What Makes Silicone Gasket Material Special?
Posted by Phineas Gray , on Dec, 2014
The obvious difference between Silicone Gasket Material and any other type of gasket material is that this one is made of silicone. But, is it that simple?
What Is Silicone?
The first thing to make clear is that silicone is not simply another way of spelling silicon. Silicon is a chemical element in its own right. The universe contains a lot of silicon but it is rarely found in pure form on this Earth. Silicon has to be extracted from other compounds and, in its most pure form, is the bedrock of the silicon chips in our electronic devices and gadgets.
Silicones (or siloxanes as they are also known) are inert compounds of silicon in combination with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and, depending upon final function, other elements. These compounds are often rubber like and can be cross referenced with other organic elastomers or polymers. Silicone rubber has higher temperature resistance than many of the organic based polymers and is noticeably hygienic and does not readily support bacterial growth – this makes Silicone Gasket Material favored in hospital and food processing equipment. For these applications, it will often be supplied in sheet form (for cutting out gaskets) or as a molded to shape and size silicone gasket. All silicone “rubber” compounds are somewhat lacking in mechanical strength which can limit their range of application. Forms of Silicone Gasket Material known as fluorosilicones are widely used as gaskets in aerospace fuel systems; they generally have higher temperature and better fluid resistance than the standard Silicone Gasket Material.
Silicone Sealants And RTV Gasketing
These are widely used in almost all industries and are, perhaps, the type of Silicone Gasket Material most known to the public at large. We use silicone sealants in our bathrooms and kitchens and to keep the water inside our fish tanks. The RTV type refers to “Room Temperature Vulcanizing” – with any rubber sheet gasket (also called sheet packing) or molded rubber seal, the rubber has to be subjected to heat and pressure to complete the cross linking of the polymer. With Silicone Gasket Material in RTV form, it is supplied in a tube and when squeezed out and then squashed between two surfaces the silicone rubber will vulcanize from mere exposure to the air. This makes it an ideal quick fit gasket material and RTV silicone sealants are widely used by automobile engine mechanics.
Silicone Is A Special Material
This does put it in a higher price bracket. Therefore, before buying any Silicone Gasket material, talk to your supplier and confirm that you are looking at the best grade for your particular gasketing application.
Let Engineered Materials Inc. be your reliable supplier for all types of silicone gasket material full details can be obtained by browsing their website at engineeredmaterialsinc.com.