Silicone rubber is a popular material across both arts and industries. This rubber compound displays numerous unique properties that make it ideal for various sophisticated uses.
For instance, the rubber is virtually unaffected by changes in weather or even harsh conditions. It stays stable across temperatures and displays superior resistance to moisture, fire, electricity, oils, chemicals and radiation as well. To add to this, the material is inherently flexible and resilient apart from being odorless and having a long service life. Users avow that it is comfortable and easy to work with too.
No wonder then that silicone rubber is the perfect partner for various manufacturing needs and enjoys patronage in electronics, healthcare equipment, automobiles, household goods, leisure products and even food products to name a few. More and more functions are being discovered and tested day by day!
And it’s not just the manufacturing industry; even artists have silicone rubber to thank for a lot of their creations. In fact, it can be used to make both molds and casts. It is suitable for all types of applications and the molds and casts turn out light, flexible and long lasting with great tear strength. The material can capture minute details clearly and has a natural tendency to not stick to other materials. Therefore, the molds and casts can be easily demolded without requiring a release agent.
Moreover, silicone molds can be used to cast various materials such as wax, foam, soap, plaster, concrete, all types of resins and even low melting metals.
Types of silicone rubber
Silicone is a curing rubber and needs to set properly to become durable. Certain curatives or accelerators have to be added to the rubber and this chemical process is known as vulcanization.
In fact, there are different types of silicone rubber that primarily vary depending on the method and temperature of curing. Such as:
Solid Silicone Rubber (HTV) – As the name goes, this silicone comes in a solid state. It needs to be cured at high temperatures and is hence a high temperature vulcanizing rubber. It displays excellent properties and is widely used in different industrial sectors.
Liquid Silicone Rubber (HTV) – This silicone rubber is available in a liquid state. It is a two-part compound and has to be mixed with a catalyst for curing. It is also a high temperature vulcanizing rubber that displays low viscosity and a quick cycle time. The outstanding process advantages make it ideal for various applications, especially injection molding.
Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV) – These rubbers cure at room temperature itself. They come as both one-part and two-part compounds. In the latter case, the vulcanization can be achieved through various catalysts such as tin, platinum or even peroxide. Apart from industrial usage, the two-part RTVs are commonly used to make silicone molds and casts.
Similarly, silicone rubbers are also divided into addition cure and condensation cure categories depending on the type of catalyst. Both are suitable for making silicone molds and casts.