Silicone is one of several inert, synthetic compounds that assume a variety of forms and shapes. It is traditionally heat & chemical resistant with inherent rubber characteristics. Silicones are used in lubricants, sealants, adhesives, cooking utensils, medical applications, and insulation. Silicones are polymers containing silicon together with hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and even other elements. Most popular forms include silicone oil, silicone resin, silicone rubber, silicone grease, and silicone caulk. In tubing there are two types of curing processes used, platinum & peroxide.
Platinum Cured Silicone: Companies supplying products to the medical industry generally use platinum cured silicone tubing to ensure minimum extractables. Firms selling such industries operate their production from state-of-the-art clean rooms designed to produce or manufacture products specially suited to meet the market needs of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. These platinum cured grades of silicone offer exceptional performance with relatively high efficiency.
Silicone tubing has been used for medical tubing for a long period because it meets the medical industry’s standards for cleanliness and non-toxicity. In addition, silicone’s major features, which include resistance to extreme variations in temperature and chemical resistance for applications where a flexible tubing is required. Most other plastic or rubber tubing cannot handle such severe environments.
Peroxide Cured Silicone: This silicone is generally used in industrial and automotive applications. These resins may not be quite as pure and are sold in many colors.
Silicone rubber is a thermoset material with great elasticity. It is not affected by the adverse effects of weather. This is because it generally demonstrates inertness toward radiation, U.V., and ozone; thus making it the most suited option for electrically-associated applications in both the medical and industrial fields.
In the automotive industry, multiple or various layers of silicone insulate automotive spark plug wires to hinder sparks from skipping to adjacent wires, where they can cause misfires. This tubing is sometimes utilized in automotive intake systems (particularly for engines experienced forced induction). On the other hand, sheet silicone is used in manufacturing of gaskets used in transmissions, automotive engines, and other applications.
In most occasions, automotive body manufacturing firms and paint shops desist from silicones because they may cause “fish eyes” – small, circular craters found in the finish. Moreover, silicone compounds like silicone rubber are essential in coatings and sealants for airbags because of its high strength, which makes it the best adhesive for high impact airbags.