Silicone Rubber Sheet Characteristics
Silicone rubber sheet is an inorganic synthetic elastomer made from a crosslinked silicon-based polymer. Silicone’s ability to remain elastic and rubbery makes this product highly valued in many industries. It offers a unique combination of chemical and mechanical properties organic to elastomers a like, like gum rubber, or inorganic elastomers, like neoprene rubber, can’t match. These properties make silicone sheeting the material of choice for applications ranging from cooking sheets to racecar hoses.
When made in to gaskets, silicon rubber sheets are mechanical seals used to prevent leakage between two surfaces (http://EzineArticles.com/2463548). Depending on the application, these products come in a variety of different design specifications that are based upon industrial usage, chemical contact, physical parameters, and budget requirements. These factors should always be taken into consideration when planning to cut silicone rubber sheets to fit a custom project.
Silicone sheeting has many versatile properties that make it ideal for a wide range of applications. Temperature resistance, moisture resistance, chemical resistance, and compression resistance are reasons this elastomer will make a practical and cost-effective choice for any project.
- Industrial Usage: silicone rubber sheets can assume many forms to meet the unique demands of various types of markets including the automotive, plumbing, electronics, construction, aerospace, food, and medical industries. Each of these industries has their own (purpose when it comes to the use of custom silicone rubber parts). For example, in the construction industry silicone sheeting can be used for fire protection and glazing seals while in the automotive industry it could be needed for external gaskets and trims.
- Chemical Contact: In applications that may require chemical resistance, silicone sheeting can definitely fill the task. With a high resistance to ammonia gas, corn oil, fish oil, sulfur, ozone, vinegar, and many more, a silicone rubber gasket would be the perfect choice. In the automotive industry this product is highly sought out and considered incredibly valuable for this very reason!
- Physical Parameters: Whatever the specifications for your application may be, there are many ways to prepare silicone to fit your needs. Cutting silicone to fit an application is an easy process which only requires knowledge of the project to determine which process would be best suited. Some of the techniques to choose from include hand cutting, die cutting, water jet cutting, and laser cutting, each of which comes with its own precision and budgeting limitations.
- Budget Requirements: The more precise you need your custom silicone rubber product to be, the more expensive the cost for manufacturing will be. The budget you may have for any particular project will determine many decisions to be made. The most cost-effective and budget friendly method would be hand cutting, which is also ideal for larger or thicker materials that can’t be accommodated by other methods. Hand cutting would be a cheaper method and provide a quick turnaround time if your project is on a deadline. This fabrication method is ideal for silicone rubber products with less critical tolerances (1/16 inch – ¼ inch tolerances). If your project needs a higher critical tolerance, one of the other fabrication methods such as water jet cutting or laser cutting, may need to be used.
Here are a few reasons why silicone rubber sheet is the preferred elastomer in high temperature and high purity applications:
- Excellent work-life when used in unfavorable conditions
- Other sheet rubber products become brittle and crack when used outdoors
- Temperature resistance up to 550F (intermittently to 300 Celsius)
- Neoprene, EPDM and Nitrile, all deteriorate when used in applications whose temperature exceeds 200F
- Excellent life when exposed to outdoor conditions
- Retains its natural flexibility and resilience (resists compression set) across a wide temperature range
- A very good rubber for sealing
- Inert (no taste or smell)
- Available off the shelf from a soft 40 Durometer option to hard 70 Shore A varieties
- When cutting silicone it is easy to fabricate to spec, can be die-cut, waterjet or hand-cut
- One of the few rubber products available in a translucent color
- Available in a variety of colors: white, black, red, blue, brown, translucent
- Excellent electrical insulation qualities
A silicone rubber sheet can be used to cover a wide range of purposes across many different markets. Silicone sheeting can meet and fulfill many industrial application needs; such as in the automotive industry as an external gasket or in the medical industry when increased aeration is needed. Cutting silicone to fit your application is something here at Rubber-Cal, Inc. we would be more than happy to accommodate. Our custom silicone rubber products are offered in a variety of commercial grade, FDA approved, translucent, and premium grade options.