Silicone is a highly favored material due to its durability, versatility, and biocompatibility. These properties make silicone among the most commonly used across a range of industries. At Vanguard Products, we use silicone for tubing, O-rings, and extruded products.
Benefits of Silicone Rubber
There are several key advantages of using silicone rubber materials for various products. These benefits include:
Silicone rubber holds up in many environments, with sufficient thermal stability, flame resistance, steam resistance, and resistance to both UV and radiation. It also features a very low compression set and high tensile strength and resilience.
One of the main benefits of using silicone rubber for products is the material’s versatility. Many industries rely on silicone rubber because of its compatibility with a wide variety of applications. By making slight adjustments to the compound mixture, curing agents, or processes, silicone rubber sees a reduced compression set along with increased resistance to flame, steam, temperature, and water.
It’s possible to manufacture silicone rubber with a translucent appearance or nearly any color. In addition, its durability makes the material highly reliable and capable of performing consistently well in the long term. At Vanguard Products, we offer top-quality silicone rubber products that fully realize the benefits that this material offers.
FDA, USP, ISO, and NSF Acceptance
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers silicone as appropriate for use in food and beverage applications, consistent with their requirements under 21CFR177.2600. This is due to the material’s chemical and physiological inertness. Additionally, unlike many other organic elastomers, silicone rubber tends to be more biocompatible and hypoallergenic. Many silicone compounds are USP-VI and ISO-10993 compliant and have also achieved NSF-51 listing.
Silicone vs Rubber
Silicone comes with several benefits over organic rubber that make it a more suitable option for many applications. These include the following:
Temperature and Flame Resistance
Silicone works in environments with a broader temperature range than natural rubber or organic elastomers. While organic rubber begins to deteriorate at around 80°C and can start to degrade at 120°C, silicone holds up to temperatures as high as 230°C. Organic elastomers also lose their elastic properties as temperatures approach -40°C, whereas silicones remain elastic in temperatures as low as -100°C. Silicone also features better flame resistance, meaning it won’t ignite easily when brought close to fire. When the material burns, it produces minimal levels of noxious gas and black smoke.
Over time, ozone causes organic rubber materials to deteriorate, but silicone doesn’t experience this. TPE’s and organic rubber products can also tend to shrink with exposure to the elements. Silicone rubber also has the ability to hold up to rain, wind, and sun exposure for more than 10 years. Its resistance to UV and weathering makes it ideal for many outdoor applications, including window and door seals. Meanwhile, organic rubber tends to weather quickly and works best for indoor applications.
Silicone Rubber Applications
The properties of silicone rubber make it suitable for a range of applications, such as:
Silicone’s electrical behavior makes it ideal for use in insulating materials for products such as cable accessories. This is due to its superior dielectric properties, high volume resistivity, thermal resistance, and hydrophobic properties.
Silicone rubber’s FDA , USP, and ISO compliance makes it a popular choice for use in sterile medical equipment.
Aircraft, Subway, and Building Interiors
Silicone makes closed areas such as building interiors safer because of the material’s flame resistance and low smoke generation.
A variety of electronics use silicone materials because of their durability, thermal stability, and dielectric properties. Some electronics made with silicone include keyboards, keypads, copier rollers, and LED technology.
Door and Window Seals
Window and door seals often use silicone rubber due to its UV and weathering resistance.
Silicone Tubing, O-Rings, and Extrusions from Vanguard Products
If you’re looking for high-quality silicone rubber products, Vanguard Products offers a wide selection. Our extensive offerings include a range of standard and customized molded and extruded tubing, seals, and gaskets, along with specialty rubber products.