The Advantages of Silicone for Rubber Products

silicone rubber properties

Silicone rubber is a highly versatile material valued for its flexibility, biocompatibility, and resistance to temperatures, UV light, radiation, and ozone.

Its unique properties make it particularly useful in the medical, aerospace, and electrical sectors for a variety of components, including tubing, washers, gaskets, and other sealing hardware.

At Thomas A. Caserta, we specialize in manufacturing rubber products from a variety of quality rubber materials, including silicone rubber.

Why Silicone Rubber?

Silicone rubber is one of the most commonly used synthetic rubbers on the market. It is composed of silicone bonded with hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen to create cross-linked polymers reinforced with silica. The result is a unique synthetic elastomer that offers the ideal balance of mechanical and chemical characteristics for the most demanding applications.

Silicone rubber offers distinct advantages over other elastomers, including:

  • Environmental resistance: Silicone rubber exhibits a high level of resistance to harsh environmental factors, including UV radiation, open flames, extreme temperatures, and corrosive chemicals.
  • Thermal stability: Silicone rubber will retain its shape, durability, and flexibility in extreme hot and cold temperatures.
  • Moisture sealant: Silicone rubber is water repellent and malleable, which makes it an excellent sealant.
  • Highly versatile: Silicone rubber can be molded and shaped to meet even the most detailed specifications. The formulation can be adjusted to enhance or downplay characteristics, such as electrical conductivity, flexibility, and toughness.
  • Easy sterilization: Silicone rubber can withstand high temperatures, harsh chemicals, and radiation exposure required with FDA regulated sterilization methods, making it a useful medical-grade material.
  • Color friendly: Silicone rubber is easy to color prior to the curing process, so that it exhibits a lasting, vivid shade.
  • Electrical properties: Silicone rubber is an excellent electrical insulator, however the addition of metal or carbon black can improve its conductive properties.
  • Range of hardness: Silicone rubber can be formulated to exhibit different ranges of flexibility and hardness, depending on the needs of the application.
  • Durable and reliable: Silicone is highly durable and retains its shape and flexibility in extreme conditions, making it a particularly reliable material for use in critical applications.

With its ability to conform to the needs of nearly any application, it is no surprise that silicone rubber is one of the most widely used materials.

Properties of Silicone Rubber

silicone rubber parts

Silicone rubber exhibits unique physical, mechanical, and chemical properties that enhance its usefulness, including:

  • Flame retardant: Silicone rubber exhibits high thermal stability.
  • Steam resistant: Its high thermal stability also allows silicone rubber to retain its shape and consistency when exposed to high temperature steam.
  • Food-grade and medical-grade ratings: Silicone rubber is highly resistant to temperatures, chemicals, and radiation used for the sterilization of food processing and medical equipment, making it an ideal food-grade and medical-grade material.
  • Excellent compression set: Silicone rubber exhibits a high compression set, and will retain its shape under high levels of repeated or extended compression and extreme temperatures.
  • UV and radiation resistance: Silicone rubber will not degrade with repeated or prolonged exposure to UV or other types of radiation.
  • Rebound and resilience: Depending on the formulation, silicone rubber is highly flexible and will rebound or return to its original shape and configuration after it is flexed or bent.
  • Metal adhesion: Silicone rubber exhibits excellent adhesion to metals, particularly during molding and extrusion processes.
  • High tensile strength: Depending on the formulation and manufacturing process, silicone rubber exhibits tensile strength from 200 to 1,500 psi.
  • Chemically and biologically inert: Silicone rubber reacts to very few chemical or biological agents.

Silicone rubber’s highly resistant, physically resilient, and durable nature makes it ideal for molded rubber components in a broad range of temperatures and environments.

Custom Silicone Seals From Thomas A. Caserta

At Thomas A. Caserta, Inc., we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality rubber parts and components in the industry. For more than 70 years, we have been a reliable manufacturer of stock and custom tubing and sealing components for medical, dental and food industries, among others.

Our state-of-the-art facilities and knowledgeable experts are capable of creating FDA, medical- and surgical-grade tubing, among other quality products from a variety of rubber materials, including silicone rubber. To learn more about our superior silicone rubber products and services, contact us today or request a quote.