properties.
There are a few similarities between latex and silicone rubber, including low-temperature tolerance. However, there are significant differences, such as:
- Heat Exposure – Natural rubber can withstand temperatures up to 80 degrees Celcius, whereas silicone latex can handle heat up to 230 degrees.
- Weather Resistance – Silicone rubber is superior to natural rubber when it comes to waterproofing and UV exposure.
- Abrasion Resistance – Both materials have excellent tolerance for repeated wear and tear.
- Acid Compatibility – Both latex and silicone rubber is compatible with ketones, alcohols and aldehydes. Yet silicone can also withstand exposure to brake fluid, high molecular weight chlorinated hydrocarbons and hydraulic fluid.