Is silicone a good sealing material?
In recent years, silicone has become one of the most used materials across a wide range of industries, from automotive, rail and aerospace to food production and medical applications
Silicone has grown in popularity thanks to its extensive list of versatile features such as its ability to withstand both extreme heat, and extreme cold, or its flexible and durable nature. One of the most important features of silicone, however, is its ability to act as an environmental seal.
Silicone is a man-made synthetic polymer that makes for a strong, non-organic polymer that will not deteriorate as quickly as the majority of other organic elastomers such as polyurethane.
Benefits of using silicone sponge to seal electronic enclosures
Silicone sponge is often found in electronic systems, used to seal enclosures from water dust and moisture ingress. The flexible nature of silicone means it can be easily shaped to fit uneven surfaces, with silicone also protecting electronic equipment from heat, cold, moisture and accidental damage.
Water damage is common when the incorrect seal is fitted to an enclosure. Moisture build-up can also cause short-circuiting if an enclosure is placed in an environment with high humidity. kSil® silicone sponge prevents this with its extremely low water absorption and ability to conform to uneven surfaces. When exposed to water, electrical connectivity between circuits is interrupted, causing a short circuit and often lasting damage to the equipment. This isn’t always caused by direct contact with large amounts of water such as rain or an accidental spill, but instead can easily be the result of factors like electrical equipment placed in areas of high humidity.
Silicone is also an excellent electrical insulator and can protect electrical equipment from a range of chemical substances aside from water, making it a hardy and durable material – perfect for waterproofing electronics.
Using silicone sponge to seal EV battery units
Often external conditions can cause dust, water, or other harmful substances to leak into battery compartments. This can damage the sensitive electrical components inside and causing long-term issues. With the switch to electrically powered vehicles now ramping up, sealing the battery unit from rain, sleet, snow, and road salt is vital to battery design and performance. The seal has to provide longevity as well as coping with temperature fluctuations when in use.
Using silicone tubes for fluid transfer
In the food and beverage manufacturing industry, silicone rubber provides the perfect basis for fluid transfer tubing. silicone’s smooth inner surface allows water and other fluids to flow freely, making it one of the most hygienic materials for the transfer of fluids, reducing residue build-up, and preventing bacterial contamination.
Thanks to its high-temperature resilience, silicone tubing is also excellent for the distribution of hotter or cooler temperature liquids, without losing its durability or shape. This is why it is extensively used in vending and hot drinks machines.
Approval of silicone by Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) and why this matters
The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) is an independent UK certification body that helps keep water fittings safe by approving only the highest quality of materials for use. WRAS ensures that a material has been thoroughly tested and when installed, will not cause waste, or contamination, of a water supply.
Non-metallic materials, such as silicone, undergo specific testing on their effect on water quality.
By using a WRAS approved silicone rubber, you are ensuring that the quality of the material in use is safe and appropriate for use with any product that comes into contact with water such as water coolers, vending tubing and hot water dispensers
More benefits of silicone
Silicone rubber also has a range of additional benefits, such as:
- It’s free of harmful fillers such as BPS and BPA, making it non-toxic.
- The durable nature of silicone enables its resistance to environmental and external elements such as aging, weathering and ozonation, even under strenuous working conditions.
- Non-stick properties make silicone rubber perfect for avoiding contamination.
- Silicone’s washable and reusable nature means it is an environmentally friendly alternative so some of the more traditionally used materials in manufacturing.
Silicone Engineering is equipped to service all of your silicone requirements. For more information on our silicone products, please get in touch.