The most important features of silicone – determining its usefulness in most responsible tasks in different industry branches – include durability, flexibility and high and low temperature resistance. Due to it silicone components are excellent in hard and changeable conditions, e.g. as seals in car engines, aeroplanes, construction. Physiological indifference of silicone enables using it in tasks demanding sterile environment, especially in medicine, e.g. in contact with human organism or in the fields connected with food.
These features arise from the fact, that silicone caoutchouc – as the only one among all usable elastomers – does not contain carbon atoms in main chain of polymer. Macromolecule is built from staggered atoms of silicon and oxygen, which form extremely stable structure, analogical to quartz or glass. This different molecular structure results in specific properties of silicone products:
- Over 50 years of durability!
- Constant elastic properties within temperature range: -100oC to +350oC
- Outstanding resistance to thermal and atmospheric ageing and ultraviolet radiation
- Lack of stiffening with passage of time, as flexibility is a structural feature of polymer, not the result of using plasticizers
- Anti-adhesive properties protecting against dirt
- Hydrophobicity, enabling e.g. repeated sterilization through boiling
- Possibility to obtain intensive and long-lasting colours
- Little permanent deformation as a result of repeated squeezing