Silicone Rubber Material Guide: Properties, Types & Applications

Frank Lowe offers die cut silicone rubber with or without adhesives. Read on to learn more about silicone rubber materials.

Safe enough to be used on baby bottle nipples and strong enough to withstand the rigorous demands of the aeronautics industry, silicone rubber is nothing short of amazing.

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Since 1955, Frank Lowe has been partnering with businesses across all markets to produce state-of-the-art industrial manufacturing solutions. We offer dedicated industrial contract manufacturing teams who specialize in providing comprehensive services to a variety of markets.From best-in-class materials, customizable products, and a full suite of industrial manufacturing services, we provide whatever it takes to help your business met its objectives. Regardless of the technical or logistics demands of your project, we will work with you every step of the way providing customizable distribution services and support to ensure the contract die cutting is completed and delivered on time, within budget, and to your exact specifications.

Safe enough to be used on baby bottle nipples and strong enough to withstand the rigorous demands of the aeronautics industry, silicone rubber is nothing short of amazing.

Silicone rubbers are high-performance elastomers that were created with the purpose of insulating generators and electric motors. Since then, solid silicone rubber (solid at room temperature) has evolved into a go-anywhere, do-anything elastomer.

Today, silicone rubbers and sponges are used for a vast myriad of low and high-temperature applications. And the team at Frank Lowe can help you leverage the right type of silicone rubber materials to improve the performance of your application.

At Frank Lowe, we offer decades of experience leveraging the high-temperature resistance properties of silicone rubbers for gaskets and other components. We specialize in matching your application to the best silicone elastomers.

There are several types of this man-made polymer, including room temperature vulcanized, liquid silicone, solid silicone rubber, or high-temperature vulcanized rubber. Let's take a closer look at silicone rubbers.

What Are Silicone Rubbers?

Silicone rubbers offer fire resistance and a host of other desirable attributes because of their unique composition of silicone, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen molecules. Silicone rubbers are used across an array of industries and applications — including medical applications — and are available in multiple formulations.

Silicone rubbers are usually one- or two-part polymers. At the same time, silicone products may include fillers to bolster properties and attributes. 

The same fillers can be added to silicone elastomers to potentially reduce costs. In general, silicone rubbers are:

  • Non Reactive
  • Resistant to extreme environments, 
  • Stable 
  • Capable of performing in temperature ranges from − 55°C to 300°C while still maintaining useful physical and mechanical properties

Thanks to its molecular structure, silicone rubber offers ease of manufacturing and shaping. All of its physical and mechanical properties allow silicone to be used in an array of products and applications.

Types of Silicone Rubber: Fluorosilicone, Solid Silicone Rubber, Liquid Silicone Rubber, and More

One of the most attractive attributes of silicone rubber is the seemingly endless array of options offered by the material. From the rainbow of color options to different levels of flexibility and hardness, whatever you need from your silicone rubber — Frank Lowe can make it happen.

Fluorosilicone Rubber

One of the primary types of silicone rubber elastomers we offer at Frank Lowe is fluorosilicone rubber. It boasts excellent high and low-temperature stability and is suitable for exposure to ozone, sunlight, air, aromatic hydrocarbons, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.

However, this material does boast:

  • Poor physical strength, 
  • High friction characteristics, and 
  • Poor abrasion resistance.

As a result, we do not suggest fluorosilicone for dynamic sealing or applications that involve hydrazine, brake fluids, or ketones.

Solid Silicone Rubber

Solid silicone rubber or high-temperature vulcanized rubber is composed of polymers that have relatively long polymer chains and high molecular weight. It's available in an uncured form and manufactured through normal rubber processing techniques.

How Does Silicone Rubber Compare to Organic Groups?

When compared to other types of organic rubber and rubber-like material, silicone rubbers have better:

  • Electrical insulation
  • High-temperature heat resistance
  • Chemical structure stability
  • Abrasion resistance

This makes silicone rubber one of the most versatile and dynamic rubber elastomers available. 

Parts engineered from silicone rubbers are engineered to withstand UV rays, rain, and wind for extended periods without experiencing any significant changes in physical properties. And unlike the majority of organic rubbers, silicone is unimpacted by ozone.

Key Properties & Characteristics of Silicone Rubber

As we previously mentioned, silicone rubbers are excellent for applications in low and high temperatures. Silicone rubbers & silicone elastomers perform and maintain the desired physical attributes in a wide temperature range — spanning from -50°C to 350°C.

Silicone materials boast remarkable resistance to ozone and weathering, which makes silicone elastomers a suitable elastomer for outdoor applications. However, silicone rubber isn't resistant to superheated steam. 

It also has low gas permeability with minimum resistance to petroleum-based fluids.  

Key Attributes of Silicone Materials & Silicone Products

The principal material — silicone — is an organic elastomer that boasts:

  • Solid resistance to compression set
  • Excellent resistance to extreme temperatures 
  • Remarkable heat resistance and flame retardant
  • Good electrical insulation for high voltage applications
  • Great retention of flexibility and mechanical integrity
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Great tear strength and chemical stability
  • High thermal conductivity
  • Good fire resistance

Any component, seal, or gasket made from silicone will have sound resistance to moisture, oxygen, and ozone.  

Applications for Silicone Rubber

Silicone rubber is one of the best materials on the market and is valued across several industries because of its excellent properties, such as:

  • Good thermal conductivity 
  • Elongation 
  • High tear strength 
  • Remarkable resistance to high temperatures
  • Flame retardant

Gaskets and Seals

Silicone gaskets and seals are commonly used to prevent leaks between mechanical parts. In general, rubber is an excellent material because of its resistance to several liquids, its flexibility, and compressibility. Silicone is an excellent sealing material because of its resistance to chemicals and ability to withstand a range of temperatures.

However, it's critical to note that silicone rubber is used for static gaskets and sealing applications. If you attempt to use it in a dynamic seal application, the rubber can become easily damaged and torn.

Order Die Cut Silicone Rubber Components

If you're looking for the best die-cut silicone components and parts, Frank Lowe will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. We utilize a range of world-class die-cutting equipment and processes to produce precise die cuts to your specifications. 

Our experienced team will listen to your unique project needs and guide you to the best solution.

Contact Frank Lowe for Silicone Rubber

Whether you need the high tensile strength of silicone rubber for sealing, protecting, gaskets, or any other application — Frank Lowe offers the solution. Even if you don't know the exact specifications, we can lend our expert design assistance to ensure we provide the most ideal solution.

We can even supply materials and provide quick run prototyping to test any material or part. Ready to explore, pursue, and create better? 

Contact Frank Lowe today to learn more about the possibilities of silicone rubber for your application.

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