What You Should Know About Silicone Rubber
People often mistaken silicone as a kind of plastic due to its malleability, water resistance, and flexibility. The plastics industry also considers silicone as plastic. We would say: No, Silicone isn’t plastic, even though it does share some characteristics with common plastic that we’re all used to. Plastic comes with a ton of issues, such as leaching toxic chemicals into your food and drink, which silicone fixes. However, that’s why silicone becomes so popular. Technically, silicone could be considered part of the rubber family.
（Extension Reading: Is Silicone Rubber better than Rubber?）
What Is Silicone?
Silicone rubber is also known as elastomer (rubber-like material) composed of Silicon (a naturally occurring element), Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen.
Silicone rubbers are widely used in industry, and there are multiple formulations. Silicone rubbers are often one- or two-part polymers. Silicone rubber is generally non-reactive, stable, and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures from −55 to 300 °C (−70 to 570 °F) while still maintaining its useful properties. Due to these properties and its ease of manufacturing and shaping, silicone rubber can be found in a wide variety of products, including voltage line insulators; automotive applications; cooking, baking, and food storage products; apparel such as undergarments, sportswear, and footwear; electronics; medical devices and implants; and in-home repair and hardware, in products such as silicone sealants.
Silicone Rubber Properties
Silicone rubber offers good resistance to extreme temperatures, being able to operate normally from −100 to 300 °C (−150 to 570 °F). Silicone rubber has low tensile strength, poor wear and tear wear properties. Some properties such as elongation, creep, cyclic flexing, tear strength, compression set, dielectric strength (at high voltage), thermal conductivity, fire resistance, and in some cases tensile strength can be—at extreme temperatures—far superior to organic rubbers in general, although a few of these properties are still lower than for some specialty materials. Silicone rubber is a material of choice in the industry when retention of initial shape and mechanical strength are desired under heavy thermal stress or sub-zero temperatures.
|Tensile Strength||4-12.5 Mpa|
|Tear Strength||9 - 55 kN/m|
|Elongation after fracture in %||90 - 1120 %|
|Density||1.1 - 1.6 g/cm3|
|Insulation resistance||1 - 100 TΩ.m|
Is Silicone Rubber Safe?
Silicone is considered chemically stable, experts say it’s safe to use and likely not toxic. Many experts and authorities consider silicones to be nontoxic and safe for contact with food and drink. There are no known health hazards associated with the use of silicone cookware. Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages or produce any hazardous fumes. So, silicone is absolutely safe to use, and it’s remarkably handy in so many different areas of life.