Types of Silicone Sealant
Silicone Sealant is an adhesive that resists extreme temperatures, moisture and weathering. It can be used on a wide range of materials and is particularly useful for areas that are exposed to water or harsh environments.
It is typically available in a clear or gel-like consistency and can be used to create neat beads or joints that are watertight. It’s commonly sold in a squeeze tube for manual application or in rigid cartridges that can be loaded into a caulking gun.
There are two types of silicone sealants – water-based and solvent-based. Water-based sealants use water diluents and can be applied to damp surfaces. They are easy to use, affordable and paintable. They can be used in a wide variety of applications, including sealing seams, joints and cracks on walls, floors and ceilings, as well as glass and other materials.
Solvent-based sealants use solvents for dilution and are typically used outdoors with masonry, wood, bare metal or galvanized steel. They are usually not suitable for bare brick or porous stone and must be painted or primed. These sealants are also more expensive than their water-based counterparts.
Chemical-based sealants are composed of silicone, polyurethane or polysulphur diluents. They are commonly referred to as silicone sealants. These are ideal for wet areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms. They also work well with a variety of substrates, and can withstand high and low temperatures.
A specialty silicone can be added to enhance the adhesive properties of a silicone sealant. This additive can help the sealant adhere to a wider range of surfaces, including most metals and glass. Akfix 100AQ Aquarium Silicone, for example, is designed to seal aquariums and windows. This sealant is also formulated to be anti-fungal and anti-mould, making it a great choice for use in kitchens and bathrooms.
UV curing technology uses UV radiation to initiate the catalytic cross linking Silicone Sealant reaction that produces high-strength silicone elastomers. This process reduces energy consumption, resulting in reduced environmental impact and lower operating costs. It also offers an alternative to traditional cure systems that use heat, allowing manufacturers to achieve high-temperatures without increasing energy consumption or compromising product performance.
Master Bond’s UV curing silicone adhesives, sealants and coatings offer high adhesion to a variety of dissimilar substrates including plastics, glass and metals. They also offer resistance to thermal cycling, humidity, chemicals and corrosion. UV curing silicones are often employed as protective hardcoats to protect sensitive substrates such as polycarbonates and polymethylmethacrylates from scratching, common chemicals, staining and fading. Some grades incorporate blue fluorescing agents for easy in-line inspection.
Liquid silicone rubbers (LSRs) cured by UV light can be molded in standard injection molding machines and extruded using typical silicone rubber extruders. This allows high production speeds by eliminating the need for water-cooled injection barrels and cold decks, reducing tooling costs. It also eliminates the need for post-mold curing with heat, enabling innovative design and shorter cycle times.
Some of the more advanced UV-curable silicones are dual cure products that can be cured either by exposure to UV and visible light or through atmospheric moisture, providing additional flexibility. These systems can be used in applications where shadowed areas require special treatment.
LED-curable silicone adhesives and sealants are used in a wide variety of applications. They cure with a combination of light energy and photoinitiators, which trigger a chemical reaction that bonds the silicone polymers together. The process is more effective than traditional UV curing because it produces less heat, allowing for the use of lightweight and temperature-sensitive materials. These products also have a shorter cure time and higher yield rates than their UV counterparts.
The LED-curable cyanoacrylate, urethane and silicone adhesives in this category feature high bond strength, thermal stability and chemical resistance. They cure quickly and are safe to handle at ambient temperatures. They are compatible with most substrates, including glass, metals and elastomers. These one component adhesives are solvent free, contain no volatiles and provide consistent performance over long periods of time.
This type of product is suitable for many assembly, potting and sealing applications. It can be used in a variety of manufacturing industries, including medical and electronics. It is resistant to a wide range of chemicals and temperature variations. It is also able to withstand vibrations and shocks, making it a great choice for aerospace applications. It can also be used in the automotive industry to bond lightweight materials. It is important to note that the silicone used in this type of product is based on silica, which is the fourth most abundant mineral on earth.
One-part silicone sealants are a popular choice for sealing cracks and crevices in many buildings. They are also used to fill and bond surfaces, such as PVC and glass joinery, metals, tiles and more. Some even include an anti-fungicide that helps to prevent mould growth. They are also often applied to O-rings in brass taps and valves, which reduces limescale build-up.
Silicone adhesives and caulks are also commonly used in the home for basic repairs. Many different specialised formulas are available to cater for different environments and materials. Some are weather-proof, while others can withstand Silicone Sealant specific temperatures or extreme conditions. Some are also chemically unreactive and do not promote the growth of mould, which makes them ideal for use on sensitive materials.
Multi-purpose silicone adhesives and sealants are typically easy to apply, as they have a liquid gel-like consistency when first applied. They will then cure to a more robust rubber-like texture when exposed to suitable temperature and humidity conditions for a certain period of time. They can be applied to surfaces with either a handheld applicator or a cartridge gun, and may also come in a variety of colours. Some also include a nozzle for precise bead application, which can help to give a more professional finish. It’s worth familiarising yourself with basic application techniques before using a silicone sealant to get the best results.