Silicone v rubber: the differences

They exhibit differences in atomic structure

Rubber and silicone are elastomers which mean they are natural or synthetic polymers containing elastic properties. Silicone is a polymer which contains silicon along with carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Both silicone and rubber can be found in household and motor products, from hardware to cooking and baking utensils and even clothes such as sportswear as well as shoes. It also forms part of electronics and medical implants. Although silicone and rubber are both elastomers, they are different in atomic structure.

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There are many types of rubbers such as natural, synthetic polyisoprene, polychloroprene, styrene butadiene rubber, nitrile rubber, and silicone. Natural rubber comes from the latex of the rubber tree. Even though silicone rubbers contain silicon in polymer chains, rather than carbon, most rubbers, which are useful due to their elastic nature, contain polymer chains of carbon.

Silicone is a form of synthetic rubber which is highly resistant to ozone and UV attacks and performs well as an all-rounder. Silicone boasts a lower tear strength than typical organic rubbers. When exposed to high temperatures, silicone demonstrates excellent tensile and tears properties.

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Silicone can withstand heat well

The main difference between silicone and rubber is that the backbone of silicone contains both silicon and oxygen, while the backbones of rubber contain carbon-carbon bonds. Regular rubber is much less resistant to heat, as well as fungal and UV attacks. Silicone can withstand heat well, and is resistant to chemical and fungus attacks as well as UV.

Silicone rubber boasts several special properties, which organic rubbers don’t have.

Organic rubbers score poorly when it comes to tensile and tear properties at high temperatures. However, these properties score well in silicone rubbers when exposed to the same high temperatures.

If you require silicone moulding, can provide a full service from mould design right through to prototyping and manufacture. The company produces precision mouldings and technical injection mouldings in all silicone compounds in areas such as automotive, aerospace and medical.

According to Journal Dairy, the global liquid silicone rubber market accounted for USD 884.3 million and is projected to grow 9.1% to 2024.

Silicone proves to be the preferred option for industries as it is more heat resistant. It offers a combination of chemical and mechanical properties that ordinary organic elastomers do not.


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